BMW Site/Swan Heights (Napier Road)

Post Reply
Dai Brainbocs
Super Contributor
Posts: 684
Joined: 30 Jul 2008 18:17

BMW Site/Swan Heights (Napier Road)

Post by Dai Brainbocs »

Current Status
Planning Approved for residential. Alternative Commercial in planning

An application is going in before Christmas for a "residential led scheme" on the site of the Cooper BMW garage on the corner of King's Meadow Road, just south of Reading Bridge. There will be a public consultation evening, date to be advised.
radiantsoul
Super Contributor
Posts: 139
Joined: 22 Jan 2011 21:17

Re: BMW site

Post by radiantsoul »

It has always seemed a bit of an odd place for a car showroom. I guess it will become a block of flats with an empty retail unit on the bottom floor!
Dai Brainbocs
Super Contributor
Posts: 684
Joined: 30 Jul 2008 18:17

Re: BMW site

Post by Dai Brainbocs »

New one is being built on that desolate stretch out towards the stadium. Assume this will combine the King's Meadow showroom and the one on Bath Rd which is horribly cramped.
Yola

Re: BMW site

Post by Yola »

I've spent the last few years working on some corporate content with BMW which calls for quite a radical shift in how their dealerships are structured and how they interact with the customer and vice versa. This move is long overdue in Reading.

Question is, who will want to live on the edge of a hideously busy roundabout with stationary traffic 75% of the time AND overlooking the railway ...
savagethegoat

Re: BMW site

Post by savagethegoat »

Me.(and Buseng)...so long as it has a Railway View and also no doubt anyone wanting to catch a train on a regular basis
MonkeyMan

Re: BMW site

Post by MonkeyMan »

radiantsoul wrote:It has always seemed a bit of an odd place for a car showroom. I guess it will become a block of flats with an empty retail unit on the bottom floor!
It is mighty convenient if you need to drop the car off and then head to work on the train, as I am sure many do who use the garage. If they are no longer so central and convenient I can see plenty of business heading over to Grosvenor Auto's on Richfield Avenue as it is a reasonable walking distance to catch a train.

I do share your view on any retail space, seems to be par for the course on many new flats these days. :-)
Yola

Re: BMW site

Post by Yola »

savagethegoat wrote:Me.(and Buseng)...so long as it has a Railway View and also no doubt anyone wanting to catch a train on a regular basis
There's a difference between wanting to live close to the station and living pretty well on the platform! However, I agree that train spotters might find it appealing though ... :-)
dave m
Super Contributor
Posts: 4652
Joined: 21 Feb 2012 11:21

Re: BMW site

Post by dave m »

It would be a good time to purchase the strip of land along napier road to bank for road or bus lane improvements.

The red cross used one of the buildings alone there (while their place was being rebuilt?) and the whole strip is very 80's.
Dai Brainbocs
Super Contributor
Posts: 684
Joined: 30 Jul 2008 18:17

Re: BMW site

Post by Dai Brainbocs »

More detail about the proposal for the Cooper site. It's for 350 (yes, 350) apartments in three buildings, two new commercial units, cycle and car parking, "outdoor amenity space" and an "improved public realm". Public consultation from 4.00 to 7.30 p.m. this Thursday 27 Nov at the Old Town Hall.

The firm behind it is called Lochailort Investments. Unless only a small minority of residents would drive, that looks like a heck of a lot of traffic discharging onto Napier Rd and the Vastern Rd roundabout.
User avatar
Jimmy Riddle
Super Contributor
Posts: 647
Joined: 21 Apr 2009 18:25

Re: BMW site

Post by Jimmy Riddle »

Dai Brainbocs wrote: It's for 350 (yes, 350) apartments in three buildings,
With a possible 700 new NIMBYS –That must be final nail in the coffin for the Cross Town Route.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.Image
User avatar
Bannock
Super Contributor
Posts: 2968
Joined: 12 Mar 2012 15:04

Re: BMW site

Post by Bannock »

dave m wrote:It would be a good time to purchase the strip of land along napier road to bank for road or bus lane improvements.

The red cross used one of the buildings alone there (while their place was being rebuilt?) and the whole strip is very 80's.
Exactly. This land must be secured for a new road out to TVP and, of course the Third Thames Bridge. What on earth are they doing contemplating building homes there?

Looks like I'm going to have to write to Rob Wilson and RBC. Again. Seems that's all I do these days. Sigh.
Dai Brainbocs
Super Contributor
Posts: 684
Joined: 30 Jul 2008 18:17

Re: BMW site

Post by Dai Brainbocs »

Jimmy Riddle wrote:
Dai Brainbocs wrote: It's for 350 (yes, 350) apartments in three buildings,
With a possible 700 new NIMBYS –That must be final nail in the coffin for the Cross Town Route.
Good call. Of course it would require a flyover running right past their windows.
buseng
Super Contributor
Posts: 6694
Joined: 09 Feb 2011 16:51

Re: BMW site

Post by buseng »

Of course the pathetic council will say yes, anything that creates more traffic they always say yes.
Anything that solves traffic it's always a no.
How many more poxy flats (and offices)do we need in this town?
CROSS TOWN ROUTE OR NOTHING!
Lw.

Re: BMW site

Post by Lw. »

Neither are particularly great though are they?

A load of new flats in the town center that will inevitably look the same as all the other generic glass-with-random-bright-coloured-panels flats that make the area look like a clone of every other commuter town, dumping more traffic into the middle of the current mess.

Vs

Another big, loud, dirty semi-motorway cutting its way through the town. Assuming it's Napier road that you want to be beefed up; it would ruin Kings Meadow and the Thames Path & the walkway along the Kennet. I suppose the road could be extended through the industrial estate from the Homebase roundabout but I doubt the people living down there would be happy & again it ruins the Kennet & Thames paths.
ReadingBiker
Super Contributor
Posts: 1376
Joined: 06 Jul 2011 12:49

Re: BMW site

Post by ReadingBiker »

"outdoor amenity space" and an "improved public realm"


And where are they going to put these, In the shadow of the railway embankment (it runs east west so that side of the railway is in shadow). Also how many years before the new residents try and stop the beer festivals licence (or the xmas party marquees) as it is too noisy on their doorstep.
dave m
Super Contributor
Posts: 4652
Joined: 21 Feb 2012 11:21

Re: BMW site

Post by dave m »

I do think that 'somehow' the space could be used to alleviate the traffic that goes from roughly Sutton's park towards the bridges, but it would need to be tempered with a third bridge and spreading out the traffic rather than concentrating it further.

Diverting even more traffic right through the centre isn't the answer. But loosing that route to housing would put the kibosh on the idea for 100 years.
A smaller route than the original CTR could squeeze in somehow.

I agree about the flats possible objection to King's Meadow activities.
My local used to do live bands but some old biddy moved in around the back and started to complain,
The pub was there first.
Dai Brainbocs
Super Contributor
Posts: 684
Joined: 30 Jul 2008 18:17

Re: BMW site

Post by Dai Brainbocs »

Presumably the pool refurbishment and car park enlargement to go with it will mean the beer festival, Christmas thing and Pride will have to move anyway? Maybe to the other end of King's Meadow?
ReadingBiker
Super Contributor
Posts: 1376
Joined: 06 Jul 2011 12:49

Re: BMW site

Post by ReadingBiker »

Dai Brainbocs wrote:Presumably the pool refurbishment and car park enlargement to go with it will mean the beer festival, Christmas thing and Pride will have to move anyway? Maybe to the other end of King's Meadow?
You mean the end that floods and is under sports pitches ?
Dai Brainbocs
Super Contributor
Posts: 684
Joined: 30 Jul 2008 18:17

Re: BMW site

Post by Dai Brainbocs »

Never known it flood at beer festival time! It's outside the football season and years since cricket was played there, maybe 20? But there might be a limit to how far people will walk for the beer festival, particularly with prices (I would guess) already near the maximum that can be charged. The construction huts for the pool already occupy some of the space used by the Christmas party people.
Fed-up
Super Contributor
Posts: 5287
Joined: 05 Jun 2013 12:28

Re: BMW site

Post by Fed-up »

More about this in GR:

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/busine ... mw-8178988

I think I'll plead the 5th on what I think about how the towers look in the picture.
"Every place that I have been leaves its message on my skin. So many prophecies, so many signs, so little time, so little time" - Alan Prosser/Ian Telfer
Dai Brainbocs
Super Contributor
Posts: 684
Joined: 30 Jul 2008 18:17

Re: BMW site

Post by Dai Brainbocs »

I wonder if they have proposed a grotesque overdevelopment of the site with a view to people saying how great it is if they wind up with permission for something half the size, when half the size as the initial offering would have attracted just as much opposition.
User avatar
johnH
Site Admin
Posts: 3084
Joined: 24 Jan 2003 12:25

Re: BMW site

Post by johnH »

Reading Town Forum on Twitter
Reading Town Forum YouTube
Pooneil
Moderator
Posts: 8134
Joined: 10 May 2011 00:57

Re: BMW site

Post by Pooneil »

ReadingBiker wrote:Also how many years before the new residents try and stop the beer festivals licence (or the xmas party marquees) as it is too noisy on their doorstep.
That sort of thing really annoys me; I'm sick of seeing live music venues having to close because of noise complaints from people who bought flats nearby that were developed long after the venue started operating. (To this end there is an e-petition here calling for mandatory noise complaint waivers in such cases - as they put it "anyone who wishes to buy or rent a property within a determined distance of a music venue should have to read and sign legislature that waives their right to complain about the noise from the nearby venue. If they do not wish to be bothered by something that was a fixture of the community long before they arrived, they should not move there in the first place.")
Whilst I am a moderator, I am NOT posting in that capacity unless I explicitly say so
User avatar
Jimmy Riddle
Super Contributor
Posts: 647
Joined: 21 Apr 2009 18:25

Re: BMW site

Post by Jimmy Riddle »

Pooneil wrote:
ReadingBiker wrote:Also how many years before the new residents try and stop the beer festivals licence (or the xmas party marquees) as it is too noisy on their doorstep.
That sort of thing really annoys me; I'm sick of seeing live music venues having to close because of noise complaints from people who bought flats nearby that were developed long after the venue started operating. (To this end there is an e-petition here calling for mandatory noise complaint waivers in such cases - as they put it "anyone who wishes to buy or rent a property within a determined distance of a music venue should have to read and sign legislature that waives their right to complain about the noise from the nearby venue. If they do not wish to be bothered by something that was a fixture of the community long before they arrived, they should not move there in the first place.")
Yes,the change in the law is long overdue.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-27483840
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/ ... at-6512779
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.Image
User avatar
OLDMAN
Moderator
Posts: 22063
Joined: 24 Oct 2007 09:03

Re: BMW site

Post by OLDMAN »

Bannock wrote:
dave m wrote:It would be a good time to purchase the strip of land along napier road to bank for road or bus lane improvements.

The red cross used one of the buildings alone there (while their place was being rebuilt?) and the whole strip is very 80's.
Exactly. This land must be secured for a new road out to TVP and, of course the Third Thames Bridge. What on earth are they doing contemplating building homes there?

Looks like I'm going to have to write to Rob Wilson and RBC. Again. Seems that's all I do these days. Sigh.

Good luck - I've written to RW before but never got replies!
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
Yola

Re: BMW site

Post by Yola »

OLDMAN wrote:
Bannock wrote:
dave m wrote:It would be a good time to purchase the strip of land along napier road to bank for road or bus lane improvements.

The red cross used one of the buildings alone there (while their place was being rebuilt?) and the whole strip is very 80's.
Exactly. This land must be secured for a new road out to TVP and, of course the Third Thames Bridge. What on earth are they doing contemplating building homes there?

Looks like I'm going to have to write to Rob Wilson and RBC. Again. Seems that's all I do these days. Sigh.

Good luck - I've written to RW before but never got replies!
I have. We have had ongoing dialogue with him on a couple of topics and found him extremely helpful.
User avatar
Bannock
Super Contributor
Posts: 2968
Joined: 12 Mar 2012 15:04

Re: BMW site

Post by Bannock »

Yola wrote:
OLDMAN wrote:
Bannock wrote:
dave m wrote:It would be a good time to purchase the strip of land along napier road to bank for road or bus lane improvements.

The red cross used one of the buildings alone there (while their place was being rebuilt?) and the whole strip is very 80's.
Exactly. This land must be secured for a new road out to TVP and, of course the Third Thames Bridge. What on earth are they doing contemplating building homes there?

Looks like I'm going to have to write to Rob Wilson and RBC. Again. Seems that's all I do these days. Sigh.

Good luck - I've written to RW before but never got replies!
I have. We have had ongoing dialogue with him on a couple of topics and found him extremely helpful.
Me too. He even engages with me on twitter. Not that I agree with everything he says and does of course. But he is responsive.
dave m
Super Contributor
Posts: 4652
Joined: 21 Feb 2012 11:21

Re: BMW site

Post by dave m »

slightly off topic but...

Re Noise

The Face Bar was the TUC club and moved from where HMV and the Oracle is now, to Chatham street which was an ideal location for a venue noise wise.
Now somebody wants to restrict the club because they plan to build residential flats.
ReadingBiker
Super Contributor
Posts: 1376
Joined: 06 Jul 2011 12:49

Re: BMW site

Post by ReadingBiker »

It has always had restrictions in Chathan street - it used to have a council mandated noise system where an orange light came on if the sound exceeded a threshhold and if it stayed on for 10s the power was cut. There was an old lady living in a flat by the church on Oxford Rd who would complain regularly that was why they reconfigured the place to move live music downstairs (the old fire exit upstairs funnelled noise towards her if opened during an event)
Dai Brainbocs
Super Contributor
Posts: 684
Joined: 30 Jul 2008 18:17

Re: BMW site

Post by Dai Brainbocs »

To bring it back on-topic. I went to the town hall thing last night. A few snippets:
- the three towers would go up simultaneously and share the bottom couple of storeys, i.e. it's one building with three towers rather than three separate and free-standing;
- it would take two and a half years to build;
- the "public amenities" include a GP surgery which could be NHS;
- there would be 118 car parking spaces, i.e. roughly one per three flats;
- apparently this would generate less traffic than Cooper BMW does currently;
- Cooper moves out next summer anyway;
- any construction camp during the building would be on site;
- it includes no office accommodation, other than an area which residents can use for working "from home";
- when complete it would employ 15 full-time staff as concierges etc.
User avatar
Bannock
Super Contributor
Posts: 2968
Joined: 12 Mar 2012 15:04

Re: BMW site

Post by Bannock »

Yola

Re: BMW site

Post by Yola »

I would hope the doctor's surgery is NHS ... and interesting to see a better artist's impression there that the 3 white sticks shown previously, Bannock, I don't think they are too horrible; I like the colour. They could have been glass which would have looked awful.
Lw.

Re: BMW site

Post by Lw. »

I think they look ok - quite like the tops on them. Wouldn't fancy living in the middle tower, the outsides of the other two should have some decent views though.
readingguy

Re: BMW site

Post by readingguy »

I think they look great. Much more interesting than anything else that has been thrown up over recent years.
User avatar
Bannock
Super Contributor
Posts: 2968
Joined: 12 Mar 2012 15:04

Re: BMW site

Post by Bannock »

Seems I'm in the minority as usual. They're bland and uninspiring, any remotely ornate bits are naff reproduction looking (kind of Americans-trying-to-be-Classical look), and the tops look like they have mosques on them. I'm not keen on any religious buildings to be fair. And we need the land for a proper link road to the A3290.

Not impressed.
Post Reply

Return to “Property developments in Reading”