Lainston Woodley Arms LLP (LWA), who have planning approval to build student accommodation on the site of the Woodley Arms public house on Waldeck Street, have submitted a new application for 38 ‘co-living units’.
The accommodation will be in the same two blocks as previously proposed. Within each of the blocks a communal area will replace one of the ground floor bedrooms and an additional bedroom will replace the study rooms which had been located on the second floor.
Reading Borough Council’s planning applications committee had refused the application for student units, but this was allowed after LWA appealed to the Government planning inspector. In allowing the appeal, the inspector stated that the developer’s proposal was only suited to student accommodation:
Due to the nature of the accommodation, parking availability and outdoor amenity space provision, I agree that it would not be appropriate for use for permanent general occupation. It is necessary therefore to restrict occupation to students only who are more likely to occupy the accommodation for shorter periods of time.
The co-living development is expected to attract people who want good quality accommodation but cannot afford to purchase their own property or rent a flat or shared house. Examples of co-housing which are given in the planning statement include Copper Lane co-housing in Stoke Newington in London, the Collective’s locations at Canary Wharf and Old Oak in London and Threshold Centre co-housing community in Dorset.
LWA’s new application includes a ‘co-living’ management plan, which says:
We recognise that the development adjoins a settled residential community and we understand the need for on-going dialogue and communication during the construction and operational phases. We will be central to the success of the interface with the community and control of issues such as noise and parking. We will ensure that all potential impacts on the community are dealt with promptly including the timely removal of waste and repairs so that the development always looks in optimum condition. We plan to be at the heart of the community and will encourage and maintain our values.
The Woodley Arms appears on the website of Lainston Securities, one of partners in LWA, as a development project for student studios and as a site for sale. The property for sale page invites offers over £1.25million for the site which is being marketed by Savills.