The former Southcote Library, which closed its doors in 2018, will be redeveloped into affordable two-bedroom flats to reduce the waiting list for homes.

The proposal is part of Reading Council’s plans to build more than 400 new affordable homes over the next five years. 

The Council is proposing to transfer the former library building across to its Housing Revenue Account (HRA), as part of a £3.8 million scheme which could deliver up to 15 two-bedroom flats on the site.

The building, on the corner of Coronation Square, has been empty since 2018 when the library was moved into the nearby Southcote Community Hub.

Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Planning and Assets, Micky Leng, said: “I’m certain the local community will be pleased to see this vacant building put to good use in the form of creating desperately needed affordable homes for people in Reading.”

Lead Councillor for Housing, Ellie Emberson, added: “Our commitment already amounts to 400 new affordable homes – an investment of £110 million – up to 2026. This includes those delivered and in the pipeline. I’m delighted that those totals will now increase with this new scheme in the heart of the local Southcote community in Coronation Square.”

Reading Borough Council has already committed to providing 400 affordable new homes in Reading between 2021 and 2026 - an investment of more than £110m.

Earlier this month the Council approved plans to create a further 62 new homes on the former Central Pool site in Battle Street, which will cater for those on the housing register, as well as sheltered housing and homes for vulnerable adults.

The investment will reduce the waiting list for homes as well as providing accommodation for key workers and the flexibility for current tenants to move to bigger homes as their families grow.

More than 100 of these new affordable homes will see residents move in this year, with the aim to complete the target of 400 homes in five years.

Councillors will consider the proposal at a meeting of the Council’s Policy Committee on Monday, April 3.

If approved, the transfer to the HRA would happen later this financial year, with demolition of the building proceeding ahead of the planning application process.