Major Development Sites

Weldale Street

Ropemaker Developments have proposed a set up buildings and open areas on the site of the former Wicks DIY.    Members of the Committee have met Ropemaker Developments, along with other groups  such as CADRA and the Conservation Area Advisory committee.

The site is at the junction of Chatham Street and Caversham Road, close to the Inner Distribution Road.

Ropemaker Developments held an exhibition of their plans on Thursday 9th February at  Greyfriars Church, Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1EH .

The plan is to redevelop the site for around 430 new homes and commercial space for Reading. Ropemaker say “This will help Reading’s housing need, make the area safer, and support the economic regeneration of the town. We’ve already worked with the Council, Reading Civic Society and local business groups to develop our plans. But now, we want to hear your views before we submit the application to Reading Borough Council. “

Their Planning Application has now been submitted: Weldale Street – Planning Application 170326.  We understand the proposal will be submitted to the South East Design Panel in May 2017.

The Former BMW Site, Lochailort Developments

In 2016 a proposal for the BMW site was turned down by Reading Council, primarily because of the intensity of occupation of the relatively small site.  Described as Swan Heights  the 3 tower blocks were certainly challenging, though we felt they brought something new to Reading and supported the application.  The design was by Adam Architecture.

A new scheme has been designed following extensive consultation with the Council.  Whilst the building is still tall the challenging design has undoubtedly been “dumbed down” so that it is  ” more Reading.”  It is understood that during the planning discussions balconies were requested to be added so that the building is seen to be clearly not an office building.

The developer provided a brief to Civic Society members in late 2016.  Most members at that event felt the new scheme to be more acceptable and that it would “fit” within the site, merge better with its proximity next to Kings Meadow,  as it was less intensive and challenging in design.   It was interesting to note that ALL of the flats are to be for rent by the developer, NONE will be sold.  The proportion of the buildings allocated to Services and Facilities is also high, at 1/3 of the total.

The Planning application is No 162166

The summary description is:

Erection of a part 12 storey, part 23 storey building comprising 315 apartments in a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and 3-bedroom units; residents’ lounges, tech-hub, dining room, and cinema room; various rooftop outdoor amenity spaces; concierge/reception with coffee meeting area; residents’ storage facilities; postroom; ancillary back-of-house facilities; 315 secure cycle parking spaces; 49 car parking spaces; landscaping; and associated works. Demolition of existing multi-storey car park.

 Kenavon Drive

Reading Borough Council has signalled that it would like to see more new homes close to the railway station and the town centre, to make best use of the shops, services and public transport without needing to use a car.

L&Q have put forward ideas for the site currently occupied by Homebase and ToysRUs, originally the site of part of the Huntley and Palmer Factory.

Below the projected site map of the development

L&Q proposal is to “…create a new destination for Reading with a new central riverside square, providing facilities such as restaurants, a convenience store and landscaped open space for everyone to enjoy.  The development will create between 700 and 800 new homes including homes for affordable rent and shared ownership.”

The proposal even includes a few, a very few, houses!

A public exhibition was held in October 2016 and the company is no doubt refining its ideas in discussion with Reading Council.

Below artists impression of the view of the site from the Kennet

Further details may be seen ; The Kenavon Drive proposals