Reading Borough Council (RBC) will discuss an application to build student accommodation on the site of Silver Street’s mediaeval tilery at the planning applications committee on 4 September. RBC planners recommend the application is refused.
The proposal covers the whole site of 40-68 Silver Street, once occupied by a warehouse (40) and the Brown’s signs building (62-68) which have both been demolished.
Silver Street Developments Ltd would like to build two blocks, up to four storeys tall, comprising 79 student rooms. The accommodation would be under the same management as the student housing currently being built at 79 Silver Street opposite.
The maximum elevation of the building on Silver Street would be 12.2m, taller than Platinum apartments at 10.2m and Hieatt Close at 11.0m. RBC planning officers state in their report to the committee that this proposal is an improvement on the previously rejected application for 40 Silver Street alone, but:
… the overall height and mass of new buildings, at part 4 storeys, with buildings on three sides, and proximity to boundaries, would have a detrimental effect on nearby residents who would find their outlook and amenities harmed through loss of privacy, overbearing and loss of light. In particular this would be the residents to the north of the site in Upper Crown Street and Platinum House.
Other reasons given for rejection include:
- over-development of the site, a harmful addition to the street scene detrimental to the character and appearance of the area,
- site layout is detrimental to the amenity of the occupants through overlooking, loss of privacy, noise and disturbance,
- it would lead to a concentration of student accommodation in the area which would fail to encourage a mixed and balanced community,
- the application does not demonstrate an identified need for purpose built student accommodation in the area as required by the draft New Local Plan and it would reduce the council’s ability to meet its housing need within its own boundaries,
- insufficient air quality information has been provided,
- inadequate parking provision.