2016 Activities

  • Tuesday 29 November  at 11am Professor Lorraine Farrelly, the Head of the new School of Architecture at the University of Reading,  welcomed us to their Department.  We heard about her plans for the department over the coming years.
  • In November Mr Arne Ringner hosted three very special visits for Civic Society members to Thames Lido, on Kings Meadow.   The Thames Lido website shows the progress which is being made to bring this building back to life. It is particularly encouraging to note the care and attention being given to this restoration. We asked Arne when the lido will open and he said that the aim is for it to be open in Summer 2017 but “..it will be opened when we are ready’ .  Images of one of the visits, taken by Chris Widdows, may be seen Here.    BBC South Today also reported a progress update on 6th January. 
  • Saturday 22 October  – at 2 pm in the Waterhouse Chamber of the Town Hall Mr Hugo Haig, MD of Lochailhort Investments, and his team gave a presentation about their updated plans for the BMW/ Cooper Site.   Changes have been made by the company following feedback from members of the public at the very recent public consultation.  This was an especially tailored event for us in which we will be shown the very latest “hot off the press” proposals.  Mr Haig is very interested to hear the views of Civic Society members to their proposals so we encourage as many members to come to this special event. Lochailort have also provided information to us separately from the following link;  Lochailort info about BMW site .

Further details of the planning application may be  – Major Development Sites

  • On 8 September 2016 we ran a new event for Heritage Open Days with Haslams Estate Agents.  The talk covered the conversion of  the historic building in which Haslams are based, 159 Friar Street, and the future shape of Reading’s Property Market.

Some 45 people attended the evening, a mix of society members and people who had seen the event advertised in the HODs leaflet.  Mr and Mrs Kruse who have just arrived to live in Reading from Birmingham, Alabama, attended the event gaining their first taste of exploring Reading’s Heritage.

Haslams posted details of the event, and that it was a “Sell out” on their TV Screens:-



The event started with an explanation by Haslams Managing Director, Steve Woodford, about their journey to establish their stunning new offices and the History of Haslams itself, aided by historical images followed by a question and answer session.   Martin Shearn then described some of the trends in the Reading property market and what can influence them.  This was also followed by a Q+A session.  The discussions were supported by Claire Pulleyn (Market Analyst),  Paul Hayhow and Mike Shearn (Head of New Homes)  from Haslams Estate Agents and Steven Smith, Partner of Haslams Chartered Surveyors.

We are very appreciative of Steve Woodford and the Haslams team for making this event possible in this very special building and in a great space.

  • 2nd August 2016 members visited The Royal Holloway College.  Images of the visit, provided by Chris Widdows, may be seen HERE

Recent Posts

Station Retail Park development plans submitted

Station Retail Park Development (the TGI Fridays/ ALDI/ Majestic Wine Warehouse site), Caversham Road / Vastern Road. Application for Outline Planning Consent now submitted.

The initial design for the development which will run along Vastern Road and Caversham Road.

3 April 2020 An application for Outline Planning Consent has been submitted for this site No 200328. The link to the application on RBCs Planning site is HERE

A final exhibition was held on 30 & 31 October 2019.  The link HERE takes you to information about the proposals. On Social Media there are understandable concerns from local residents about the loss of the supermarket and other facilities, which will not be replaced for 5 years (the expected time the scheme will take to complete). If taken to completion this scheme will add some 900 flats and some office space with retail on the ground floors. The scheme raised a lot of opposition from people living in Caversham the company commented after the exhibition that “Most of the 220 comments came from Caversham residents and 70% objected.” The Reading on Thames Nov 2019 blog commented The height of the tall building has been pointlessly shrunk to placate the moaners from Caversham Heights.”

On 21 January members of the RCS committee, the CAAC and CADRA met Barton Willmore, the advisors behind the scheme, high up in the Blade to gain a better understanding of what is proposed here. When we meet developers and their agents in this way there is an agreement about confidentiality. It would not however be any surprise that as the site is owned by AVIVA (pension company) that Barton Willmore are developing a scheme which will lead to an Outline Planning Application, the site will then be sold on to a developer who will submit a detailed application with a view to implementation. We were given to understand that the leases on the sites end from 2021 to 2025. It will probably take up to 2 years to work up an outline planning application which gains consent so it is understandable why the scheme has been raised now.

The concerns we raised with BW included: how would construction be undertaken, would the whole site be worked on at the same time or would it work block by block as each lease came to and end (difficult either way), the challenges of all the construction traffic serving developments on Station Hill, SSE, Reading Metropolitan and this site all at pretty much the same time, the closeness of the accommodation blocks to each other, views though the site from the station to the Thames, how the design of the 3 nearby development sites work together (SSE Vastern Road, Reading Metropolitan (the former GPO Sorting Office)), pollution from the nearby road, the accumulated impact of the town centre developments on Healthcare facilities, what social facilities would be provided to build communities, are the units for sale or rent, affordable element? We have been offered a return discussion when there is more information.

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  5. King Edwards Building added to local list Comments Off on King Edwards Building added to local list
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