Fears that a popular community centre site could have houses built on it have been addressed.

The Pinewood Centre is a community and activities hub occupied by a number of groups as a place for people to engage in hobbies such as miniature railway and car speedway building.

The site in Old Wokingham Road, Crowthorne is located in Wokingham Without parish area, which is governed by Wokingham Borough Council.

There have been fears that homes could be built on the site since November 2021.

That’s because the Pinewood Centre was designated as a site for ‘self-funded regeneration’ when the Wokingham Local Plan update was revealed two years ago.

It was speculated that homes could be built at the Pinewood Centre to fund the regeneration of the site.

But now the prospect of homes being built on land has been ruled out.

The news comes following a question by former councillor Ian Pittock, who asked the borough council’s Liberal Democrat-led administration to oppose having homes built at the centre.

READ MORE: Call for homes to be ruled at Pinewood activity centre site 

His question was directed to councillor Lindsay Ferris (Liberal Democrats, Twyford), the executive member for the Local Plan, who Mr Pittock had worked with when he was a councillor representing Finchampstead South.

Mr Pittock said: “About four years ago, I and Cllr Ferris as Lib Dem Councillors met with Wokingham Without Parish Council to assure them that should the Lib Dems lead Wokingham Borough Council, we would not build houses on the Pinewood site and that we would at least offer a much longer lease than they currently had.

“As he is now the Executive Member with responsibility for the Local Plan Update in the Lib Dem-led Partnership administration, can Councillor Ferris confirm that our promises to Wokingham Without Parish Council still stand?”

READ MORE: Neighbours slam prospect of homes at Pinewood site as 'abysmal' 

In response, cllr Ferris said: “Pinewood has not been promoted into the local plan process, nor has the land been assessed for its potential suitability for development within the local plan process.

“What could be causing an issue is that separate to the allocation of land for development, the local plan Revised growth Strategy Consultation (2021) included a proposal to identify Pinewood as a site for self-funded regeneration.

“The purpose of that proposal was to set a planning framework to support investment into improving the site and buildings.

“I fully acknowledge that Pinewood is home to highly valued community facilities.

“The site has not been promoted for housing development and there are no proposals for housing development in the emerging local plan.

READ MORE: Anniversary of Wokingham Local Plan update for thousands of homes being revealed

“I understand that a new long-term lease (for 30 years) of the Pinewood site has been agreed in principle and is with solicitors to complete.

“So yes, our promises made to Wokingham Without Parish still very much stand.”

Cllr Ferris answered Mr Pittock’s question at a meeting of Wokingham Borough Council’s executive committee on Tuesday, March 21.