Transformative development of Station Hill has been granted planning approval by Reading Borough Council. This decision completes the comprehensive vision for the seven-acre regeneration project, adjacent to Reading Station.
Occupied for decades by an NCP Car Park (Garrard Street) and Xafinity House, this prominent site will provide a new gateway for Reading. Brought forward by Lincoln MGT (Lincoln Property Company and MGT Investment Management), there will be best-in-class offices for approx. 9,000 new jobs, space for retail, cafés and restaurants, and up to 750 private and affordable homes. The planning permission will also deliver substantial, high-quality public realm, which can be used all-year round by the local community.
The design has been coordinated by an international collective, including CallisonRTKL as project master planner and architect for the residential and hotel buildings; Gensler as the architect for the commercial office buildings and LDA Design as landscape architects for the public realm.
Cannon Ivers, a director at LDA Design and project lead for Station Hill, said: “Reading is shaped by two rivers, the Thames and the Kennet, and we have drawn inspiration from how they flow to create desire lines through Station Hill, encouraging people passing through to slow their pace and stay awhile, with inviting places to rest, play and catch up with colleagues or friends.” A flexible central square with a lounging lawn is designed to host outdoor cinema, local events, food markets and pop-ups.
The development, totalling over 2.5million sq ft, encompasses a number of infrastructure benefits to the town as a whole, including a level connection from the Station through to Friar Street, a new pocket park at the exit to the underpass adjacent to the Station and an urban link bridge, combining to deliver a greener and more accessible welcome to Reading.
Alex Aitchison, Director of Development at Lincoln Property Company, comments that it is people that create a sense of place. “With an ongoing programme of community engagement and public art, we will ensure Station Hill is not just a warm welcome to Reading, but a place that is a destination in and of itself.”
Lincoln MGT intend to start preparatory works in spring of this year, with a view to having completed the new entrance from Reading Station, One Station Hill, a new public square, and link bridge through to the new 550+ BTR community by 2024.