First car charging points for the area

Reading Borough Council has installed fifteen electric vehicle (EV) charging points on lamp posts on public roads in Reading. As part of this scheme two new charging points have been installed on lamp posts in Caversham Road.

The lamp posts were selected after the council’s Go Electric public consultation in 2018, when the council asked EV owners or potential purchasers in Reading if they would like a charging point on their street.

33% of Reading’s households live in properties with no off-street parking and this makes EV overnight charging difficult. The council has successfully bid for an air quality grant from DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to install charging points on such streets. The lamp post EV chargers use the lamp’s own electrical supply and will cost 30p per kilowatt-hour to use.

There is a longer list of the new EV charging points in Reading online and a map of EV charging points. We expect the new charging points will be added to the map soon.

Cox & Wyman demolition expected to start in November

The film set storage company has now left, and the former Cox & Wyman site is now empty. We have been given an update by a representative of Bellway Homes, who now own the site.

Contractors have been visiting the site in the last few days to do surveys for asbestos – what they find will of course affect the demolition programme.

At the moment we expect demolition to start by the end of November. Access will be via the entrance in Meadow Road until a new roadway can be built off Milford Road – this will probably be in early 2020 as it will require moving a BT fibre optic cable, which will take time to arrange. Demolition is expected to take 12 weeks.

96 units – 48 houses and 48 flats – will be built according to the existing planning permission granted in May 2018. Bellway expects to have the first houses ready for occupation in late 2020, with construction complete by the end of the year.

Join us for our Heritage Open Days walks

Our area has lots of fascinating history, and this year we are organising heritage walks around our area in September as part of Heritage Open Days. The walks will take place on two Saturday afternoons and will last up to an hour.

Entitled ‘Caversham Road: An area shaped by Victorian aesthetics and innovation’, the walk will take in much of the area’s Victorian industry, showing signs of what remains and pictures of local scenes from the era. We’ll also be looking at some of the original Victorian architectural features that survive to this day.

Further details and booking at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/caversham-road-an-area-shaped-by-victorian-aesthetics-and-innovation-tickets-64750256761

The walks are now both fully booked. We are still keen to offer another opportunity, probably in October, to local people that were unable to get on to one of the Heritage Open Days walks – if you are interested please email info@bell-tower.org.uk.

Newport Road Street Party 2019

Saturday 6 July 2019 – and time for another street party! The weather was perfect this year, and a great time was had as always. We had live entertainment from the New Hope Gospel Choir again and for the young ones dance instructor Jo Wright did one of her Wiggle-Waggle sessions. This year’s quiz was hosted by David and again featured some local knowledge, with prizes provided by the Standard Tandoori. Many thanks to everyone who helped and the residents of Newport Road for hosting. And special thanks to everyone at New Hope for organising the children’s activities, and to the Moderation for the delicious free barbecue and Thai food.

Lamp posts upgraded at last!

Addison Road residents will notice a small and long-awaited change. SSE contractors visited today and have started to upgrade the street’s Victorian cast iron lamp posts to take LED lanterns after a long campaign to save them.

As well as a new lantern the lamp posts are being fitted with a new swan neck and a small isolating bollard nearby. We understand that they are due to be repainted soon as well, and the remaining cast iron lamp posts in York Road and Newport Road are due to be refurbished this summer.

All the cast iron lamp posts in Addison Road were made in foundries in Reading, some of which were by the Thames right next to our area. These lamp posts are likely be originals from about 1900 when the street was built – after refurbishment we look forward to seeing them working for many more years to come.

New plans exhibited for housing in Vastern Road

Berkeley Homes are planning to build nearly 200 houses and flats at the former Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) site in Vastern Road. The plans would also include a direct walkway and cycle lane linking Vastern Road with Christchurch Bridge.

The developer is looking to demolish a number of buildings on the site and replace them with homes including blocks of flats which could be as high as 11 storeys.

Revised plans for the former site of SSE in Vastern Road were shown at an exhibition on Wednesday 8 May. The developers have taken into account feedback from the last exhibition in February, including making the way through from Christchurch Bridge to Vastern Road easier to navigate, giving the development more of a ‘wharf’ feel and lightening the view of the development from the river using yellow brickwork.

The developer is looking for feedback before a planning application is submitted to Reading Borough Council later this year.

The draft plans can be viewed online and comments can be made at www.vasternroad.co.uk.

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