Thursday, 09 December 2021

Care home plans for historic manor house

Care home plans for historic manor house

PLANS for the former home of the BBC in Caversham have been unveiled.

Beechcroft Developments had a bid accepted for Caversham Park, the 93-acre estate off Peppard Road, in July.

Now the developer has unveiled £35 million plans to turn the Grade II listed manor house into a care home and 60 assisted living flats. It also wants to build about 80 new properties with 50 open-market properties on the east side of the building and aanother 30 affordable homes to the west.

There would be croquet lawns, tennis courts and bowling greens in front of the building and private gardens for residents as well as a walking trail along the perimeter of the site for public use.

Chris Thompson, managing director of Beechcroft, said: “We aim to secure a sustainable future for the historic buildings on the site and to create high-quality new and converted homes.

“New development will respect both the original buildings and the parkland setting, which is an important feature of this site.” Caversham Park was previously the home of BBC Radio Berkshire and the corporation’s international media monitoring service. These have been moved to other sites in Reading and London to save money.

However, the written archives centre, a record of the corporation’s working papers, will remain on site.

The sale price has not been revealed but the estate had an estimated value of up to £20 million when it was first put on the market in 2017.

Reading Borough Council’s local plan, which was adopted in 2019, says any development at Caversham Park would depend on maintaining its historic fabric and allowing as much public access as possible.

The property served as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers during the First World War and was then the home of the Oratory School, now based in Woodcote, before the BBC took it over in 1941.

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