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Reading Planners Reject 72-bed Scheme

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

City planning officials have rejected proposals to build student housing in East Reading that would be able to accommodate 72 students.

The plans put forward by The Bagris Foundation called for the conversion of a vacant office block into 26 student flats and the further construction of a five-storey block which could accommodate a further 35 flats.

Located in King's Road, the plans received strong criticism from Reading Borough Council planning officers as well as the planning committee. As a result the plans were rejected at a meeting held on November 9.

In particular, concerns were raised over the mass, height and location, which it was argued would be detrimental to the setting of nearby listed buildings. There were also concerns about the "visual dominance and overbearing effects" as well as the lack of privacy for the students living on the lower floors of the five-storey tower.

Councillor Jason Brock also branded the lack of car parking space as "pathetic" and had questioned the developers on how they planned to cater for disabled people.

The applicant had tried to counter the concerns by suggesting there was a fundamental need for student accommodation in Reading, however Councillor Tony Page said: "The leaflet we have all had from the Bagris Foundation claims that the creation of 78 new student units means that 78 fewer students will be seeking private housing in Reading

"But this is palpably unjustified, unsupported claim."

It's now in the hands of The Bagris Foundation as to whether they wish to appeal the decision.