That’s because Reading Borough Council is undertaking a partial update of the Local Plan that was adopted in November 2019.
Councils are required to review their Local Plans every five years, and a review carried out in March 2023 has identified a need to carry out a partial update.
The review conducted in March takes into account changes such as developments that have been approved or delivered and national policy changes.
The calculation for the amount of new homes that are required has actually gone up since 2019 according to the review.
The council’s planning department has calculated that approximately 883 new homes are needed per year to meet government targets.
That’s compared to 699 homes per year set out in the Local Plan.
It also caps the amount of new homes to 965 per year.
In order to deliver these new homes, the council is asking for landowners to suggest sites for developments.
It is also asking for suggestions for developments of any use, which can include recreational and commercial.
The council is open to suggestions for sites where usage can be changed, eg from commercial to residential.
An example would be the conversion of the upper floors of Soane Point in Market Place from offices into 144 flats, which was approved on appeal in 2022.
Landowners who want to nominate a site that could be included in the partial update can do so using this link: https://www.reading.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/new-local-plan/local-plan-partial-update/
The webpage also provides guidance on how to make a submission.
The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Thursday, June 8.
If you need any assistance in filling out this form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A series of large developments are mentioned within the review document, which includes the fact that 169 out of 769 homes have been completed for the Huntley Wharf development, and the outline plan for 620 homes at the Royal Mail being approved as well.
The review also takes into account the 223 home plan for Reading Golf Course.
When the Local Plan was adopted, policy CA1b stated it would be suitable for 90-130 homes – a substantially smaller amount than what was consented when the outline application was approved in March 2022.
Some other large applications proposed recently include a plan to build 449 apartments at The Oracle, and a proposal to replace units in Forbury Retail Park with 900 apartments and new retail space.
The Local Plan partial update takes into account more than just where homes can be built as well.
Of the 90 policies contained in the 2019 Local Plan the council has identified 45 that need updating.