Here’s our roundup of the most interesting planning decisions made by Reading Borough Council this week.

Care home gets green light despite road fears

Three houses in Caversham will be transformed into a care home despite concerns over access to a busy road.

Houses at 199, 201 and 203 Henley Road, in Caversham, will be demolished and replaced with an 82-bed care home.

Plans were approved at the Planning Applications committee this week.

This is the eleventh plan that has come forward for the site and the last successful proposal – for 42 flats – was never built.

The specialised nursing and dementia care home will include a range of on-site communal facilities for residents including a restaurant, lounge, café, library, cinema, salon, spa bathing and therapy space, sensory gardens and outdoor space.

Cycle storage relegated to basement at 135-flat student digs

Amended plans at a 135-flat student block this week were backed by the council this week despite concern over cycle storage.

The latest plan will see the cycle storage placed in the basement instead of the ground floor.

Councillor Karen Rowland, who is lead member for Heritage, raised concern about “sending the wrong message” about transport.

She said bicycle provision shouldn’t be moved to the basement as “it will not be used as much”.

The proposal is the latest in a series of amendments.

The first 103-flat plan was approved by a planning inspector on appeal in August 2018 after RBC had rejected the proposal.

The council “reluctantly” accepted a new application for an extra  32 homes due to the the planning inspectorate’s previous decision.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Planning, said: “We are saddled with the fact we lost the appeal with this shoddy site but we are where we are”.

He said the new Local Plan which will be adopted in November will mean council is better able to refuse applications like this.

Affordable bungalow and maisonette

More affordable housing will be coming to Reading after a two-bed bungalow and a 2x two-bed maisonette were approved at the meeting on Wednesday.

 Councillor John Ennis, lead member for Housing at RBC, said: “This is an excellent application.

“Land that has long been left idle will be turned into proper affordable houses: what I would term council houses.”

Concerns have been raised over the lack of affordable housing in Reading.

New lift at sheltered housing home for elderly

Weirside Court is a four-storey sheltered housing block owned by the council which provides accommodation for elderly people in 32 self-contained flats.

Cllr Rowland said she has always been concerned with access and the currrent lift is getting to the end of its life.

Library gets new heating 

Caversham Library will get a new modern heating system after councillors backed the plans on Wednesday.

Existing central heating will be replaced with a new, more energy efficient and sustainable system.

The Grade II-listed building dates back to the early 20th Century, and has been described as being in the ‘free renaissance style’.

The current heating system is non-original, around 50-60 years old, and has reached the end of its life cycle.

Councillor Ayo Sokale, deputy chair of the Planning Applications committee, said: “It is a modernisation that allows people to continue to use the library.

“I am glad and welcome this.”

And finally…

Do you hear the bells of Christmas?

Christmas parties at Rivermead are coming back for a 15th year running.

RBC has approved plans for 17 parties in the lead up to Christmas at the site north of Napier Road.

The dinner parties with dancing and entertainment are run by Eventist and will seat up to 980 guests.

Cllr Page said: “There have been occasional issues but on the whole it has been an extremely well run event.”