New proposals for the former Drews the Ironmongers site in Reading show 29 flats and 318 sq m of retail.

S2 Estates’ initial plan for 44 flats on the Caversham Road site was turned down on appeal in May last year. Since the application was first lodged, the building, originally a malthouse, was locally listed by Reading Borough Council.

In May this year S2 Estates met members Bell Tower Community Association and has come up with new plans which retain much of the original building. The scheme will have retail on the ground floor with the first floor of the building converted to larger flats.

There will be a six-storey building housing the majority of the residential, mostly one-bedroom flats, along with a communal roof terrace.

S2 Estates director Sam Berg said: “We have worked with local stakeholders and the planning team to produce a scheme that responds to the previous reasons for refusal, with the retention of the majority of the malthouse buildings being very welcome.”

David Neale, secretary of the Bell Tower Community Association, said: “We’re pleased that the developer has managed to keep much of the original buildings, which will make the development more in keeping with the street scene in Caversham Road.

“The Drews building is a historic malthouse and a distinctive local landmark and it is good to see that a large part of it will be retained.

“In our view the latest plans represent a reasonable compromise between the need for new residential accommodation and retaining valuable heritage.”

The team on the project includes JTP on architecture, Quad on planning and Iceni as heritage consultant.

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