An apartment block with a ‘green wall’ has been given the go ahead in Reading town centre.
Back in January, landowner Christopher Hornby submitted a plan to build an apartment block containing four flats behind 58 King’s Road in Reading.
The green wall, which is better defined as a green façade, involves having plants either cascading down or climbing up the side of the building.
Mr Horby’s planning agents Creative Design & Structure argued it would create a “visually interesting building” that reduces “the visual dominance and overbearing effect” on its neighbours.
According to ‘living wall’ specialist Biotecture, green walls can reduce air pollution, temperatures and noise and improve biodiversity.
However, their effectiveness has been questioned as without maintenance the plants on the walls can die, leading to unsightly brown dead plants hanging from the wall.
The pros and cons of green walls have been pointed out in the article ‘growing pains: why some green walls die’ by Ella Jessel.
The plan was approved by James Crosbie the council’s Assistant Director Planning on Thursday, October 6.
A condition of the approval is that no building can take place on the site until details of the biodiverse green roof are provided in accordance with the approved plans.
The new apartment block will stand four storeys tall, with three two bedroom flats on the first, second and third floors, with a one bedroom flat on the ground floor.
Access to the upper floors will be provided by a stairwell.
All the apartments come with double beds, bathrooms, and open kitchen and living room space.
Additionally, the first, second and third floor flats will come with balconies, with the ground floor flat coming with a garden.
New occupants will be able to make use of three car parking spaces with a gated access to Crane Wharf, located on the north bank of the River Kennet.
A total of four cycle parking spaces will be provided as well.
The plan appears to show the new apartment building attached to existing one, which is the home of the Fifty Eight Barbershop, which offers haircuts and hot-towel shaves to customers.
The upper three floors of the existing building are offices according to floorplans submitted with the application.
Mr Hornby has completed a section 106 legal agreement with Reading Borough Council, which are formed to mitigate the impact of the development on the community.
The agreement states that Mr Hornby will pay the council £66,666.65 towards affordable housing provision in the borough.
Additional sums include a £1,760 legal fee and a £400 monitoring fee.
You can view the approved application by typing reference 211813 into the council’s planning portal.