Beechcroft Developments has completed a deal to buy Caversham Park House and is to begin work on a planning application to turn it into a retirement home.

As exclusively revealed in Thames Tap in March, Beechcroft had published its intention to convert the 170-year-old listed mansion, set in 93 acres of landscaped grounds, which had been owned by the BBC since 1943.

Following lengthy negotiations with the BBC and the due diligence process, Beechcroft has announced the acquisition which is subject to planning approval.

The developer intends to renovate and convert the listed buildings and create a collection of new buildings to provide retirement housing both for independent and assisted living along with a new care home and affordable housing for sale and rent.

Public consultation will take place in the Autumn and a planning application is expected by the end of the year.

Beechcroft managing director Chris Thompson said: “Caversham Park has a long and fascinating history and a wonderful historic park and garden, whilst being within easy reach of Reading’s excellent shopping facilities and transport links.

“We look forward to engaging with local people, stakeholders and other interested parties as our plans develop over the next few months.

“We aim to secure a sustainable future for the historic buildings on the site and to create high quality new and converted homes for the over 55s, including affordable homes for sale and rent which will meet both local and national housing needs.

“New development will respect both the original buildings and the parkland setting, which is an important feature of this site.”

Beechcroft was represented by Foot Anstey and the BBC by TLT Solicitors and Lambert Smith Hampton.

The current building occupies the site of the former Caversham Manor. Caversham Park House was used as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers during World War One and later became the home of the Oratory School.

BBC Monitoring used the building from World War Two until 2018 with Radio Berkshire also stationed there in recent years.

© Thames Tap (powered by

Sign up to receive your free weekly Thames Tap newsletter here.