Reading Borough Council’s Planning Committee last night passed proposals which will see a range of improvements introduced to the three tower blocks on the Wensley Road Estate. These are key changes which will make the existing housing smarter and more energy efficient with improved waste facilities.
The renovation work will see all flats have their windows replaced with triple glazing, new external fabric on the walls of the towers to improve insulation, and new insulated roofing to improve thermal performance and conserve energy, helping to make Reading more environmentally friendly and reducing energy bills for tenants. These improvements come on top of the newly installed sprinklers and alarm systems.
The estate’s blocks will also have redesigned external elevations and entrances, including brickwork at the lower floors, and replacement of the refuse chutes combined with extended and reconfigured internal refuse, recycling and food waste stores.
Other features of the improvements to the Wensley Road Estate include the provision of 30 new bike lockers and 15 family bike lockers around the buildings, in line with Reading’s Active Travel aspirations.
Improving activities for children on the estate are also one of the Council’s objectives, with a new play area between the blocks planned, and also a £116,000 investment in play equipment at nearby Courage Park due to begin later this year, with residents invited to have their say on this via a public consultation which is running until 6th August.
The proposals form part of a wider plan of aspirations for the estate, which include newly landscaped grounds and the creation of 46 new homes, approved in December, to provide more opportunities for people on the estate to move within it, particularly those who need more space due to growing families. The new homes will be designed to be energy efficient and reach high environmental standards in line with the Council’s aim to create a net-zero carbon Reading by 2030.
Cllr Ellie Emberson, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Housing, said:
“I am delighted that the planning application has been passed as we can now move forward with the promised significant investment in the Wensley Road high rises. There are exciting times ahead as we build new homes for local residents, improve the existing homes and develop better play options for children whilst also helping Reading towards its net-zero carbon target”.