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Bulmershe redevelopment plans given the go-ahead – University of Reading

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Bulmershe redevelopment plans given the go-ahead

Release Date 04 October 2012

At last night's meeting of Wokingham Borough Council's planning committee (3 October), councillors voted to approve the University of Reading's planning application* to replace redundant academic buildings on its Bulmershe campus with new homes, a care home and convenience store.

David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "We are delighted that Wokingham Borough Council has given the go-ahead for a high quality development on the site of the University's former campus. The Bulmershe campus is no longer used by the University - our student accommodation and teaching facilities are now concentrated on the University's Whiteknights and London Road campuses.

"This decision paves the way for the previously developed area to be regenerated with much needed new housing, while securing and improving the playing fields for University and community sports use."

Over the past few months the University has worked closely with Wokingham Borough Council on a section 106 agreement that, once finalised, will secure important benefits including affordable housing, community use of new and existing sports facilities, enhancement of an existing local wildlife site and on-site play space. It will also secure financial contributions for sport and education in Woodley and contributions towards libraries, highways, countryside access and maintaining Highwood.

ENDS

For more details, please contact Alex Brannen at the University of Reading on 0118 378 8005 or Nick Chancellor at Meeting Place Communications on 07935 546971.

Notes to editors:

*The University submitted a planning application in January 2012 to redevelop its Bulmershe campus. The application followed a public exhibition on the proposals, held in summer 2011. The plans are to replace redundant academic buildings with new homes and convert six of the student accommodation blocks into apartments. Up to 287 housing units are proposed, comprising of 84 apartments converted from halls of residence, 15 new apartments and 188 2-5 bedroom homes.

The existing playing fields would be retained and enhanced for University and community recreational use and will include a new sports pavilion. There will also be a care home and a small convenience store as part of the development. The decision by Wokingham Borough Council's planning committee means that the council will issue a "resolution to grant consent" for the University's planning application.

The plans will also be referred to the National Planning Casework Unit for consideration, to ensure it has no objection to the proposals. Assuming there are no further objections to the application, a formal planning permission will be granted once a legal contract, known as a section 106 agreement, is agreed and signed by both the University and Wokingham Borough Council.

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