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

Planning application submitted for post office site

An outline planning application has been submitted for redevelopment of the former Royal Mail site in Caversham Road. ‘Reading Metropolitan’ will contain around 650 flats, along with community space and a possible health centre.

The tallest building will rise to 25 storeys and will be next to the north entrance to the station, where it will face a new station square. The building has the potential for retail units at ground floor level.

The flats will include studios as well as one, two and thee bedroom units and there will be some affordable units. In addition to the apartments there will also be a small number of town houses at ground level.

A community centre is planned towards the Caversham Road side of the scheme, and this may include a dental practice and GP surgery. There will be a number of basement parking spaces across the development.

Details and the opportunity to make comments can be found on the council’s planning website at

Power plant planned for Cardiff Road

A planning application has been submitted for a gas-fired micro power station in Cardiff Road, near the Cow Lane end. The proposal is for two generators housed in containers similar to those in the photo.

The Bell Tower Community Association has concerns about the potential for additional noise and pollution from the plant. The air quality report shows a measurable increase in NO2 levels over an area extending as far as Caversham Road, and this part of Reading is already a designated Air Quality Management area because of its high levels of pollution. We are also not sure about noise levels for residents of Cardiff Road, some of whom are less than 300 metres from the site.

We recommend looking at the planning application on the council’s website and giving your views using the online feedback form. You can find details and give feedback at

Date set for lamp post refurbishments

We have now got a confirmed schedule for refurbishment of the Victorian cast iron lamp posts in Addison Road. This will start on Monday 25 February working from the Cardiff Road end northwards.

The work will be carried out by SSE, and will involve installing a small bollard near the lamp post, typically just across the pavement, replacing the swan neck and fitting a new LED lantern similar to the ones recently installed on new lamp posts. The contractors expect to be able to refurbish two lamp posts per day, so should finish the job the same week.

Although some lamp posts have recently been replaced in the area, we have been assured that all our remaining cast iron lamp posts will be kept unless they are found to be unsafe.

We don’t yet have a date for the remaining cast iron lamp posts in York Road, Newport Road and Barry Place, but would expect these to be completed in the next 2-3 months. There will be a separate programme to paint the lamp posts, which is expected to start in the spring.

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