Plans to turn a shop into a one-bed flat have been refused, while another big HMO will be coming to a student hub in east Reading.

Elsewhere a plan to ‘almost double the size’ of a house on a quiet cul-de-sac was refused by the council’s planning committee, with planning officers sending the decision this week.

Also this week, planners approved plans to extend a care home despite neighbours concerns over noise and give a listed building extra structural support.

Here’s our round-up of the most interesting planning decisions made by Reading Borough Council (RBC) this week.

‘Invasion of our sanctuary’: Extensions at care home for vulnerable approved despite neighbour concerns

A care home for vulnerable people will get a single storey extension to its kitchens, after RBC officers approved the plans this week.

The homes on Mayfair, in Tilehurst, are operated by Voyage Care, with the kitchens at the back of properties, and care for vulnerable adults living in the community with assistance.

READ MORE: Chicken and pizza shop plan branded ‘madness’ by neighbours

One neighbour slammed the plans, saying: “These properties back onto our gardens.

“They have very little outdoor space now, and whilst I appreciate these residents have learning difficulties and have to live somewhere, they are on occasions incredibly noisy.

“This is extremely annoying when we want to enjoy our gardens. This also applies to staff who are very often in the garden well into the night and speaking quite loudly.”

She said her neighbour has also had a problem with her fence which, on more than one occasion has been broken, and reducing the outdoor space would bring the care homes closer to their gardens.

The neighbour added: “This in turn will mean we will hear them a lot more, which, during the summer months in particular, is an invasion of our sanctuary.”

But senior planning officer Julie Williams said the proposal would not increase nuisances at the properties and complaints about noise should be addressed with the owners or the council’s environmental health team.

HMO plan slammed but gets council approval

Plans to turn a six-bedroom HMO in a busy student area in east Reading into a seven-bedroom have been approved.

One neighbour had hit out at the plans on Erleigh Road, which she said would widen the imbalance between HMOs and family houses in the area.

She added: “Whilst some HMOs are needed in the area, however I have concerns about the rapid spread of HMOs and think that there needs to be a better balance between family houses and HMOs.

“This impacts on parking, rubbish on the streets, noise and anti-social behaviour and generally makes life for families in the area horrible.

“At this rate you will see a mass exodus of families from the area and it will be left to HMOs and student accommodation.

“The area will be run down, dirty, undesirable giving Reading and the university a very poor reputation.

“Get real Reading. Don't destroy yet another area of Reading.”

READ MORE: Filling in the gap (Literally): Two affordable housing plans approved

But planning officer James Overall said: “It would not be expected that the amount of the noise from the property, housing a maximum of seven adults, nor within the garden, would be appreciably different from that generated from a fully occupied large five bedroom family house.”

A condition has been put in place to ensure noise levels are managed.

Shop stays for now

A shop which has lived through many different occupiers will stay empty for now after planning officers refused prior approval for a proposal to turn it into a one-bedroom flat.

The site at 12 Wokingham Road has previously been a milk depot, diesel generator manufacturer, reception, bookshop and fabric store.

Most recently, it was Shaheen Fashion House, a hair salon and tailors.

READ MORE: Thousands of key workers in Reading are not earning the real living wage, new data suggests

The property was purchased by the current owner in 2006, with half the ground floor and the whole of the upper floor turned into three flats.

Council officers rejected the proposal to turn the final part of the building into a fourth flat, but no reason has yet been given for this decision.

Plans to ‘almost double the size’ of a house refused again

A controversial proposal to ‘almost double the size’ of a house on a quiet cul-de-sac in west Reading has been rejected for a second time.

The application, for two storey extensions at the side and rear of the property on Pegs Green Close, was refused at the first ever virtual Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning meeting last night (Wednesday, April 29).

Planning officers confirmed the decision this week. You can read more about why the plan was rejected here.

Listed building to get extra support

A listed building in east Reading will get extra structural support for one of its windows, after the council approved the plan this week.

Number ten Eldon Road, a Grade II listed four-storey semi-detached property, was first listed in 1978.

The current structural support for the front bay window is deemed “unstable and potentially dangerous” by the owners.

Other works, to the house’s exterior stone façade, were approved in December 2019.