Concerns of councillors have led to deferral of a scheme for 55 homes for people aged 65 and over in Reading. 

Knowles Construction’s plans to demolish numbers 205 – 213 Henley Road, Caversham and develop that site, along with sections of the gardens of numbers 215 – 219 for 55 retirement properties for people aged 65 or over, prompted discussion over wide-ranging  issues at Reading Borough Council’s planning applications committee’s May 31 meeting.

The site (to the left in image) is next to the recently completed Signature care home.

Concerns were raised over biodiversity, trees, flooding from nearby Berry Brook due to the amount of hard landscaping, affordable housing contributions and EV charging points.

In addition, Cllr Simon Robinson pointed to a reference in the meeting agenda which said: “Some neighbours sold part of their back gardens on the understanding that a smaller, more sympathetic development was planned (for which planning permission has already been obtained).”

The report stated that those neighbours indicated that they would not have sold if the current proposal had been put forward initially.

There was also concern about accessibility for elderly residents via a steep access road. Councillors said they had hoped the developer would have been present for questions.

The formal reasons accepted for the deferral, which was unanimously approved, were the concerns about biodiversity, tree canopies, affordable housing contributions and lack of EVs.

At the same meeting Bellway Homes won approval for 54 homes on the site of the disused Dee Road Fire Station while Shall Do Crown Street gained permission to convert a 44-flat apart-hotel in Crown Street into 44 residential flats. Both were approved unanimously.

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