The development site, referred to as Worton Grange, is eight hectares of vacant land located at the southern gateway to Reading. It was home to Hewlett Packard’s UK headquarters until 2006 when the company relocated to Bracknell. Since then, the site has remained vacant. The former buildings were demolished in 2010. Worton Grange Industrial Limited owns the entire site and is bringing forward exciting redevelopment proposals – and we would welcome your views on this.
The vacant site is something of an eyesore in south Reading, but has the potential to be transformed into much more. Prominently located directly north-east of the A33 between Imperial Way and Basingstoke Road, Worton Grange is ideally located for redevelopment which will enhance its immediate setting and approach into Reading.
Background and history
The site has a history of providing employment in commercial and industrial activities. The site was previously occupied by Hewlett Packard (HP) as their UK headquarters, but HP decided to relocate to Bracknell in 2006. This meant that the Worton Grange site was shut down and a significant number of jobs were lost. Worton Grange Industrial Limited (WGIL) bought the site in 2006.
WGIL has been discussing redevelopment possibilities with Reading Borough Council and the local community since 2006. We held our first public exhibition in November 2007 at St Paul’s Church Hall.
The credit crunch and recession meant that the original plans for the site had to be abandoned.
In March 2010, a second exhibition was held at St Paul’s Church Hall, consulting on warehousing proposals for the site and also ideas for a mixed-use redevelopment. People did not seem averse to the warehousing scheme but preferred the mixed-use scheme.
Planning permission for the warehousing development was granted by Reading Borough Council in February 2011 and this permission has recently (March 2014) been renewed for a further three year period.
We have been working on a new mixed-use scheme since summer 2013 and aim to submit a planning application in the summer of 2014.