CLIENT: Hill Partnerships & Reading Borough Council
CONSTRUCTION VALUE: Approx £15m
This brownfield regeneration site sits in Tilehurst, approximately 2.5miles to the west of Reading town centre in a predominantly residential area. Within the immediate vicinity of the site there are 3 schools and a sports centre that contribute to the overall amenity provision in the area. Tilehurst, a suburb of Reading, is an historic area that dates back to the 13th Century. Over the last century much of the historic character has been lost amidst the large development that ensued after the Second World War. The key objective was to provide homes to meet local needs.
The site is accessed from The Meadway, the key arterial route through the area and Reading and is surrounded by predominantly residential properties, many of which back onto the site. The scheme layout locates residential to the main boundaries to The Meadway and Conwy Close; this serves to animate the existing street scene, assist the natural surveillance and enhance the place-making opportunities of the location. Where possible the scheme seeks to locate new gardens that also back onto the existing gardens – this also ensures that a buffer zone is created between the private amenity spaces of the new development and those of existing properties.
The heart of the scheme is the central open space. This not only provides amenity and recreation space for the new properties but for the existing community in the area. The priority of the whole scheme was to provide accommodation and facilities for the local residents and to meet local needs. The accommodation is a mix of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments plus 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses; each unit has private and community amenity space.
GHM worked hand in hand with the client and the contractor to bring forward the delivery of this project, meeting a tight programme, whilst including the provision of energy saving measures such as heat recovery systems to help reduce carbon emissions and residents’ fuel costs.