The consultation on how to spend the neighbourhood portion (15%) of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) paid by developers or landowners on new developments in Reading ended on 14 September. The results of that exercise have been published in papers going to Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on 26 November and councillors will be asked to approve recommendations on how to spend the money.

Residents were asked to rank proposals in order of preference within four areas: central, south, east and west Reading. Katesgrove, Whitley, Church and Redlands wards are in the southern zone.

There were 21 identified projects in south Reading and five projects shared across regions including south Reading.

The total available to spend in south Reading was £572,550.35, of which £419,897 had been received up to 31 March and £152,653.35 more in the six months to 30 September 2018.

RBC propose to spend £540k in total on the following:

  • £95k on Cintra Park play area improvements in Redlands (project J) ,
  • £50k on a zebra crossing for access to Ridgeway school in Church ward (project B) ,
  • £40k on an extension of the 20mph zone near Reading Girls’ School affecting Church, Katesgrove and Redlands wards (project C),
  • £155k in improvements at Long Barn Lane Recreation Ground in Katesgrove (projects K & P),
  • £100k on enforcement of 20mph areas in Katesgrove, Redlands, Church and Whitley wards, shared with Battle, Abbey and Park wards (project I),
  • £50k on signs warning HGVs about using Elgar Road in Katesgrove (project D),
  • £50k on a community centre as part of the co-location of community and health care provision in Whitley Wood, Church ward (project Y).

Signs for HGVs are needed at the junction of Elgar Road and Pell Street because lorries wishing to access Elgar Road south are sometimes unaware that bollards and recycling bins at the foot of Waterloo Road block the route from Elgar Road north. As a result, they have to reverse back along the street or go up Waterloo Road to turn round. The signs were originally budgeted at £10k but this has now been increased to £50k.

The remaining funds will be carried forward for future projects.

Elgar Road

Results of the consultation in south Reading

Participants in the consultation were asked to rank the projects in order of preference and state whether they lived in the area, worked in it or regularly visited it.

The table below sets out the projects, cost of each project, ranking from all respondents (136) and from those living in the area (83).

The highest priority project in South Reading, according to all respondents, was the promotion and enhancement of conservation areas (project Z). Respondents living in south Reading prioritised street sign de-cluttering and consolidation (project A). Both of these projects affect the whole borough.

The central zone (Battle, Abbey and Park wards) will fund the boroughwide enhancement of conservation areas, but no funding is proposed from any zone for de-cluttering streets.

The highest priority project that affects the south zone only, for all respondents, was a contribution towards the co-location of community and health care provision in Whitley Wood (project Y); for local residents the priority was the replacement of play units in Cintra Park (project J). These projects will both be funded.

One of the south Reading projects was painting a mural on the wall of the IDR on Katesgrove Lane (project T). This project was carried out with the assistance of Girls on Top as part of the Reading on Thames festival in September 2018.

Katesgrove Lane IDR mural

Projects shared with other areas

ProjectShared with
N=north, C=central W=west
Description(Anticipated Cost) / Updated Cost
£’000
Ranking from all respondentsRanking from respondents living in the area
AN, C, Wstreet sign de-cluttering and consolidation(50)/ 5051
EWchange in signs so that HGVs are aware of the weight limit on the Berkeley Avenue bridges(50)/ not specified2119
HN, C, Wgraffiti removal(75)/ 5066
IC20 mph enforcement cameras(75-100)/1001214
ZN, C, Wpromotion and enhancement of conservation areas(50)/ 5013
Total(300-325)/ 275 5050

Projects within south Reading only

ProjectWardDescription(Anticipated Cost) / Updated Cost
£’000
Ranking from all respondentsRanking from respondents living in the area
BChurchpedestrian crossing on Whitley Wood Road(50)/ 5044
CChurch, Katesgrove, Redlandsextend 20mph zone beyond Reading Girls School and pedestrian crossing by school(40)/ 4088
DKatesgrovesign at the entrance to Elgar Road N from Pell Street to advise HGVs that Elgar Road S cannot be accessed(10)/ 501917
FRedlandspedestrian crossing on Addington Road(50)/ 501820
JRedlandsreplacement play units in Cintra Park(95)/ 9532
KKatesgrovespecialised equipment for teenagers in Long Barn Lane recreation ground(80)/ 80712
LWhitleylandscaping in South Whitley Park(15)/ 151511
MKatesgroveplay area improvements in the Tank(85)/ 852224
NKatesgroveplay area improvements St Giles Close(60)/ 602525
OKatesgroveplay area improvements Waterloo Meadows(95)/ 951010
PKatesgroveoutdoor gym or parkour equipment in Long Barn Lane recreation ground(75)/ 751618
QRedlandsskate park in Cintra Park(95)/ 951413
RKatesgroveoutdoor table tennis tables in Katesgrove School playground(15-20)/ 202423
SChurchpark improvements off Linden Road(75)/ 75119
TKatesgrovepaint mural on IDR wall at Katesgrove Lane(not costed)/ not costed2022
UKatesgroveclean and repaint the IDR underpass at Katesgrove Lane(not costed)/ not costed97
VKatesgrovereplace three Katesgrove Community Association noticeboards(not costed)/ 102321
WWhitleyinstall play equipment at Whitley Wood recreation ground(not costed)/ not costed1316
XRedlandsreplace stolen street sign for Progress Theatre(0.35)/ 0.351715
YChurchcontribution towards co-location of community and health care provision in Whitley Wood(50)/ 5025
Total(890.35 – 895.35)/ 945.35

Public consultees offered 82 ideas in addition to the projects proposed by RBC. None of these additional ideas will be funded.

Background

At the RBC policy committee on 16 July, councillors agreed on the process to allocate CIL, a list of possible projects to spend the neighbourhood portion, and a public consultation. The papers presented to the committee also gave details of the total fund available up to 31 March 2018.

The 15% of the CIL available to spend on Reading’s neighbourhoods collected to the end of 31 March 2018 was just under £1 million. £325,923 dated back to the years ended 31 March 2016 and 2017, and £667,821 to the last financial year ending 31 March 2018. An additional £349,100 was collected up to 30 September 2018 which made the total CIL neighbourhood pot £1,342,844.

Some areas of Reading received substantially more CIL receipts than others; for example north Reading received only 3% of the total compared with 43% for south Reading. Between wards the differences are even more stark; Thames and Park ward did not receive any CIL money up to 30 September 2018 whereas Abbey ward received £407,783 (30.4%) and Whitley ward £460,998 (34.3%). That is because of the substantial developments taking place in these wards compared with others.

Twinned with the Whitley Pump

As foreshadowed at the September RBC policy committee, £30k has been recommended for improving the dog fountain in St Laurence’s churchyard. Will it flow again?

St Laurence’s Church Fountain

The council policy committee meeting will take place at 6.30 pm on Monday 26 November at the Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU and is expected to be webcast.


Links
  1. Community Infrastructure Levy
  2. RBC – Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule
  3. Supplementary Planning Document on Planning Obligations under S106
  4. Consultation on allocation of the neighbourhood portion of Community infrastructure Levy
  5. Map of CIL areas
  6. RBC Policy Committee 16 July 2018 – papers & webcast
  7. RBC Policy Committee 26 November 2018 – papers & webcast
  8. Twinned with the Whitley Pump – St Laurence’s Drinking Fountain