Zenas, Reading Road

This site in Reading Road has had a fairly long history in terms of planning applications.

In October 2022, we reported planning application 22/00765/FULL for two houses at Zenas, Reading Road had been refused for reasons including flood risk.

The full decision is at:

Following a previous refusal (Ref:16/02984/FUL) for three houses on the site, again including flood risk reasons, the applicant was encouraged by Hart to explore other less vulnerable uses of the site.

The applicant submitted two further applications during October/November 2022.
(1) Pre-application Ref:22/02519/PREAPP which is for a Change of use to class E commercial – office and office/hairdresser. The intention appears to use & repurpose the existing buildings.

Details are at;

(2) Ref:22/02461/LDC for erection of a 1.8-2m high palisade fence and gates and the application states it would look something like this:

Details are at https://publicaccess.hart.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=RJJ68GHZ0FR00

This situation impacting Zenas and possible ways ahead has turned out to be rather complex. We’ve described below some observations and questions which may help you consider what you would like to see:

  • The site urgently needs redevelopment
  • From applications to-date, Hart DC seem unlikely to grant permission for residential development due to flooding risk
  • Ref: 22/02519/PREAPP  is for commercial use – office and hairdresser
  • Is this residential area an appropriate location for a commercial operation?
  • If a commercial operation is ruled out due to flooding risk/being located in a residential area then one other option is industrial which would surely be totally unsuitable for this residential area. 
  • The proposed fence and gates in Ref:22/02461/LDC are very much out of keeping with the area.

We feel residents are likely to have various different views and therefore we urge you to consider the above points and respond to Hart to:

1.       Ref:22/02519/PREAPP expressing your views with respect to residential, commercial and industrial use

2.      Ref:22/02461/LDC expressing your views with respect to the suitability of the proposed fence and gates in this residential area

Comments can be made at the relevant websites identified above.