PROPOSALS to build new student housing at the site of a disused pub are set to be rejected by councillors on the grounds that it would be 'harmful' to the area.

Developers submitted plans to Reading Borough Council to transform the former Woodley Arms site on Waldeck Street with 38 student units.

However, the council appears to be on the brink of dismissing the bid, arguing that the proposed buildings would be uncharacteristic and would dominate the area.

A similar bid was refused and appealed, but was again thrown out because of the impact on the character for Katesgrove residents.

Lainston Woodley Arms LLP decided to submit amended plans to demolish the disused pub and build studio apartments.

A council inspection report to the Planning committee explains: "After consideration of the application and having regard to the provisions of the Development Plan and other material considerations, the proposed development would represent poor design, harmful to the character of the area and would be an unsustainable form of development.

"The proposal repeats the sunken ground floor design of the previous scheme. The council previously objected to the outlook and daylighting for these ground floor flats.

"From the beginning of development proposals, concerns have been expressed about any reduction of amenity space on the Waldeck Road frontage.

"However, applications submitted have moved the building line forward, severely limiting the landscaping options.

"The proposed buildings, by reason of their noticeably greater scale, bulk and massing compared to existing buildings either side and opposite, and their uncharacteristic layout, poor quality detailing and prominent position, would result in an overly dominant, alien and jarring feature within the streetscene, with consequent unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the area.

"It is therefore recommended for refusal."

The council's environmental health team previously recommended an investigation before development could be actioned due to fears that the site may be contaminated.

The Planning committee will meet on January 10 to hear the plans, which have been recommended for rejection.