Reading planning roundup – sex shop flats, extension refused, post office conversion, 41 affordable homes

Welcome to this week’s roundup of the most interesting planning decisions in Reading.

This week’s edition includes the approval of 41 new affordable flats in the town centre and a withdrawn flats plan above a former sex shop on Southampton Street.

Plans to add extra flat above sex shop withdrawn

Plans to build flats at a recently closed pornography and sex toy shop near the town centre have been withdrawn.

In May, plans were approved to convert part of 108 Southampton Street into three flats, retaining the shop – formerly The Private Shop – in a smaller form.

READ MORE: Reading set to get new walk-in Covid 19 testing centre

The developer has since sought permission to go further, seeking two-storey rear extensions and a dormer to take the number of flats up to four.

But these plans have now been withdrawn.

The building was host to adult entertainment store Private Shop for more than a decade.

Garage will be demolished and replaced with three-bed house

A garage in Southcote will be demolished with a three-bedroom house built in its place.

The plans at 323  Southcote Lane were approved this week despite concerns from one neighbour who raised concerns over safety and loss of privacy and said the house would “stand out like a sore thumb”. 

Plans for two houses in Tilehurst withdrawn

An application to build two three-bed houses in Tilehurst has been withdrawn after neighbours raised concerns.

The plans on land next to 135 Norcot Road, from the owners of this property, were objected to by four neighbours.

They said the plan “seems wholly inappropriate for the

size of the plot”,  would be detrimental to those living at 131 Norcot Road, and have a negative impact on parking, with the road “already extremely busy”.

One neighbour also criticised the style of the proposal, saying it is not in keeping with the Victorian and Edwardian houses in the immediate area.

Extension plan refused

Plans for two-storey extensions at a home in Caversham have been refused by the council.

The proposal at 131 Henley Road –  two-storey side extension and two-storey rear extension to create additional living and bedroom space – was described by council officers as “unacceptable”. 

Four neighbours objected to the plan and officers concluded the proposal would fail to respect, maintain and enhance the character and appearance of the current building and wider area.

Additionally, they said the proposed first floor extension would have a

detrimental impact on the living environment of neighbouring property 129 Henley Road by being visually dominant, overbearing and harming their outlook.

Post office to become café as application no longer need

A vacant post office in south Reading is set to become a café.

Plans were submitted earlier this month to Reading Borough Council (RBC) to transform the disused Whitley Wood Post Office, on 168 Whitley Wood Road, into a café.

But the application was withdrawn by the applicant this week as new national legislation means the change of use no longer needs approval from the council.

READ MORE: Vacant Whitley post office set to be transformed into cafe

The premises have been vacant since December 2016.

Dozens of new affordable flats approved – but commitment to 101 homes shelved

Forty-one brand new 100 per cent affordable flats will be coming to the town centre as a ‘surrogate site’ to a major town centre development.

Ownership of the North Street former family support centre has been transferred to Reading Borough Council (RBC) to turn it into social rent affordable housing.

Plans were signed off by officers on Thursday, September 17, after getting approval from the council’s Planning Applications committee earlier this year.

The development is a surrogate site to Lochailort’s 335-home Thames Quarter project at the former Cooper BMW garage on Napier Road, as the developer said it would not be viable to include on-site affordable housing.

But the number of affordable flats being built as part of the project will more than halve compared to previous agreements.

READ MORE: Dozens of new affordable flats approved – but commitment to 101 homes shelved

Reading Chronicle