Council press release:
Southcote residents are being encouraged to attend two up-and-coming
neighbourhood events in the next stage on an on-going discussion with
Reading Borough Council about how community facilities for local people
can be improved.
Local residents have consistently called for improved facilities in Southcote to cater for all age groups.
A significant breakthrough was made earlier this month when the Council
announced community facilities in the area could receive a significant
boost if proposals for the possible redevelopment of the former Happy
Prospect pub site were given the go-ahead.
Now – as part on the Council's commitment to work better with residents–
two events in November will offer local residents the opportunity to
get involved with improvements to community facilities. The events -
'Working Together for Southcote' - follow on from a public meeting in
July this year led by Rachel Eden, Lead Councillor for Housing and
Neighbourhoods held at the Southcote community centre.
There is a daytime and evening meeting to enable as many people as
possible to attend and they will take place in the Main Hall at the
Southcote Community Centre, in Coronation Square. 3,500 leaflets are
being delivered to invite residents, as well as posters being put up in
the local area.
The first 'Working Together for Southcote' meeting takes place on Monday
November 14 between 7pm and 8.30pm, with the second on Thursday
November 17, between 1pm and 2.30pm.
Reading's Youth Services team and Groundwork will be working with young people to ensure that they can get involved.
Following the two community events, local residents and the council will
work together to produce a community newsletter and questionnaire to
gather views from local people who weren't able to attend the meetings.
Councillor Rachel Eden said: 'As an administration we are committed to
not just giving people a say but getting people involved. I'm hopeful
that by working together residents and the council will be able to
improve community facilities for all parts of Southcote's community and
provide very much needed affordable housing for the area.'
The Happy Prospect pub was demolished earlier this year and a new use
needs to be found for the site. The owner, PMC Construction, submitted a
planning application for a 100% affordable housing scheme which was
then deferred at Planning Applications Committee to enable further
discussions with the owner.
On October 31st Reading Borough Council's Cabinet approved a £280,000
social housing grant for a 16 unit affordable housing scheme, subject to
Planning Consent being obtained.
A revised 16 unit application is now scheduled to return to Planning
Applications Committee on Monday November 9. Any planning permission is
however likely to require appropriate mitigation for the loss of the
former pub. This could involve securing a contribution towards enhancing
existing community facilities elsewhere in Coronation Square, for
The creation of additional affordable housing in Southcote - which would
include four much-needed family-sized units - would have the added
benefit of reducing the need to place homeless applicants in temporary
accommodation, reducing pressure on council finances.