Campaigners have called for changes to be made to huge plans to redevelop Caversham Park.

Earlier this year, Beechcroft developments submitted a plan to convert Caversham Park House into 64 assisted living homes, and build a new 64 bed care home and a further 94 homes on the site.

Recently,  a representative of the Keep Emmer Green campaign group and Matt Rodda, the Labour MP for Reading East met with the developers to discuss the plans.

Mr Rodda has made some suggestions about how the plan can be approved following the visit.

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He said: “What we are asking for is for a route through the park land so that parents, children and anyone else who wants to cycle and walk can go right through the park to Henley Road and Caversham centre.

“That’s a much needed improvement for the area, so parents and children going through Caversham to be able to cycle safely, and avoid using Peppard Road which has traffic problems.

Reading Chronicle: The Caversham Park site outlined in red. Credit: OWAL DevelopmentsThe Caversham Park site outlined in red. Credit: OWAL Developments

“I’d also like to see the sites heritage as a BBC location recognised.

“It was the home of the BBC Monitoring Service, thousands of journalists, linguists and other specialist staff worked there, and played a really important part of the work of the BBC to monitor conflicts.

“It’s really important to celebrate the work of those journalists and employees.

“So we suggested that some sort of museum could be run within the house to recognise that history.

“Although the proposals are much better than we thought, they can still be improved considerably.

Reading Chronicle: att Rodda at Caversham Park. Credit: Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading Eastatt Rodda at Caversham Park. Credit: Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading East

“Residents had some very sensible points about traffic, parking and the size of some of the new buildings next to Peppard Road.

“There were fears the buildings could be an eyesore, so residents said they’d like to see them changed to be more sympathetic to neighbouring properties, and I fully support them in that.

“In summary it’s a really important historic building and I’m campaigning for local people to be able to access these grounds and have the history protected.”

Mr Rodda has invited residents interested in the plan to fill out his survey on it here.

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Chris Thompson, managing director of Beechcroft, did not say whether the plans will be adjusted or not in line with the suggestions.

Mr Thompson said: “We welcomed the opportunity to show Matt Rodda, the local MP for Reading East, around the site and explain the plans that will secure a sustainable future for the historic buildings and respect the parkland setting.

“It was useful to gain his perspective on the development and we look forward to continuing our engagement with him and the local community, as well as Reading Borough Council.”

You can view the proposals by typing in references 220409 and  220410 into the council’s planning portal.