Achievements to date

Updated 22 Feb 2020

Updating Appraisals

  • The updated Conservation Area Appraisal update for St Peter’s Caversham was adopted in 2018. Further information may be accessed HERE
  • The updated CAA for Russell Street and Castle Hill was submitted in February 2020 after 3 long years of work (elapsed time). It will probably be another 12 months before it can be adopted. 

Background

  • In late 2016 the work began on the first Reading CA community–led appraisal Russell Street & Castle Hill CA, a large densely populated  CA experiencing many of the problems of multiple occupation and inner city living. This was followed shortly after by St Peter’s, Caversham.  Work is underway on Market Place/ London Street and  Eldon Square CAs.
  • Updates on the progress of each may be accessed by the drop down menus in the CAAC area of the Reading Civic Society website
  • The existing Conservation Area Appraisals may be accessed HERE  This page also includes one  page summaries CAAC members have prepared for ALL areas except Horncastle and Routh, where we do not have representation on our committee.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

  • 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

Protection of significant views with heritage interest

We have worked with the Council’s Planning Policy team to identify River and Town Views of historical significance. A report on Reading’s 9 Heritage Views was accepted by RBC as an input into the latest plan.  It may be seen HERE.

This concluded some stirling work by a small number of volunteers from the CAAC.

Commenting on Planning Applications

We have commented on a number of applications- from the Three Guineas to the Petrol Station on London Road and in early 2020 on plans to add 3 tower blocks to the tope of Broad St Mall. The council have welcomed our informed comments.

Engaged with Developers of major and minor planning proposals during the course of the development of their proposals. This enables us to gain an understanding of proposals and we aim to shape them on the way.

 

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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  3. Plans for Station Hill Comments Off on Plans for Station Hill
  4. SSE site, Vastern Road Comments Off on SSE site, Vastern Road
  5. King Edwards Building added to local list Comments Off on King Edwards Building added to local list
  6. The future of Reading Golf Club Comments Off on The future of Reading Golf Club
  7. Updated information about plans for Reading Golf Club Comments Off on Updated information about plans for Reading Golf Club
  8. Chazey Barn: a sad state of repair Comments Off on Chazey Barn: a sad state of repair
  9. Chestnut Walk trees to be replaced Comments Off on Chestnut Walk trees to be replaced