The next step in Bracknell Forest Council’s enhancement of Horseshoe Lake will be to use valuable community feedback to shape the continued aspiration to make it a more user friendly and accessible facility for all to enjoy.
Following the community feedback, which has been obtained over the past few months, and the examination of detailed plans, the council has decided to scale back the plans whilst still seeking to enhance the much-loved site.
While the council is currently no longer exploring the option of a chargeable car park and a new permanent café building, work continues to enhance the accessibility, biodiversity and public enjoyment of the site with smaller-scale enhancements, managing visitor numbers to those currently seen at the site.
Options for the site now being explored include:
- creating opportunities for nature themed children’s play
- formalising the free parking available
- exploring the opportunity for a simple seasonal cafe and public toilets
- working with the site-based water sports operator to enhance their offering and facilities
This changed approach follows the feedback received via visitor surveys and from the local community, who were concerned about how large-scale changes might affect the integrity of the site and the local road network.
The focus on protecting biodiversity was not just limited to the site itself. Feedback highlighted the potential that some existing site visitors might also travel to the nearby Thames Basin Heathland instead, which would have had implications for protecting the rare and important birds that live there.
Andrew Hunter, Director for Place, Planning and Regeneration said:
“We have taken on board the feedback from the local community and are responding to it by reviewing what can be provided at Horseshoe Lake.
“We are exploring all opportunities to deliver an enhanced facility at this site for residents, whilst adhering to the council’s responsibilities to protect the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.”
As proposals are developed, the council will share these with local residents and community groups. In the meantime, updates will be provided on our Horseshoe Lake enhancements page on our website.