Reading development plan for thousands of homes in review

The Reading Local Plan was adopted in November 2019 and defined which locations houses should be built on, including the former Reading Golf Course in Emmer Green and a range of other locations in the borough. 

Now the plan is up for review amid changes to Reading Borough Council’s priorities and other developments in the local area. 

A big change since the plan was adopted was the collapse of a proposal to build a 15,000 home ‘garden town’ in Grazeley

The garden town was a joint project between Wokingham Borough Council and West Berkshire Council with collaboration from Reading Borough Council. 

It would have created a substantially larger settlement in Grazeley, which would have had an impact on Reading with thousands of more people living in the area and commuting to and from the town. 

However, the Grazeley garden town proposal was scrapped after Defence Nuclear Organisation -part of the Ministry of Defence- objected to the project due it proximity to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) site in Burghfield. 

READ MORE: Final nail in coffin for ambitious plans to build 15,000 home town south of Reading

The Reading Local Plan review has acknowledged that Wokingham Borough Council is conducting an update to its plan, which includes a proposal to build a 4,500 home garden village in the Loddon Valley east of Shinfield.  

Notably, the review proposes no major changes to the site allocated for development in the Local Plan adopted in 2019. 

The changes that are proposed have been made to acknowledge Reading Borough Council’s latest priorities, which are contained within its Corporate Plan 2022-25.

The Corporate Plan declares the council’s vision to “help Reading realise its potential and to ensure that everyone who lives and works here can share the benefits of its success”.

The Local Plan review, which is contained within a council document, therefore proposes changes to policies contained in the plan, which also defines its policies for parking, transport, waste collection and a whole host of other considerations involved in the process of having new homes built and occupied in the town. 

These involve strategies for making sure the council realises its goal of a carbon neutral Reading by 2030, and creating thriving communities by ensuring new homes are in easy reach of essential facilities. 

The review,  also has some illuminating figures on how many houses have been built throughout the town. 

It states 2,422 homes have been built in central Reading from 2013-2022, out of 7,600 planned for by 2036. 

Over the same periods,  1,552 homes out of 3,700 envisaged have been built in South Reading, 1,257 out of 2,400 have been built in West Reading and Tilehurst, 481 out of 1,100 have been completed in East Reading, and 124 out of 700 homes envisaged have been built in Caversham. 

The review is due to be discussed and approved at a meeting of the council’s strategic environment, planning and transport committee on Thursday, March 23.  

Reading Chronicle | Town Centre