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St Patrick's Hall planning application appeal rejected

Colour photograph of exterior view of St Patrick's Hall

A planning inspector has turned down the University’s appeal against the rejection of a planning application to redevelop the St Patrick’s Hall site in Northcourt Avenue.

An application by the University to redevelop the existing halls of residence with its accommodation partner UPP was turned down by Reading Borough Council in February 2018. While a report by council planning officers had proposed that the development be allowed, the council’s planning committee voted against it. After taking specialist advice, the University decided to appeal the council’s decision.

The new buildings, which would be paid for and operated by UPP, would have replaced older halls to create 836 new student bedrooms. Another 116 rooms within the existing Pearson’s Court buildings would have been refurbished, providing 654 more rooms than are currently on the site. However, following a planning inquiry in February this year, the planning inspector recommended that the appeal be rejected.

This is disappointing news, and the University and UPP are currently studying the report of the planning inspector in detail before considering our options. 

We will continue to work with our neighbours, the council, the students’ union, and UPP on future options to improve and expand our student accommodation. We know that good quality, affordable accommodation is important for the experience and wellbeing of our students. We are also mindful that the provision of student housing has impacts on our neighbours, whether on campus in halls of residence, or off campus in the neighbourhood.

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