A vacant community centre in Reading will be demolished and replaced with 18 affordable housing flats and a downsized community space.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) will demolish Norcot Youth and Community Centre, on Lyndhurst Road, and replace it with 18 socially-rented flats and a smaller community space.

The council’s development, which includes 18 socially-rented flats, a new community space and a communal courtyard garden, was approved by RBC’s Planning Applications committee on Wednesday, September 4.

Councillor John Ennis, lead member for Housing, said the building will have “proper affordable housing”.

 The development will reduce the size of community space at the site from 151m2 to 96.4m2 but council officers say it will offer “improved and more efficient modern facilities for the local community to use”.

Councillor Jo Lovelock, former leader of the council, said she is “looking forward to cracking on with it”.

She said:”It does this estate no favours at all to have a run down building

“I particularly welcome that there will be a community facility there.”

There will be eight one-bed flats and ten two-bed flats, while the building will include 19 parking spaces.

 Conservative councillor Simon Robinson said he is fully behind the application as the disused site is “a dive”.

Labour and local ward councillor Daya Pal Singh said: “I am very proud to welcome this application. It is good for the area.”