More than six years after it closed its doors, the former Woodley Arms public house on Waldeck Street is on the market again at an asking price in excess of £1.25million. The site is being sold by Savills, the estate agent, as development land with planning permission for 38 student flats in two buildings .
The Woodley Arms is owned by Lainston Woodley Arms LLP. This is a partnership in which, according to Companies House information, three companies or individuals have ‘significant control’, defined as having more than 25% but no more than 50% of partnership voting rights and of the assets of the partnership if it is wound up. One of the controlling companies is Lainston Securities Ltd and on their website, the Woodley Arms appears as both a development project and as a property for sale.
The development project page describes Lainston Securities as project manager and joint funder and goes on to say:
We have now won our appeal [against the refusal of planning permission] and will begin development to deliver the studios in the 2019/2020 academic year; it will be retained as an investment property.
The property for sale page invites offers over £1.25million for the site.
The annual accounts for Lainston Woodley Arms LLP for the year ended 31 March 2018 show that the LLP had an investment property, presumably the Woodley Arms, valued at £389,497.
The first planning application submitted for the Woodley Arms was a conversion to four flats in 2014 (140524). A letter from Savills was included with this application which documented the lack of interest in the property as a public house, how it had originally been marketed at a guide price of £275,000 but later as ‘offers invited’. As a result of this, three offers were received and following the failure of one deal to complete, the former public house was sold to Lainston Woodley Arms LLP in June 2013.
The most recent planning application (190063) submitted in January 2019 provided a statement of the procedures to be followed for the demolition of the public house and construction of the student accommodation. Reading Borough Council’s planning website does not have any updates on the progress of this application.