Heritage Views – March 2018

Assessment of significant Views with Heritage interest

Supporting the Draft Local Plan

Reading is a modern, vibrant and successful town and the economic centre of the Thames Valley. It has seen substantial change in the 20th century and has challenges to rise to, and meet in the 21st century in terms of housing, economic potential, infrastructure and quality of life. It has a strong built heritage and a visible history which goes back some 900 years.

The work of the CAAC in respect of community led Conservation Area re-appraisals began to identify certain views which were important to the town but not directly within Conservation Areas and which were not otherwise sufficiently valued or protected. This led to discussions between Reading Borough Council and the CAAC about carrying out a Views study to raise awareness of the merits of these views to inform future decision making. These discussions coincided with the start of the preparation of the new Reading Local Plan.

A number of potential views were put forward by the CAAC and considered by RBC. The Planning Policy team came to the view that a new policy ‘EN5 PROTECTION OF SIGNIFICANT VIEWS WITH HERITAGE INTEREST’ was justified. The CAAC agreed to provide a study of each of the views that were selected to provide a basis of evidence and analysis. The initial report was submitted in January 2018, after taking into account feedback from RBC the final version, which may be seen in the flip book below,  was submitted in March 2018. The studies have fed into, and are supporting, the finally agreed Local Plan.

The document may be downloaded HERE.   The agreed views document

The View studies seek to add to the understanding of the town’s cultural heritage, its landscape and its historic assets. They are an evidence base to help and inform all those involved with sustaining both the town’s history and its future. Hopefully they will also contribute to the enjoyment of those who experience these views as part of their daily lives.

The studies makes use of the methodology and format of the ‘ Oxford View Cones Study ‘ developed by Historic England, the Oxford Preservation Trust, Oxford City Council and others to provide a sound methodology to identify the special quality of views. This was applied to Views in Oxford in 2015.

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