L&Q, one of the country’s leading residential developers, is proposing a scheme of new apartments, houses, riverside cafes and public spaces right in the heart of central Reading. Currently the site of Homebase and Toys R Us, it is proposed that the site is redeveloped to deliver between 700 and 800 new homes, just some of the 5,210 new homes Reading needs to deliver up to 2026.
Reading Borough Council has signalled that it would like to see more new homes close to the railway station and the town centre, to make best use of the shops, services and public transport without needing to use a car. The Reading Central Area Action Plan lists this location as an area to provide these new homes.
It will also include affordable housing - a mix of rented as well as shared ownership – to be managed long term by L&Q.
Maxine Powell, Design and Planning Manager for L&Q said
‘We have approached this scheme by trying to reflect the history of the site as the former Huntley & Palmer Biscuit Factory, one of the 3 famous B’s of Reading, which you wouldn’t realise from the site today. We want to open the space back up, make good use of the riverside and use traditional materials in a modern way to reflect and respect the listed prison opposite and the historic Abbey ruins.’
As a housing association, we want to provide new affordable homes and manage them well into the future. Every penny we make gets ploughed back in to providing new affordable homes and this type of development is something Reading needs to see more of.’
The proposals are being presented for public consultation at two events in June. The events will take place on:
Tuesday 7 June 2016, 4pm - 8pm
The Bel and Dragon, Blakes Lock, Gas Works Road
Saturday 11th June 2016, 11 am - 5pm
Waterfest, Forbury Gardens and Chestnut Walk