A plan to build flats next to a quirky ‘clock house’ building in Reading is set to go to an appeal.

A landowner called Titan Property Development is hoping to build 14 flats contained within a new apartment building in Kings Road.

The site has been dormant for years, previously serving as a car park for the 300 Kings Road office building.

It was sealed off when a project to transform the offices into luxury apartments began in 2018.

The site has been vacant since then, with unkept bushes growing there. It sits next to the quirky ITS Construction ‘clock house’ building.

READ MORE: What distinctive Reading Clock House could be turned into 

Titan Property wants to construct a five-storey apartment block containing seven one-bed,  five two-bed and two three-bed flats on the overgrown land.

However, the plan was rejected by James Crosbie, the council’s assistant Director of Planning, Transport and public protection services.

Giving reasons, Mr Crosbie stated that the proposed development failed to make an appropriate contribution towards providing affordable housing in the town.

Developments of 10 or more homes in Reading must have 30 per cent of the homes designated as affordable according to the council’s housing policy.

While Titan Property produced an economic viability assessment in an effort to demonstrate that the affordable homes would be undeliverable, the assessment failed to sway Mr Crosbie.

Furthermore, he stated that the proposal ‘over-provided’ one-bed flats and ‘under-provided’ three-bed flats, therefore not meeting the housing needs of the borough.

Mr Crosbie refused the plan in a letter dated September 2023.

READ MORE: Work taking place to convert vacant Kings Road offices into flats 

Titan Property is now hoping to get that decision reversed in an appeal to the government’s planning inspectorate lodged this month.

A list of each appeal lodged is reported to the council’s planning applications committee for each meeting, the next of which will take place on Wednesday, January 31.

You can view the application which will go to appeal by typing reference 221162 into the council’s planning portal, and reference APP/E0345/W/23/3335887 on the planning inspectorate website.

Separately, a plan to convert the Clock House at 286 Kings Road into three flats by a private developer was also refused by Mr Crosbie.

Reading Chronicle: The 'Clock House', home to ITS Construction at 286 Kings Road, Reading. Credit: Google MapsThe 'Clock House', home to ITS Construction at 286 Kings Road, Reading. Credit: Google Maps

The private developer was hoping to turn the Clock House into one one-bed and two two-bed flats using permitted development rights that allow offices to be converted into housing.

However, Mr Crosbie’s refusal letter stated that the requirements for permitted development had not been met, which requires evidence that the building has been vacant for a continuous period of at least three months before the conversion application is submitted.

You can view the refused application for the Clock House by typing reference 230042 into the council’s planning portal.