Council Planners Commended for Work on Bath Road Reservoir Site

L-R: RTPI President Phil Williams; Julie Williams South West Area Team Leader at Reading Borough Council and Bhavash Vashi, planning agent for the scheme.
L-R: RTPI President Phil Williams; Julie Williams South West Area Team Leader at Reading Borough Council and Bhavash Vashi, planning agent for the scheme.

PLANNERS at Reading Borough Council have been commended for a complex brownfield site development in a regional awards ceremony.

Judges gave the commendation for the Bath Road Reservoir Site in the category for Excellence in Planning to Deliver Housing.

The council’s planning team was presented with the certificate at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South East awards ceremony.

The Bewley Park development provided 78 homes, including 15 affordable units, on the former Thames Water reservoir site in Bath Road, west Reading, which also contained a Grade II listed water tower and pump house.

The citation from the judging panel said:

“For quality of life, the site provides a choice of outdoor experiences. Some of the site’s original wild area is retained adjacent to the existing wildlife corridor along the railway and outer area. There is a mix of formal and informal play areas and pedestrian links to the surrounding residential areas.

“The formal public open space at the front of the site allows for continued public enjoyment and provides a new setting for the remaining converted listed buildings.”

Judges also praised the ‘pleasing variety’ of sizes and styles of houses and flats built using sustainable construction methods.

The judges concluded:

“The panel were impressed with the overall suite of interventions on a challenging brownfield site that have provided new homes that encourage a balanced new community of all ages from the outset integrated with its surroundings, incorporating historic and natural assets, in a well-designed development.”

Permission was granted for the development of 78 homes in 2012, including the conversion of the 1870 water tower and pump house into 10 apartments. The 15 affordable homes range from one to four-bedroom houses and flats.

Councillor Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“I would like to congratulate the planning team for receiving this well-deserved commendation from the RTPI for the Bath Road Reservoir Site.

“The council’s planning team spent many hours dealing with the development of this site but this recognition demonstrates that the time and effort invested helped deliver a good quality housing development.”

The RTPI South East Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate the contribution that planners make to society, to highlight exceptional examples of planning and to inspire others to achieve the same high standards.

The winners were announced at the RTPI South East Awards Evening in Portsmouth on 29th September.