The developer Packaged Living has launched a consultation into its proposal to build 260 apartments at Norman Place in Vastern Road, just north of Reading train station.
Norman Place is a vacant six-storey office building which was previously occupied by Covea Insurance. It is located right next to Clearwater Court, the Thames Water headquarters.
Packaged Living has been seeking to turn the site over to housing, but an idea of what the development would consist of has been unclear until now.
It is now clear that the developer wants to replace the Norman Place building rather than convert it into flats.
Sketches show the proposed flats contained within six blocks, some of which will be interconnected.
The designs and vision for the development have been revealed as Packaged Living has launched a public consultation into its scheme before a planning application is submitted.
The consultation website states the developers want to create a ‘high quality’ place to live with ‘best in class’ public realm, new commercial space and a sustainable development with an aim to create net zero carbon housing.
Describing the vision for the project, the website states: “This area of Reading is a hidden gem, with the waterfront currently underutilised and those coming out of the station cut off from the river by this vacant office building.
“We want to open up and improve the public realm along the riverside so that many more people can enjoy the waterfront, creating a fantastic place to live and a new waterfront destination for the wider community.”
Packaged Living is seeking the opinions of members of the public before submitting its plan.
You can respond by giving feedback using a form on the consultation website or emailing email@example.com.
All of the flats provided by Packaged Living will be build-to-rent, and all will be managed by the company.
It aims to submit a plan in Spring this year. If it is approved, construction would begin next year for completion in 2026.
Packaged Living has suggested Norman Place as a site for development as part of the Local Plan Partial Update process.
The Local Plan partial update document states that the site has been suggested for up to 240 homes. Alternative suggestions are for 110-185 homes, or a conversion of Norman Place into 70-80 flats.
The council’s consultation into the partial update closes on January 31. You can take part on its Consult Reading website.
Packaged Living is also seeking to build 449 flats at The Oracle, as the provider and manager of the flats in partnership with the centre owners Hammerson.