Conservation Area Advisory Committee

Updated 5 August 2018 – LOGO

This autonomous body was established in 2016.  Its aims include:

  • To take the lead in updating Conservation Area Appraisals and make proposals for the enhancement and general care of maintenance of CAs.
  • To further Education about Conservation Areas.
  • To advise the Council on certain Planning Applications, Pre-Applications or other matters referred to it, which affect the character or appearance of a Conservation Area or Heritage Site or other area of Historic import.
  • To advise the Council on schemes of public realm/ public highway which may be referred to it.

The committee is formed from representatives from Reading Civic Society, the Baker Street Area Neighbourhood Association (BSANA), Caversham and District Residents Association (CADRA) and other Neighbourhood Action Groups. Historic England has provided advice and training in how to look at the features of Conservation Areas and how to undertake Character Appraisals.

The Strategic, Environment, Planning and Transport Committee (SEPT) of Reading Borough Council in April 2016 endorsed the CAAC being set up.  The first meeting was held on 19 May 2016.

Achievements to date

These include progress in updating Conservation Area Appraisals and identification of 8 Heritage Views which have been included, at our instigation, in the new Local Plan.   For more look here

HERITAGE VIEWS

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

Updating Conservation Area Appraisals- Progress

In December 2018 the revised appraisal for St Peter’s Caversham was adopted by RBC after work which took nearly 3 years elapsed time.

The updated Russell Street/ Castle Hill / Oxford Road  Conservation Area Appraisal was adopted by Reading Borough Council in March 2020 after work over a 4 year period.

Work is underway on Market Place/ London Street Conservation Area, and St Mary’s /Castle Street and Eldon Square  Appraisals.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Volunteers to assist complete this massive 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

Officers Appointed for the year from 4 December 2017:

Chair Evelyn Williams:

evelynvwilliams@hotmail.com; chair.readingcaac@gmail.com

Vice-Chair  Richard Bennett:

Bennettbaker@msn.com;   vicechair.readingcaac@gmail.com

Minutes Secretary Vickie Abel:chair@fccg.org.uk

Planning & Policy Secretary Vacant. Help sought.

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.

  1. New proposals for Local Listing Comments Off on New proposals for Local Listing
  2. Drews buildings added to local list Comments Off on Drews buildings added to local list
  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