An application to turn a house in south-west Reading into a new health clinic has been refused by the council due to concerns about parking.

Number 166 Berkeley Avenue was formerly part of the Upcross Hotel, providing accommodation for the owners, but has been empty since 2018.

Dr Rabhinder Mittal wanted to turn the building into a private health clinic offering a range of services, such as:

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  • Counselling/psychotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Physio
  • Occupational therapy
  • Rehab therapies to deal with the effects of Long Covid
  • Minor Operations
  • Nursing care

A planning application from Dr Rabhinder Mittal was sent to the council to change the use of the building.

But Reading Borough Council (RBC) officers rejected it, saying the layout of the parking does not comply with its standards as “it would result in on-street parking being in close proximity to the junction and on the surrounding highway, adversely affecting road safety and the flow of traffic”.

Reading Chronicle: PICTURED: Reading Borough Council officesPICTURED: Reading Borough Council offices

The plans would have included alterations to improve the thermal efficiency of the building and protect the building, with many of the building’s original features retained.

Dr Mittal said, in the planning statement for the application, the redevelopment would “prevent the further deterioration of the building and its possible use by squatters” and would have a “minimal impact” on neighbours because of its limited operating hours.

But neighbours raised concerns about turning the front and back gardens into parking.

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Nick Grabham said: “It is a terrible shame that the whole back garden (that was a green area, that I overlook) as well as the whole front garden is being made into parking spaces.

“Surely it is not necessary to tarmac over the whole of the outside?”

David Watson, another resident, added “The present gardens, admittedly “temporarily wilded”, are welcome refuges for a proliferation of birds and insects, and provide an occasional refuge for foxes and deer.”

Residents also raised concerns there would be increased traffic levels, medical waste, air and light pollution and noise.