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Reading Trio Rejected

The much criticised Lochailort Investments triple tower development named Swan Heights for the satellite town of Reading has been rejected by the local council on the recommendation of planning officers.

The controversial buildings encountered problems, not just as a result of their dated look that appears more like an aspirational apartment block for yuppies in Moscow but also as a result of their height with councillors concerned about the impact when viewed from Forbury Gardens. Ironically this public space that connects with the ruined Reading Abbey, is already dominated by the Blade.

Councillors also rounded on the site itself pointing out that it was a busy roundabout and so unsuited to a large residential development. As a sop to the council with impending rejection looming, the developers made an 11th hour offer to re-jig the make up of the 352 apartments by including 88 affordable units within.

Another point of criticism was the failure of the developer to engage in pre-application discussions through the formal service that the council runs meaning that the council never had an opportunity to constructively influence the development as they may have wished.

There was also the poor security of the site and fears it could become a magnet for crime, Network Rail objected to the effect it could have on the nearby railway embankment and Thames Water pointed out that the present water infrastructure for the immediate area would be unable to cope with the new homes.

What happens now remains to be seen, but it appears that tall buildings won't be happening on this particular site without a radical new approach.
Swan Heights, Reading
Swan Heights, Reading