Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning committee on Wednesday 6 February deferred making a decision on the application (181117) to demolish the Red Lion public house on Southampton Street until the next meeting.
The proposal was for 11 apartments arranged over four floors and a basement which would replace the Red Lion and the property next door at 38 London Street.
Katesgrove Councillor Rose Williams requested the deferral and drew the attention of the committee to the view from Deansgate Road opposite and said that the building was of some merit. She continued:
Once the building has gone it’s gone forever and that to me is still a major site on the edge of a conservation area, right opposite the church which deserves a little bit more attention to detail before we sign it off.
Councillors said that they needed to make a visit to the site. They also requested that an air quality assessment be carried out and that the developer, MacNiven Quays, provide samples of the materials to be used and illustrations in colour of what the finished building would look like.
An application had been made to Historic England (HE) for the buildings to be listed but they refused because the building did not have sufficient architectural interest:
- the Red Lion has been greatly altered internally, with the loss of almost all of its original internal features and plan form at ground floor level. Externally, it is of a standard design for its period and has also undergone unsympathetic alteration,
- the adjacent house, 38 Southampton Street, is earlier but is a fragmentary survival, and appears to have lost much of its historic fabric, original appearance and plan.
HE also granted a certificate of immunity (1461594) against listing within the next five years.