Leading housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has reached an agreement to secure the purchase of two development sites in Reading, bringing plans for new homes, a school and sports facilities another step closer to becoming a reality.
Taylor Wimpey West London has exchanged legal agreements with landowners the Licensed Trade Charity and the Education Funding Authority to acquire the former Elvian School site in Southcote Lane and the former Defra office site off Coley Avenue.
The developer, in conjunction with the Education Funding Authority, is currently preparing a planning application to build 118 new homes and a new secondary school for approximately 1,200 pupils – to be operated by local education provider Wren – along with a full-size, all-weather football pitch and sports hall on the Elvian School site.
A separate but linked planning application seeks permission to provide 71 new homes on the former Defra office site. Both applications will be submitted in July following earlier public consultation and Reading Borough Council is expected to make a decision on the proposals in late 2015.
The site acquisition also means Wren will now be able to open a temporary school on the Elvian site in September 2015, subject to a planning application which is currently being considered by Reading Borough Council.
Andy Barron, Land and Planning Director for Taylor Wimpey West London, said: “Speaking on behalf of Taylor Wimpey, the Licensed Trade Charity and the Education Funding Authority, I am delighted to confirm that legal agreements have now been exchanged on both the former Elvian School site and the former Defra office site in Reading.
“Not only does this significant development pave the way for two exciting new developments of high-quality homes, including a brand new secondary school and sports facilities, but it also means Wren will be able to open their temporary school facility in time for the start of the new academic year.
“What’s more, our schemes will also deliver a host of additional benefits to the local community through financial contributions which will be secured as a condition of planning permission.
“Subject to Reading Borough Council approving our plans, which we will be submitting very soon, we look forward to beginning work on these exciting new developments as soon as possible.”
Speaking for The Wren School, Headteacher Jo Broadhead said: “We’re delighted that LTC kindly granted The Wren School temporary license to use the Elvian site, ahead of Reading Borough Council’s formal meeting.
“This gives parents and pupils the certainty that our school will open in September 2015 on the site that we’ve always wanted.
“We’re very much looking forward to the first school rooms going on site soon, in readiness for our students joining us after the summer holidays.”