Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post Reply
User avatar
Bannock
Super Contributor
Posts: 2968
Joined: 12 Mar 2012 15:04

Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Bannock »

I was listening to the BBC Radio Berkshire programme on the way to school/work this morning, and the presenter intimated that he would have some news regarding Caversham at about 8.15. Of course, that's the exact time I'm parked up and dropping the children to school, and by the time I'd got back to the car the article was over, and the only scrap I caught is that St Martin's Precinct is to be redeveloped. Rats, missed the detail.

I've since searched for news on the interwebnets, and come up with precisely nothing. Not even on the BBC Berkshire page.

Did anyone else hear what's being proposed in this redevelopment, or does anyone have any links to information about what's going on?

Thanks!
cnb
Super Contributor
Posts: 2358
Joined: 01 Aug 2007 15:42

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by cnb »

It's now on iPlayer. Listen from 1h20m.

The scrap of information you caught is all there is - a rumour that the precinct may be redeveloped.
User avatar
Bannock
Super Contributor
Posts: 2968
Joined: 12 Mar 2012 15:04

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Bannock »

OK, thanks. The way "Peachie" was going on before the story made it sound like there was some more meat. Typical broadcaster's trick to keep people listening I suppose.

I expect the redevelopment, if it happens, will simply be retail/restaurant and residential of course, but what else could we have there? What else would be beneficial to Caversham I wonder? Small "Arts" cinema for indie films/classics etc, or a theatre perhaps? Maybe not, but you get the idea. Something to make Caversham a bit special, rather than just a dormitory? Any ideas?
eddieed
Super Contributor
Posts: 1526
Joined: 04 May 2012 09:46

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by eddieed »

Bannock wrote:OK, thanks. The way "Peachie" was going on before the story made it sound like there was some more meat. Typical broadcaster's trick to keep people listening I suppose.

I expect the redevelopment, if it happens, will simply be retail/restaurant and residential of course, but what else could we have there? What else would be beneficial to Caversham I wonder? Small "Arts" cinema for indie films/classics etc, or a theatre perhaps? Maybe not, but you get the idea. Something to make Caversham a bit special, rather than just a dormitory? Any ideas?
Just had a listen too and very patchy. A couple of things feel funny about this too me.

1. Mentioned when Nationwide decided to stay open because of plans to invest in area! Feel this may be coming out because of this.
2. They have just completely redone all the first floor flats and replaced all the windows etc...therefore think it will be someway off whatever it is.
3. Pizza Chain - Probably Pizza Express - I would have thought had plenty of oppurtunities to find a store.
4. Most of the shops are occupied (I think only 1 is empty) So feels strange to be doing this now - hopefully the wont push out the stores that are there by increasing rents post a development!

I like Caversham a lot and any development would be positive. I am often on the bus and think even redoing the paving in the precint would improve the area. Will be interesting to see the developments on this one.
dave m
Super Contributor
Posts: 4649
Joined: 21 Feb 2012 11:21

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by dave m »

I think you'd find it more likely that it would be a 50 min makeover with maybe a few shops knocked into one, or the other way around and some benches that a cinema suddenly being plonked down.
savagethegoat

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by savagethegoat »

could we have a former cinema selling potatoes perhaps?
ReadingT
Super Contributor
Posts: 1049
Joined: 18 Nov 2011 20:01

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by ReadingT »

Those flats opposite Alto Lounge were redone ages ago. At least a year ago I think.

I think the precinct lost a lot of its appeal when M&S went and Iceland came in. I haven't been down that way since really.

But, yes, a simple repaving would make a lot of difference.
User avatar
Stewart
Super Contributor
Posts: 792
Joined: 05 Jan 2005 20:38

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Stewart »

Chatting to one of the owners of a business in the precinct, he said it is now really busy, since Marks left. In my opinion the precinct is old outdated and needs to be completely replaced with a fresh new development….Knock it down and start again!
Stewart
"Money isn't the most important thing in life. But it's up there with oxygen"
Mayfield
Moderator
Posts: 14161
Joined: 15 Nov 2007 18:50

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Mayfield »

Only if you promise to keep Jennings and Terry's :wink:

Some paving at the back, near the toilets is currently fenced off because of uneven paving...a change of paving, to something more level, might do a. Great deal to help the precinct...as it is , even though the flats have been improved it looks tatty ....
jonbryce
Super Contributor
Posts: 1221
Joined: 01 May 2009 20:27

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by jonbryce »

Something might happen at some point ...
http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local- ... ct-6130436
Avis
Super Contributor
Posts: 2503
Joined: 05 Sep 2006 21:16

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Avis »

I would agree that it needs a bit of a facelift, but not if they use the opportunity to raise the rents and lose some of the useful shops there like, as Mayfield mentioned, Terry's and Jennings. I would rather have it scruffy and keep the "little" shops, than have it all brand spanking new and end up with it looking like every other shopping centre in the country.
User avatar
Stewart
Super Contributor
Posts: 792
Joined: 05 Jan 2005 20:38

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Stewart »

Here Here Avis!
Stewart
"Money isn't the most important thing in life. But it's up there with oxygen"
User avatar
Risotto
Super Contributor
Posts: 176
Joined: 14 Apr 2009 20:22

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Risotto »

Until I see the local MP and/or councillor suddenly appear and jostle for position to take all the credit for this 'investment', I'm not going to give the rumour much credibility.

In the meantime, I'd like to proffer a theory. Given that St Martin's Precinct is largely let and replacing the paving in the small square is hardly going to increase footfall for the Nationwide branch, I wouldn't be surprised if the rumoured new pizza restaurant might not be built on the spare land to the left of the existing precinct. I'd assume it's owned by the same property company and is hardly earning any rent for them at present. No issues with local parking either. And it is almost directly opposite the Nationwide and would potentially given them the footfall they say they need to stay put. It would certainly drag more people to that end of Caversham.
Attachments
Red circle - Nationwide: blue circle - spare land
Red circle - Nationwide: blue circle - spare land
cnb
Super Contributor
Posts: 2358
Joined: 01 Aug 2007 15:42

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by cnb »

Until I see the local MP and/or councillor suddenly appear and jostle for position to take all the credit for this 'investment', I'm not going to give the rumour much credibility.
Andrew Cumpsty will be claiming the credit if anything happens...
User avatar
Risotto
Super Contributor
Posts: 176
Joined: 14 Apr 2009 20:22

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Risotto »

Good spot, cnb. Having read the councillor's article, I'm now more convinced than ever that the investment rumour is simply 'hot air' or, at the least, a very, very long way off.

Certainly it was a bit of a PR gaff by the Nationwide - something like this should be formally announced by those making the investment (and, granted, the local MP/councillor), not obliquely and mysteriously in a 'we've changed our minds' reactive PR statement.

Hope it happens though!
Mayfield
Moderator
Posts: 14161
Joined: 15 Nov 2007 18:50

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Mayfield »

Actually the flats have been spruced up and two big trees planted where the car
Park is .

I know there are issues with tree roots but a smarten ing up of the paving would do a lot to improve the general ambiance.....I guess there's not much that can be done about the cafe and costa's smoking customers ?.??
User avatar
Stewart
Super Contributor
Posts: 792
Joined: 05 Jan 2005 20:38

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Stewart »

Oh ye of little faith, it seems the redevelopment is not just a rumour after all, if the BBC is to be believed and eddieed is to get a wish come true, it will include a cinema...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-24401945
Stewart
"Money isn't the most important thing in life. But it's up there with oxygen"
eddieed
Super Contributor
Posts: 1526
Joined: 04 May 2012 09:46

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by eddieed »

Stewart wrote:Oh ye of little faith, it seems the redevelopment is not just a rumour after all, if the BBC is to be believed and eddieed is to get a wish come true, it will include a cinema...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-24401945

Bit of a mis quote there is was Bannock who wanted the cinema. Sadly with a 3 year old and one on the way the Cinema is a difficult prospect for us.

I would like to see it tidied up but as others have said it would be very sad to see the shops go. Especially Jennings, The Card Shop and Terrys!
dave m
Super Contributor
Posts: 4649
Joined: 21 Feb 2012 11:21

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by dave m »

yes, You'd be unlikely able to build a cinema for £4 mill
eddieed
Super Contributor
Posts: 1526
Joined: 04 May 2012 09:46

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by eddieed »

I was thinking about this a bit more and the comment from Waitrose on the BBC news site.

A redevelopment of the entire area including the current Waitrose would be very sensible and probably more cost effective. The Waitrose layout and entrance and exit is awkward, it is also a very busy shop and wouldn't hurt from being bigger I think. All these developments need an Anchor to make them work and Waitrose would be it.

Changing the carpark layout so the entrance and exit are seperate and pottentially moved from the current bottle neck would improve it as well.

Not sure a cinema would be the best use of space, but it could work but cinemas tend to be on the first floor now as they don't need the frontage, not sure you would get the height allowance for that in Caversham!

Will be interesting to follow this.
AlisonF

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by AlisonF »

I used the Waitrose a few times in the past and have memories of negotiating my way in and out of the car park - I think there used to be some very unfriendly bollards which lurked waiting to catch unwary drivers. Amazing that Jennings is still there though and glad to hear it. The talk about a cinema is interesting - would there be sufficient demand for one in that location? The old Glendale closed down through lack of business many years ago and although the demographic has undoubtedly changed, would there be a market for a cinema today?

I suppose they could always knock the lot down and put back what used to be there in the late 50's and early 60's....
User avatar
Risotto
Super Contributor
Posts: 176
Joined: 14 Apr 2009 20:22

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Risotto »

Stewart wrote:Oh ye of little faith
One of my favourite meals is eating my own words. :-)

Good to see both Hermes, the owner of the precinct and Waitrose now issuing statements about improving the shopping experience, though without being terribly specific. I guess this is understandable - only worth going public when they've got a clear proposal to put to RBC's planners.

Regardless of what they do, the 60s/70s architecture needs nuking and replacing with something more in keeping with the rest of Caversham - it gives me hope that a number of recent buildings in Caversham have been built to blend in with their surroundings rather than jar with it.

Personally I can't wait. Like others, I still want Caversham to consist largely of independent retailers. I'm not so concerned that Terry's or Jennings should be exactly where they are now in Caversham if the development means they have to move - so long as they are still somewhere close to the centre of things.
User avatar
Stewart
Super Contributor
Posts: 792
Joined: 05 Jan 2005 20:38

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Stewart »

Here Here. Simple!
Stewart
"Money isn't the most important thing in life. But it's up there with oxygen"
Mayfield
Moderator
Posts: 14161
Joined: 15 Nov 2007 18:50

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Mayfield »

Personally I suspect these statements mean very little will change in the near future........
User avatar
OLDMAN
Moderator
Posts: 22048
Joined: 24 Oct 2007 09:03

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by OLDMAN »

I often pop over to the precinct to see a mate who owns / runs a shop there and always felt it was okay if a little scruffy

Last time I spoke to him (about 2 weeks ago) he hadn’t heard of any new ideas / developments apart from the place being tidied up / re-painted
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!
buseng
Super Contributor
Posts: 6694
Joined: 09 Feb 2011 16:51

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by buseng »

Looks like a major job, a cinema? How ironic seeing two in the area have closed years ago.
http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local- ... ns-6160223
Mayfield
Moderator
Posts: 14161
Joined: 15 Nov 2007 18:50

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Mayfield »

Hasn't there been a previous plan for a two storey car park which was turned down ?

Somehow I don't see some of the current shops fitting in with these plans......
Connaught

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Connaught »

I see from today's Post we are getting TWO funeral parlours in Caversham. Co-op moving into the former deli opposite Waitrose and Walker & Sons going into the old gun shop in Gosbrook Road. Plus we've already got undertakers in Caversham Road.

Welcome to Caversham: Home of the Grim Reaper...
cnb
Super Contributor
Posts: 2358
Joined: 01 Aug 2007 15:42

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by cnb »

Looks like a major job, a cinema? How ironic seeing two in the area have closed years ago.
Presumably the new one will be much smaller - a couple of 200ish-seat screens probably - than the 800-1500 seat single-screen buildings of the past.
User avatar
johnH
Site Admin
Posts: 3084
Joined: 24 Jan 2003 12:25

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by johnH »

Connaught wrote:I see from today's Post we are getting TWO funeral parlours in Caversham. Co-op moving into the former deli opposite Waitrose and Walker & Sons going into the old gun shop in Gosbrook Road. Plus we've already got undertakers in Caversham Road.

Welcome to Caversham: Home of the Grim Reaper...
Plus Cyril H Lovegrove on Briant's Ave.
Reading Town Forum on Twitter
Reading Town Forum YouTube
Avis
Super Contributor
Posts: 2503
Joined: 05 Sep 2006 21:16

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Avis »

Connaught wrote:I see from today's Post we are getting TWO funeral parlours in Caversham. Co-op moving into the former deli opposite Waitrose and Walker & Sons going into the old gun shop in Gosbrook Road. Plus we've already got undertakers in Caversham Road.

Welcome to Caversham: Home of the Grim Reaper...
There's another one in Briant's Avenue.
savagethegoat

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by savagethegoat »

Caversham[is the dead centre of Reading
Mayfield
Moderator
Posts: 14161
Joined: 15 Nov 2007 18:50

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Mayfield »

The deli premises must be bigger than they look...
cnb
Super Contributor
Posts: 2358
Joined: 01 Aug 2007 15:42

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by cnb »

The deli premises must be bigger than they look...
Why? I imagine this will only be a sales office.
Pooneil
Moderator
Posts: 8134
Joined: 10 May 2011 00:57

Re: Redevelopment of St Martin's Precinct, Caversham?

Post by Pooneil »

Connaught wrote:I see from today's Post we are getting TWO funeral parlours in Caversham. Co-op moving into the former deli
Must've been an easy planning application meeting: "Premises formerly used for dealing in cold preserved meat. No change of use, so moving on to the next application..."
Whilst I am a moderator, I am NOT posting in that capacity unless I explicitly say so
Post Reply

Return to “Property developments in Reading”