The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Category: Housing (page 1 of 4)

Hug the Gaol on Sunday 13 October

Oscar Wilde gates on Chestnut Walk

The atmospheric art exhibition inspired by Oscar Wilde‘s haunting Ballad of Reading Gaol at the Riverside Museum at Blake’s Lock recently provides a compelling cultural backdrop to the Hug The Gaol Event on Sunday 13 October at 2pm. The emotive images evoked by the ‘Pit of Shame’ lead us to a feeling of redemption as we surround Reading Gaol in a mass hug to demonstrate our desire to have Reading Gaol at the heart of the community.

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Former Central Club sold subject to planning permission

The former Central Club on London Street

The FOR SALE signboard at the former Central Club (Reading Central Youth Provision) on London Street says that the building has been sold subject to planning permission.

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Reading Borough Council tenant awards 2019

Nominations are now open for the Reading Borough Council (RBC) tenant awards 2019. There are eight awards for council tenants, including two for gardens, that will be presented at an awards ceremony in February 2020.

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Student accommodation and Reading’s new local plan

The government planning inspector who examined Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) new local plan has advised that clarification is needed on the policy on student accommodation developments. The local plan will guide Reading’s planning policy until 2036, and this is the first time that Reading will have had a planning policy on development for student housing.

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Reading MP Alok Sharma speaks in Universal Credit debate

Alok Sharma, Conservative MP for Reading West and the minister of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), took part in a debate on Universal Credit and Debt on Wednesday 5 June. The debate had been requested by Ruth George, Labour MP for High Peak and took place in Westminster Hall.

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East and west Reading point in opposite directions in the second round of indicative Brexit votes

Matt Rodda (Labour MP for Reading East) and Alok Sharma (Conservative MP for Reading West) voted in parliament on the four indicative Brexit votes selected by the speaker on 1 April: Joanna Cherry’s motion G, Mr Clarke’s motion C, Nick Boles’s motion D and Peter Kyle’s motion E.

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The EU indicative votes of Reading MPs Matt Rodda and Alok Sharma

Both Matt Rodda (Labour MP for Reading East) and Alok Sharma (Conservative MP for Reading West) took part in Westminster’s carnival of indicative votes on Wednesday 27 March.

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How Reading MPs Matt Rodda and Alok Sharma voted on the 29 January Brexit amendments

The House of Commons voted on seven amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Act yesterday evening. Reading MPs, Matt Rodda (Labour MP for Reading East) and Alok Sharma (Conservative MP for Reading West), voted opposite ways on six of the seven amendments.

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A Pevsner Perambulation in Katesgrove

Pell Street looking west

Nikolaus Pevsner‘s edition of the Berkshire volume of ‘Buildings of England’ was published in 1966, the thirtieth county guide of forty-six. The Reading section starts with the Abbey, followed by churches and finally public buildings.

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30 December – Making sense of Reading’s residential property developments

Clarendon House (foreground) and Verto (background)

When we walked around the IDR on 16 September for this year’s Heritage Open Days, the number of new property developments along its route became astoundingly clear. In an anti-clockwise direction we first passed, on the south side of Queen’s Road, New Century Place where both blocks have recently been converted from offices to studio apartments.

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Reading East MP Matt Rodda calls for government to reject no-deal Brexit

Reading East MP Matt Rodda (Labour) called upon the government to reject a ‘no deal’ Brexit in the Leaving the EU: No Deal debate in Westminster on 19 December.

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How Reading MPs Matt Rodda and Alok Sharma voted on Brexit legal advice disclosure

In advance of the start of the five day Brexit debate, the House of Commons debated and voted on a motion tabled by Keir Starmer (shadow secretary of state for exiting the European Union) on parliamentary privilege.

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Reading East MP Matt Rodda criticises tenant fee bill

In the House of Commons on 5 September, Reading East MP Matt Rodda expressed concern that the government’s Tenant Fees Bill didn’t adequately protect tenants from unreasonable landlord fees. He voted for amendments suggested by the opposition Labour party, but these were defeated by the Government.

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Walking stages 3 and 4 of the IDR

The ski jump at the end of the IDR in 1984. The Hook and Tackle is the on the left, painted white.

Having carved its way from Caversham Road to the foot of Southampton Street, in the 1970s Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) stopped abruptly at the ‘ski jump’ where the Oracle roundabout now is. During this hiatus, Reading consulted and debated about whether and how to continue.

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Walking stage I of Reading’s IDR

The IDR as it was intended to be built at the time that Stage I was under construction.

Construction of Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) started in 1969, but it had been included in development plans since 1957 and no doubt was a twinkle in someone’s eye some time before that. It still bothers Reading’s civic soul when proposals are brought forward to make it one-way or to cover over part of it or turn it into a park.

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Lessons at the Victorian schoolroom at Katesgrove School

1873 school on Katesgrove Lane

Good better best,
never let it rest,
’till your good is better
and your better best.

This was the Victorian rhyme learnt by heart by pupils visiting the Katesgrove schoolroom. It became our mantra when setting up the Victorian schoolroom. Artefacts and lessons used in the schoolroom had to be thoroughly researched and, as far as the budget allowed, historically accurate.

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Introduction to “a walk around Reading’s IDR”

The IDR as it was intended to be built at the time that Stage I was under construction.

The Whitley Pump is leading a walk around Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days in September. Reading’s post-war history, in which it transformed from a primarily industrial to a retail town, circle the IDR like the IDR circles the town centre.

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Hill Street view could change

Reading Borough Council (RBC) are consulting on how the Hosier Street area in the town centre should be developed. Some tall buildings are under consideration which could change the view from Katesgrove’s Hill Street.

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Whitley Pump offers ‘a walk around Reading’s IDR’ for Heritage Open Days 2018

For this year’s Heritage Open Days festival the Whitley Pump will be leading a walk around the IDR on Sunday 16 September at 11am.

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Reading Borough Council discusses Redlands ward at planning applications committee this week

Reading Borough Council will be discussing issues in Redlands ward during planning applications committee next week.

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