A town centre office block in Reading could house a total of 182 flats and have its “unattractive” frontage change forever.
Tene Living development company submitted a plan to change the appearance of Soane Point and add apartments to the building in Market Place.
Tene Living has already won permission to convert upper floors of Soane Point from offices into 144 studio flats, with its plan being approved in May.
Now, it’s aiming to add 38 apartments to the site by adding two and three storey extensions to the rear of the building and making changes to the ground floor.
Of those, 19 would be two-bed, 16 would be one-bed and three would have three-bedrooms.
The plan complies with Reading Borough Council’s affordable housing policy of 30 per cent being made affordable.
Of the new homes, five one-beds, five two-beds and one three-bed apartment would be affordable according to the plan.
Tene Living aims to provide new occupants with 20 car parking and 21 cycle parking spaces located to the rear of Soane Point.
32 of the new apartments would be contained in the extensions, and six would be created by changes to the ground floor of the building.
The ground floor shops the Tesco Express and the Puresmile dentists will be retained, with changes being made to the rear of the ground floor to create the new homes.
Furthermore, the frontage of Soane Point could change forever as Tene Living has also submitted designs that would replace its concrete facade with a mix of beige, red, grey and dark grey bricks.
Planning consultants TP Bennett called the building “unattractive”, arguing changes would improve access to Soane Point and create an engaging and attractive frontage.
Additionally, CGIs show rooftop gardens being created at the top of the building.
To view the application, type reference 221446 into the council’s planning portal.
Permission for the conversion of offices into 144 apartments was granted by the government planning inspector Rachael Pipkin in May.
The decision of the inspector was met with chagrin by councillor Tony Page (Labour, Abbey) who stated the plan would provide future occupants with “rabbit hutches” rather than suitable living accommodation.
The council’s planning department rejected the conversion in May 2021.
However, its ability to oppose the application was limited as conversions from offices into apartments are considered ‘permitted development’.
You can view the approved conversion application using reference 210478.