The strange case of the mystery building

A new building has been rapidly appearing on the Cardiff Road skyline whose purpose is so far unknown.

A long grey shed-like structure is being built on the railway embankment behind the Reading Drive-in Centre in Cardiff Road, near the bollards where the road is closed to through traffic.

We have examined the train depot plans from 2010, which show enough space for a building on the embankment but no plans for anything there – so as far as we can tell no kind of planning application or notification has been made for it.

Cardiff Road residents have alerted the council’s planning enforcement team, who are pursuing this with Network Rail but have so far had no response to their enquiry. As well as being overlooked by the new building, residents are also concerned that a new door has appeared in the acoustic fence which makes the train noise, already at unacceptable levels, worse when it is left open. Residents have also been hearing additional noise from heavy machinery in the area.

Since this article was written the council planning officers have had a reply from Network Rail. The building is a plant room for effluent extraction from train toilets. Council officers are looking into whether they can take enforcement action.

2 Comments

  • Bob Murrant

    So once again the railway companies are allowed to do what they want without planning permission or consultation with residents. Totally disrespectful.

  • Phil

    A further example of the railway companies shtick of being “good neighbours” laid bare for all to see. No doubt they will name some obscure arcane railway ordnance dating back to 1845 giving them the right to do this and the council will bleat that there is nothing they can do. We are only plebs after all.

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