Irongate Property has had a plan to redevelop a storage site at 9 Upper Crown Street to provide new homes for over two years.
The project involves building a total of 42 flats contained in two apartment buildings and a terrace of four three-bedroom homes.
But the plan was scuppered when it was rejected by Reading Borough Council’s planning department and an appeal the developers submitted to the government’s planning inspectorate was dismissed.
The plan was revised and submitted again this summer, with one of the apartment buildings being moved further away from the terraced houses by just two metres.
The revised scheme was discussed by councillors at a planning applications committee meeting this month.
Councillor Josh Williams (Green, Park) called the lack of change to the proposed development ‘derisory’ and questioned whether the adjustment was enough to satisfy the reason why the first plan was rejected by both the council and the planning inspectorate.
Council planning officer Tom Bradfield replied that the spacing of the two buildings was now considered acceptable by the planning department.
He added that earlier concerns about overlooking had been addressed in the appeal by planning inspector M Chalk, who argued that the urban nature of the area and separation distance from other buildings would not result in overlooking.
Of the 46 homes provided in the development, nine one-bed and five two-bed flats are designated as affordable.
Cllr Micky Leng (Labour, Whitley) commented: “I welcome the 30 per cent compliant affordable homes, but it’s four one-bed first homes, which on a personal level I don’t accept as affordable housing, but that’s a debate for another day.
“Here we are, I welcome it, it could have been better, but I’m sure they will make lovely homes for people in the future.”
The committee decided to approve the revised plan at a meeting on Wednesday, October 5, with cllr Williams being the only member voting against it.
You can view the scheme by typing reference 230814 into the council’s portal.
The approval is subject to Irongate Property signing a section 106 legal agreement with the council which defines developer monetary contributions to invest in infrastructure such as roads and public amenities.
If no agreement is made, the plan will be rejected.
The site is currently used as a data storage facility and car park for residents and workers in the area.
Of the 86 car parking spaces provided in the development, 68 will be reserved for existing space users, and 16 will be provided for the occupants of the new homes.