The store of a former outdoor sports business in Reading which closed after 199 years of trading could be replaced with new homes.

Carters Snow and Outdoor Sports Specialist in Caversham Road closed in December 2019 after nearly 200 years in operation.

The business, which sold clothes and equipment, began in Thatcham in 1820, before moving to Castle Street in Reading and its final location in Caversham Road in 1962.

Now, the developer Bellway Homes has proposed to demolish the store and build around 60 new homes, contained in a mix of apartments and houses.

Of those, there would be 16 one-bed and 20 two-bed apartments, and 14 three-bed and 10 four-bed houses.

Crucially, 30 per cent of the new homes would be affordable, to comply with Reading Borough Council’s affordable housing policy.

A leaflet from Bellway Homes states that there will be on-site parking for ’50 per cent’ of the new homes, which it argues is sufficient for the site, which is not far from the town centre and has access to “excellent public transport options.”

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The developers have also expressed a desire to make sure the design of the development is in-keeping with neighbouring buildings.

The leaflet states: “We have taken care to respect the existing architectural character of the area in our designs and purposely selected materials such as bricks and tiles that will look sympathetic with the sites surroundings.

“There will be highways and environmental improvements, as well as improved landscaping in and around the development.”

Bellway Homes has begun pre-application communications with neighbours in the area, and is expected to submit a planning application “in the next few weeks.”

A consultation website for the scheme has not been identified so far, with indicative CGIs of the development appearing on physical leaflets.

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The area the homes could be built in has been allocated for development in the Reading Local Plan adopted in 2019.

Policy ‘CR11f West of Caversham Road’ earmarks the area for approximately 75-115 homes.

The Local Plan also states that new developments should have a lower density to respect the low rise and terraced houses that already exist in the area.

Caversham Road is set for a huge amount of development in the coming years.

On the opposite side of the road, the owner of Great Brighams Mead offices has won permission to convert the building into 110 apartments.

Approval was given for 620 homes at the old Royal Mail Depot in Caversham Road earlier this year, and a plan has been submitted to demolish Drews the Ironmongers and replace it with 44 apartments.

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Additionally, the old Dawson’s musical instrument store is set to be converted into a bowling and family entertainment centre.

Bellway Homes is one of the biggest developers in Reading.

It is responsible for the Printworks development that replaced the old Cox & Wyman Factory, not far from Caversham Road, and ‘Rennaisance Reading’ apartment complex in Portman Road.