Hermes - Major proposed development

Frank Blank
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Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Frank Blank »

Status: Pre-Planning

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1,000 flats.

http://www.tvproperty.co.uk/news/plans- ... al-reading
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Yola

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Yola »

Wow, substantial.
buseng
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by buseng »

A massive NO! There is more than enough with the BMW site & Weldale St schemes.
The town infrastructure (or lack of) can't take any more.

As an aside to this, they want to build in the field opposite the riding stables at the top of Sulham Hill. Residents of Clements Mead & Westwood Glen are fuming.
bobby1413

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by bobby1413 »

Yes, sounds good to me
C.A.Versham
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by C.A.Versham »

What an odd coincidence - a development company with the same name as a parcel delivery service proposing to build on an old parcels depot.

The scale of the development is out of keeping with the area, the density of accommodation is too great, there will be heavy burdens on local health and education services, the assumption that all the residents will be walking to the station to commute to London to work and therefore there will be no traffic issue will prove to be erroneous and the shadows cast by the these buildings could have an adverse affect of the quality of life for those living in surrounding buildings. However, the council tax income for the Council will be useful so therefore plans, albeit probably scaled down, will be approved eventually no doubt.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Indeed CAV, and as ever, the developers will submit a big ugly plan, then when it's rejected 'accede' to local sensibilities and down grade............to what they REALLY wanted to,build in the first place. Cynical? Moi?
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eddieed
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by eddieed »

Isn't it Hermes that also own St. Martins Precinct.

Interesting that the mock up pictures also show that the Station Shopping Park is shown as being redeveloped as well
ReadingT
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by ReadingT »

Rank.
zag

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by zag »

Looks good to me, nice and central 2 minute walk to the train station.

I expect RBC will be pleased with all these new council tax incomes!
ReadingBiker
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by ReadingBiker »

Yes good to have them near public transport BUT 1000 flats including over 300 2 bedroom ones means children and i would guess pretty much a primary schools worth, I don't see a school in those plans so where are they meant to go to school.
bobby1413

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by bobby1413 »

ReadingBiker wrote: 12 Sep 2017 09:27 Yes good to have them near public transport BUT 1000 flats including over 300 2 bedroom ones means children and i would guess pretty much a primary schools worth, I don't see a school in those plans so where are they meant to go to school.
They will all be home schooled
Yola

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Yola »

There's a new school opened behind Occy Road primary; Civitas Academy? That might help a bit.

I'm in 2 minds about this. I think it's great to regenerate what's an urban wasteland which isn't being used for anything however, I know the developers and council are trying to shoehorn as much in as possible in order to (a) maximise profit and (b) generate maximum council tax revenue, but 1000 new properties is a MASSIVE number of additional everything to consider.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by OLDMAN »

Far too big / dense for the area - but as VoT said its most probably a prat to catch a mackerel
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by bobby1413 »

Don't see why it's too big - lots of cities have big buildings clustered together when space is at a premium. I kinda think half of the Reading residents and some on here are just stuck behind the times and living in the past.

Reading is not the place it was 30 years ago and it's moved on, it's bigger, it's developing and so is everywhere else.

These are the same people that moan about parking (on behalf of others), moan about empty office space and moan about more flats. Isn't it a good thing that Reading is being developed, people want to live here, investors are coming, companies want to have buildings here.
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by dave m »

I agree - although the density is a bit OTT at the moment
I would be surprised if any buyer of a town centre flat next to a railway station expected to buy/park a car
Schools may be an issue but people may move on.
Stuff like dr's may be more of an issue
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OLDMAN
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by OLDMAN »

I've nothing against development however it does need to fit in

The tallest buildings currently near there are 4 stories, and the whole area has a light open feel to it

Cram several 24 stories buildings in and they will stick up like a sore thumb (or handful of thumbs looking at the AI) and look ugly plus so close together it will kill of natural light

Slightly more open and lower and I wouldn't object

And why should we look like 'cities' that have them like this - maybe its not what a lot of people want in this TOWN
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........................

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Yola

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Yola »

For what it's worth, I don't have a problem with moving with the times. And I wasn't in Reading 30 years ago (I only arrived 29 years ago)! ;-)

I'm all for redevelopment. I have 2 main bones of contention; (i) destruction of property that can be renovated and repurposed, especially if it is of architectural merit, and (ii) diversity of housing stock.

I would like to see houses not exclusively flats, they don't need to be garage + garden type of houses like in Lower Earley, but town houses which have a small footprint. I love the area around Fobney Street - houses, flats, social housing, over 50s housing, this is how I would like to see the centre of Reading evolve.

I would also like to see live/work units. These are now becoming very popular outside of London, but Reading doesn't seem to be embracing this ethos. Many young people who would like to start a business don't have money to throw away on rent or serviced offices charges.
bobby1413

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by bobby1413 »

OLDMAN wrote: 12 Sep 2017 14:57 I've nothing against development however it does need to fit in

The tallest buildings currently near there are 4 stories, and the whole area has a light open feel to it

Cram several 24 stories buildings in and they will stick up like a sore thumb (or handful of thumbs looking at the AI) and look ugly plus so close together it will kill of natural light

Slightly more open and lower and I wouldn't object

And why should we look like 'cities' that have them like this - maybe its not what a lot of people want in this TOWN

It's not about a town vs a city. It's a null point, particularly as some of Reading is quite built up already and resembles more of a city than actual cities themselves.

People said the same as you about the Blade, and Thames Tower that they were two tall. But they're now a proud feature in the skyline. Lack of space means you've got to build up if you want more bang for your buck.

I'd imagine that many who object to these schemes don't even live in or near them. So the fact it's not open or is More dense should cause you no issue.

The buildings would be taller than what is there now - but so what? The sky line changing is no bad thing.
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by buseng »

bobby1413 wrote: 12 Sep 2017 13:16 Don't see why it's too big - lots of cities have big buildings clustered together when space is at a premium. I kinda think half of the Reading residents and some on here are just stuck behind the times and living in the past.

Reading is not the place it was 30 years ago and it's moved on, it's bigger, it's developing and so is everywhere else.

These are the same people that moan about parking (on behalf of others), moan about empty office space and moan about more flats. Isn't it a good thing that Reading is being developed, people want to live here, investors are coming, companies want to have buildings here.
Perhaps I am one of those, is it such a bad thing? I have lived in or near Reading all my life (without giving too much away, well over 60 years).
Therefore I remember the town since the 50's as a kid & have seen hundreds of changes, many for the worse, roads, buildings etc, in all respects. Not being rude, but many on here are by comparison mere "newcomers", so don't know anything different.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by OLDMAN »

My point Reading is a town, please don't refer to it as a city

As for the 2 mentioned places - I don't mind Thames Tower as it does fit in where it is and looks a good development

However I don't like the blade - I can see it from my house and it does spoil the skyline over the other buildings in that view

I was born, bred and still live in, and regularly travel about in this town so any development that spoils it is of a concern to me

Its why I like the idea of converting existing offices to apartments as it both makes better use of those places and often improves the look of them

And yes parking is an issue - having lived in an 18 stories tower block, in the town centre, I know how full the car park was!
Oldman........

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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

:goodposting:
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piwacket
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by piwacket »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 12 Sep 2017 16:27 :goodposting:
Ditto :goodposting:

Says it all for me too + most of what Buseng said.
Of course times ''they are a-changing'' but that surely has to be acceptable change? And common sense seems to go out of the window - or off the drawing board - so often. Where's the infrastructure to support this development? Has that been planned for too?
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D6equj5

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by D6equj5 »

Personally I feel building, expansion and progress are good things for the town. Yes the infrastructure will need to match - again, a good thing. Reading has been stuck in the mode of "rows of terraced streets and houses" for far too long. Our town needs to grow and expand.
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by ReadingBiker »

The Blade has also as far as I am aware not been a roaring commercial success, the floor plates are too small. The kind of firms willing to shell out premium money for statement offices want to be able to make efficient use of that space.

What I was commenting on was >300 2 bedroom flats - that either means people using the spare as an office (in which case why not build more live/work units specifically designed as such) or they are for small families, in which case they need to have designed in infrastructure for schools/Dr's/playgrounds etc.

Nothing against progress but look at the problems in parts of London etc through rushed development in the 60's without thought of the after effects
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by peterson »

Yola wrote: 12 Sep 2017 14:58 For what it's worth, I don't have a problem with moving with the times. And I wasn't in Reading 30 years ago (I only arrived 29 years ago)! ;-)

I'm all for redevelopment. I have 2 main bones of contention; (i) destruction of property that can be renovated and repurposed, especially if it is of architectural merit, and (ii) diversity of housing stock.

I would like to see houses not exclusively flats, they don't need to be garage + garden type of houses like in Lower Earley, but town houses which have a small footprint. I love the area around Fobney Street - houses, flats, social housing, over 50s housing, this is how I would like to see the centre of Reading evolve.

I would also like to see live/work units. These are now becoming very popular outside of London, but Reading doesn't seem to be embracing this ethos. Many young people who would like to start a business don't have money to throw away on rent or serviced offices charges.
Well, we certainly need to make better use of historic buildings, draw attention to them and celebrate them. I'm on the growth side of the argument. But I'm interested in the advantages of a larger population rather than just a larger population for the sake of it. The main advantage of bringing in more people - to live and/or to work, is to make other facilities more viable.

However, I don't like the Fobney St area. It uses up a lot of central, accessible land, and doesn't deliver a lot for it. The one person I knew to live there moved away pretty quickly lamenting its lack of soul. Now, I'm not saying a big block of flats has soul, but at least it achieves more with a chunk of our limited, hemmed-in town centre. The sorting office site is big enough that it could have one day housed a concert arena, or some other entertainment complex currently not deemed viable. So blocks of flats are, relative to that, not particularly inspiring. The upsides could be: more people to make those other facilities more viable at another site, a possible new public square at ground level (more details needed), and potentially some affordable housing and "trickle-down" effect that might conceivably have some slight positive effect on the housing crisis and homelessness. But we are "using up" our joint most accessible development site (Station Hill being the other).

(I'm naive enough to believe that public services could be able to be expanded though various per capita funding mechanisms that I assume exist around the public sector.)
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by ash »

Lots of new large-scale developments being planned for the town centre, but I only wished they had more of a community focus rather than purely residential.

The town centre is where people travel to as a destination, and new developments should reflect this in their land use. There could at least be facilities for the town's residents to use, and I'm not just referring to 'retail space' on the ground floor. Use Chatham Place as an example. They had big plans for community facilities on the IDR 'deck', but in the end, phase 2 was primarily two high rise towers. The retail units on the ground floor do little to create vibrancy in the area.

A library, art gallery, cultural centre, or bowling alley could be incorporated somewhere in these new developments, without really needing to reduce the number of residential units they plan to build.
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Mayfield »

Before you all get carried away with the joys of increasing the population perhaps you should take a long cool look at Readings recent and ongoing record in providing supporting infrastructure .... Caversham did not expand overnight, it happened over several years and yet RBC were completely unable to foresee or deal with the problem of primary school places and the future of their secondary school provision looks pretty problematic and increasingly urgent too...
Until they can show some realistic plans for both education and health provision that are not just a councillors pipe dream, and that include the provision of suitable premises, they should be prevented from increasing the housing stock in such huge blocks....
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by peterson »

Ash, completely agree, we need "destination" facilities.

Mayfield, entirely agree that there are gaps between my "surely there's a per capita funding formula that magics up these services and sites to run them from" and the likely reality of the councils ability (be that politics or capability) to deliver them. But I think my principle is sound.
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Mayfield »

I'm sure your principle is sound Peterson, however what isn't sound is RBCs ability to apply it, and given their past record personally I don't think we should give them the opportunity to try it unless they have major changes in personnel .

There is also a disconnect in various department policies between wanting to house people, including families, in flats and then bemoaning the percentage of children that have less weekly outside recreation time than is statutory for prisoners and I might add also wanting to build on an area set aside for recreation, ( Sorry to bring MPF into this ) and also moaning about childhood obesity.
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by THC »

My main takeaway from this discussion is there seems to be an unspecified minimum "length of service" for your opinion of Reading to be valid.

I've lived here 17 years, but I am predated by the Oracle so I expect I don't know what it was like in the good old days.

No objection to blocks of flats - Reading's main challenge is the narrow streets which make it hard to absorb the extra population. If Reading was being built today it wouldn't have it's current layout.

Personally I think provision for a school or additional school places elsewhere should be part of this project.
Bob deBilda

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Bob deBilda »

If people want to live in tower block, that's up to them. They must want to live in them or they wouldn't buy/rent them, therefore we must build them.

But do they really, or is it simply that prices are so high that's all they can afford? Would anyone here actually prefer to live in a tower block? And what will these places be like in twenty years time?

I'm not necessarily opposed, but a housing policy of some sort would be a good idea rather than just building boxes every time a bit of land becomes free.

Regards
Bob
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Weeby-Vuit »

Has anyone noticed in the picture that TGi Friday's, Mothercare, The Range Etc have been removed for what looks to be another planned development in the future.

I hope the council are thinking about the road infrastructure and Town Centre infrastructure. We don't go to town that often now as it is too busy and we have to re-mortgage to the house to pay for parking.
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Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by Fed-up »

The document is here:

http://documents.reading.gov.uk/AnitePu ... 382002.pdf

It describes the location of TGI's, etc as a potential development site.

If the link above does not work then try http://planning.reading.gov.uk/fastweb_ ... Ref=171448 or search for application 171448 at http://planning.reading.gov.uk/fastweb_PL/welcome.asp
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bobby1413

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by bobby1413 »

peterson wrote: 12 Sep 2017 23:04The sorting office site is big enough that it could have one day housed a concert arena, or some other entertainment complex currently not deemed viable. So blocks of flats are, relative to that, not particularly inspiring
ash wrote: 12 Sep 2017 23:05 A library, art gallery, cultural centre, or bowling alley could be incorporated somewhere in these new developments, without really needing to reduce the number of residential units they plan to build.

Two really good points here that I hadn't considered for some reason. I was only thinking about 3 days ago (once again) how sad it is that Reading doesn't have a bowling alley.

Agree also that a concert venue would have been great too. And a good central location for it.
Fed-up wrote: 13 Sep 2017 11:31 It describes the location of TGI's, etc as a potential development site.
is TGI's still open? Or is it just the Oracle one that is these days?
bobby1413

Re: Hermes - Major proposed development

Post by bobby1413 »

One of the blocks I think is 24 storeys in height. Would that make it higher than Thames Tower and The Blade?
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