A “fine” and “attractive” Edwardian house near Reading West Station could be converted into eight flats, after two demolition plans failed.

More than a dozen neighbours have slammed the plans for the Brunswick Hill villa.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has twice recently refused proposals to demolish 39 Brunswick Hill and replace it with nine flats and is currently considering whether to locally list the building.

Planning inspectors have also twice refused plans to demolish the Edwardian villa.

But the council will now vote on a third plan next week, this time seeking to convert the house rather than demolish it.

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The council’s planning committee will vote on the plans next Wednesday, June 3, with officers recommended the plans get the go-ahead.

Third time lucky?

Owner Eric Benjamin has not given up after the first two plans were rejected, but has now changed his strategy.

The latest plan seeks to convert the house into eight flats, with extensions at the front, side and rear.

When attempt number two was rejected, several objectors to the plans suggested a reconstruction or conversion might be accepted.

But the latest application has received more than a dozen objections from neighbours.

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Richard Dadley called the plans “a considerable over-development” and said his preference was for the property to stay as a house and, if not possible, restricted to a max of five-to-six flats.

Lesley Hopkins said: “The characterful building will be destroyed and it will make the street look odd.”

Jessica Clough added: “These new plans are not sufficiently different from those rejected previously and do not adequately address residents concerns.”

Could the building be locally listed?

39 Brunswick Hill was previously rejected as a building worthy of local listing but the council is now reconsidering this decision.

Buildings that are not listed by Historic England can be placed on a local list by the council.

Unlike nationally listed buildings, they do not have statutory protection, but the interest of the building must be considered during the planning process.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for planning, announced at a meeting in December 2019 that the council will reconsider locally listing the site as a heritage asset, having previously rejected listing the building.