The application to demolish Katesgrove’s After Dark Club and replace it with 10 apartments was rejected at Reading Borough Council’s planning applications committee on Wednesday 7 December.
This was a critical victory in what could be a series of battles against a developer (Red Kite Development Consultancy) who lack respect for Reading’s heritage (the development is in a Conservation Area) and has an arrogant and aggressive attitude to the planning process. One conclusion could be that they were proposing an inferior development and were scavenging for a quick profit.
“There are a number of veiled threats in the (developer’s) statement,” said Councillor Josh Williams [00:19:50].
Three local campaigners, Linda Serck, Evelyn Williams and Cheryl Dibden, spoke powerfully in support of the officer’s recommendation to reject the application. Councillors of all political plumage were taken by the mood to protect a community asset but rejected the proposal on strong planning grounds; failing to take account of the conservation area, nearby listed buildings and neighbours, a poor design solution producing substandard accommodation, a failure to engage with the affordable housing provision and failure to provide an employment and skills plan.
“Any development in this area would have a significant impact on the listed buildings, and on the conservation area more generally, and the development is entirely inappropriate,” said Councillor Jason Brock [00:15:00].
Red Kite’s representative was unable to land to take any questions.
The next steps for the campaigners could be to convince the Council that the After Dark is a community asset, to fend off further scavenger attacks.
Apologies to red kite bird fans.
- Planning Applications Committee 7 December 2016 – papers
- Planning Applications Committee 7 December 2016 – webcast
- Red Kite Development Consultancy
- Reading Borough Council planning policies
- Conservation areas and listed buildings
- List of assets of community value