Friday, 12 August 2022

New 132-bed hotel set for car park by bridge

PLANS for a new 132-bedroom hotel next to an existing one near Caversham Bridge have been submitted to Reading Borough Council.

Redefine BDL Hotels wants to build on the former Crowne Plaza Hotel car park, off Richfield Avenue in Reading, which is adjacent.

A design and access statement says the hotel will bring a “richness and warmth” that is lacking in the neighbouring buildings.

A planning statement from Rapleys, of Birmingham, said the hotel would be a five-storey building with a reception area, café/restaurant, meeting room facilities and a small gym.

There would be back of house facilities provided on the ground floor, with four floors of accommodation above.

It says: “The building will be orientated in an east-west direction, following the alignment of Richfield Avenue and the neighbouring Crowne Plaza Hotel, and will be located centrally within the car park area.

“The hotel will be of a slim rectangular form, with flat roof. It will be constructed using a modular system, finished in high quality hand-crafted brick reflecting Reading’s heritage of brick making.”

There will be access from Richfield Avenue, along the Promenade providing access to the existing Crown Plaza car park.

The remaining car park will provide 119 spaces that will be shared with the Crowne Plaza and six disabled car parking spaces will be included, in addition to secure cycle parking.

The plans will result in the loss of 16 trees, including 11 alder trees but 33 new trees, together with almost 200 sq m of semi-indigenous hedging are proposed.

The developer says it will mean a net gain of 17 new trees, adding: “The hotel will comprise a modern building with clean lines and will use high quality materials to create a sense of elegance and simplicity.

“The new hotel is ‘double fronted’ in that both the north elevation, facing the River Thames, and the south elevation, facing Richfield Avenue, include a main entrance to the reception area and public areas of the hotel, with the back of house functions confined to each end of the hotel.

“It will have no detrimental impact, in terms of amenity on the neighbouring hotels, which are located some distance away and with no direct overlooking possible.

“Overall, the development provides a high quality design that maintains and enhances the character and appearance of the area. It represents sustainable development by seeking to make efficient use of previously developed land, whilst ensuring that it meets relevant standards and design considerations.”

The Caversham and District Residents’ Association has objected to the plans. Chairwoman Helen Lambert said: “We have a lot of objections from people who are concerned about the impact on their ability to use and enjoy the river and that the local area would be spoilt.”

A consultation on the plans began on June 28 and Reading Borough Council’s planning committee will make the final decision.

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