Welcome to information about Reading Civic Society, Conservation Areas & the Conservation Area Advisory Committee

7 November updates to the Article 4 pages.

Reading Civic Society was formed in 1962 to fight a wave of insensitive development that threatened to destroy much of the town’s historic centre.

Thames Lido Highly Commended in the Civic Voice Design Awards 2018

We submitted the restoration of the Kings Meadow Open Air Ladies Baths as the Thames Lido for consideration in the 2018 Civic Voice Awards, the Historic Buildings Category.

On Thursday 12th July, at the London City offices of architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, it was announced that Thames Lido, the restored Edwardian Ladies Baths in Kings Meadow, had won the Highly Commended Award in the Civic Voice’s Design Awards 2018 – Historic Buildings Category. In this it was judged equally with the restoration of Turner’s House in Twickenham.  Both projects cost around £3M. The Civic Voice Design Awards, which are in their 4th year,  are the “people’s choice”; projects are submitted for consideration by members of local communities and societies rather than members of the architectural profession.  We believe this is a great vote for a great Reading project.

First place was taken by The Story House in Chester, a £36M rescue of a former Cinema and its conversion into a Cinema, Theatre and Library.  It was funded by the local council at a cost per sq metre 4 times that of the cost of restoring Thames Lido.

Full details Civic Voice Design Awards all the results

Above: The presentation of the Award by R-L; Deborah Lamb, Deputy Chief Executive Historic England, to Arne Ringner, Owner of Thames Lido, and Richard Bennett DL, Chair Reading Civic Society. (Photograph copyright of Paul Humble).

You may have been directed to this page from Reading Borough Council’s page about Conservation Areas.  If so you can find information about these by clicking on the links which follow:

Conservation Areas.

  • Brief guidance about the planning constraints if you own, or rent, a property or run a business in a Conservation Area.
  • 1 page summaries of the special features of each Conservation Area and Individual Conservation Area Character Appraisals.
  • My Conservation Area matters – celebrating the 50th anniversary of Conservation Areas

Listed Buildings .

Information is provided to guide owners of Listed Buildings on the permissions they need to be able to undertake work to their properties.

Article 4 Directions

Buildings in 15 streets across Reading have an Article 4 Direction applied either to manage ensure the retention of original features of historic streets (patterned brick work, original doors and windows) and / or to manage the conversion of houses to Homes of Multiple Accommodation around the University and in Jesse Terrace.  An Article 4 removes Permitted Development rights, it requires the owner to submit a planning application if they wish to undertake action which will impact on the property.  Full details of the streets and the implications is HERE. 

The Role of Reading Civic Society

  •  Scrutinise new planning proposals [link to section on planning]
  • Promote conservation not only of historic buildings but also of the town’s waterways, parks and street landscapes
  • Encourage good design in new developments.
  • Educational visits are arranged each year to nearby towns and cities during which we seek to meet members of their Civic Society to learn what we can about their issues and solutions.
  • An annual party is held for members in March each year. There is a newsletter for members 2-3 times a year.
  • Reading Civic Society is a member of Civic Voice – the national charity for the Civic Movement.  Several of its members are part of the Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee which was formed in 2016 to advice Reading Borough Council on the issues facing Conservation Areas.

Further information about our Activities and how to join us may be found HERE

You may contact the Chair (Richard Bennett) to discuss any particular interests on Bennettbaker@msn.com

Established in 2016 information is provided here about its work and progress to date.

Conservation Area Advisory Committee.  

Achievements to date may be seen HERE


A report on Reading’s 9 Heritage Views was accepted by RBC as an input into the latest plan.  It may be seen HERE.

Conservation Area Appraisal Updates

We have made significant progress updating two conservation Area Appraisals, the progress updates are:

St Peter’s Caversham

Russell St/ Castle Hill


Volunteers to assist complete this significant task are sought. Please contact  Evelyn Williams – the Chair of the CAAC if you wish to discuss how to get involved chair.readingcaac@gmail.com

Updated 5 August 2018.



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