A local charity's proposal to build new apartment blocks in Earley has been approved by the council, despite objections from residents. 

The plan will see the erection of three two-storey buildings each comprising of six apartments, totaling 18, on the unused land adjoining Liberty House on Strand Way. 

Liberty House was formerly known as Liberty of Earley House and was, until 2019, operated by The Earley Charity as an Aged Care Facility. 

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Of the 18 apartments, 16 will be one-bedroom. The scheme proposes six one-bedroom flats each in blocks A and C, and four one-bedroom flats in Block B. There will also be two two-bedroom flats in Block B. 

All accommodation is outlined as affordable rent, meaning it should not exceed 80 per cent of the open market rent. 

The proposal also details a plan for unallocated parking spaces of one per apartment, as well as a bicycle store. 

Approval was granted despite the submission being recommended for refusal by Earley Town Council who cited reasons including that the applicant 'failed to submit a scheme for delivering a minimum ten per cent reduction in carbon emissions' as well as failing to 'clearly identify the extent of car parking to be provided'.

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The proposal was submitted by Reading Almshouse Charity, a provider of housing accommodation for people in need over 55, who have resided within 20 miles of Reading town centre for at least three years. 

Although Almshouses provide security and encourage residents to share a wider social life through use of the communal lounge and other facilities, it is not a nursing or care home and residents must be capable of independent living. 

A raft of objections came from residents who, amongst other reasons, like the Town Council raised concerns related to parking provisions. 

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Resident of nearby Westminster Way, Mrs Janet Butcher, said: “Each flat is allocated a parking space for one car, but when two people in a flat each have a car it is obvious that the [second] car will be parked in the road. 

“If there are 18 flats this could result in a very congested road making it difficult for emergency, refuse [and] delivery vehicles.” 

A resident of Strand Way, Dr Ning An, suggested that the new buildings will “change the street scenery.” 

"It does not appear to be in keeping with the existing one or the other houses on Strand Way,” they added. 

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Another Strand Way resident, Mr Thurai Thushyanthan, objected to the “locations and existence of the two new access points.”  

“The entrance will be in a blind spot to traffic coming and going. This is in a 30mph zone where children are crossing,” he added. 

Despite this, the plans were approved on June 7 and development work is now set to proceed.