Berkshire

Reading 'Swan Heights' skyscraper plans refused

View from Vastern Road Image copyright Lochailort Investments
Image caption The Swan Heights buildings would have contained 352 apartments of varying sizes

Plans for three "monstrous" skyscrapers on the site of a former car dealership in Reading have been refused.

The towers, dubbed Swan Heights, were turned down by Reading Borough Council's planning committee on Wednesday evening.

Developers Lochailort's plans proposed 352 apartments of varying sizes along with office, retail and leisure space.

The report described the buildings as "monstrously out of proportion with the sky line [and] on an inhuman scale".

They were "foreboding and alien to the town and even to this country", the report continued.

It added: "It would be seen from almost every aspect of the water meadows, Christchurch Meadows and way beyond.

"It will dwarf the lovely station Reading has provided for its residents and is totally out of keeping with the surrounding area."

Image copyright Lochailort Investments
Image caption An artist's impression of how the towers could compare with others planned for the town centre

Plans for the site next to Reading railway station and along Kings Meadow Road were submitted last month and a public consultation closed soon after.

The towers would have been as high as 28-storeys, standing between 285ft to 321ft (87m to 98m) in height.

Officers noted the plans failed to allow space for a proposed mass transport link system between the railway station and nearby Thames Valley Business Park.

A failure to provide affordable housing and space for HGVs to load and unload were also noted as reasons to refuse the application.

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