Sunday, 22 May 2022

Village police station and house make lockdown transformation

Village police station and house make lockdown transformation

A PROPERTY in Sonning Common that was once used for law enforcement has now been transformed into a row of three modern houses and an office building.

For many years, the plot on Lea Road was home to a police house and the village police station before it was closed down in 2017.

It was initially sold to a property developer, who obtained planning permission to build two additional houses and convert the police station into an office.

It was then was sold again to Newgate Developments, who did the work and brought the place back to life.

Simon Coles, director of Newgate Developments, began the project by turning the police station into a smart new office building, which the Fish volunteer centre has moved into.

Mr Coles said: “We extended the back of it, so it became narrower but deeper. The whole back of it is brand new and they have a new roof and new windows. Internally it was stripped back to the bones and totally refitted.” The next phase of the project was to build two new semi-detached houses and then renovate the one in the middle, the old police house.

Number 78, the property currently on the market, is now a comfortable three-bedroom mews-style family home.

Mr Coles said: “When we moved on to the houses we built the two new ones first, so they were all up to the same sort of level.

“Then we did the interior fit-out — the plastering, the bathrooms and electrics — so that it was all done concurrently.

“Downstairs we altered the layout slightly. It was separate rooms and we’ve made it all open-plan, so downstairs you’ve got an open-plan kitchen and a living room/dining room.

“There is a nice contemporary kitchen with integrated appliances. Everything’s new and it has all been fully rewired and replumbed.

“We’ve put down luxury vinyl flooring on the ground floor and we altered the staircase position to make more room in the hallway. We added a new porch at the front, which has got useful lockable outside storage.”

The house is now warm and cosy as well as energy efficient with double-glazing, new loft insulation and a new boiler.

“There is a private, fenced back garden with a patio, lawn and flowerbeds plus plenty of parking space at the front.”

The work took place in 2020 and 2021 as the lockdowns came and went, which gave the developer some extra challenges to overcome.

Mr Coles said: “Everyone was very friendly and supportive of what we were doing. The neighbours were all very nice and it was a good environment to be working in.”

Sonning Common is within easy reach of Henley and Reading. Lea Road is a quiet residential street with a primary school on it and it is within walking distance of the village centre.

78 Lea Road is on the market with Beville estate agency at a guide price of £450,000. For more information or to arrange a viewing, please call 0118 924 2526.

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