The Planning Inspectorate has allowed an appeal for a new purpose-built student accommodation building at East Street near Reading Town Centre, against the original decision by Reading Borough Council’s Planning Committee, bringing much needed additional student accommodation to the Town.
We submitted the appeal, on behalf of Studious Construction Ltd, after lengthy discussions with the Council concerning the merits of the scheme were unfortunately rejected. The new purpose-built student accommodation will feature a mix of studio and one-bedroom apartments, combined with associated communal space. A total of 103 units are proposed and the new building will redevelop a redundant car park within one of Reading’s Conservation Areas to the south west of the Town Centre.
Planners at Reading Borough Council submitted that the building would fail to preserve the character and appearance of the Market Street/London Street Conservation Area. However, within his decision, Inspector Simon Warder accepted the factual evidence put forward by our team and concluded that the new development would actually enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, by virtue of the design and red brick colouring of the building, reflecting neighbouring buildings and having an overall positive effect when compared to site’s existing use.
Senior Planner, Craig Pettit said: “The Planning Inspectorate’s decision is a welcome one and one that will have long-term benefits for Reading. This includes freeing up existing housing stock by alleviating the prevalence of HMOs, the additional expenditure by students in the Town and delivering much needed accommodation for students. Indeed, the Inspector makes some key comments in his decision, regarding the emerging student accommodation policy within the draft Local Plan. We are also pleased to be able to make a positive contribution to one of Reading’s valued Conservation Areas.”
Design: Greenwell, CGI: Realm
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