11:02AM, Thursday 16 January 2014
Householders in a 'quiet' cul-de-sac are objecting to plans to turn a former care home into 10 flats.
Burfield Construction has bought the old Abbeyfield Carehome in Hardwick Close and submitted an application with the Royal Borough to convert the building into seven two-bed and three one-bed apartments.
Hardwick Close householders say the plans, drawn up by DLK Architects of Reading, are not fitting with the area's character.
Husband and wife Joyce and Richard Cawthorpe have lived in the street for 23 years.
They are opposed to 'high density' housing in area, saying two or three detached houses for families or older people would be more appropriate.
Richard said: "We had hoped the redevelopment would be in keeping with the environment. Peaceful, quiet and well spread out."
The couple feel the new flats will attract buy-to-let landlords or young, first-time buyers.
This, they say, is not consistent with the street's character, which they feel is suited to older people and families.
Richard said: "We feel that type of high density development should be built near to the town centre."
The developer's plans include provisions for 17 parking spaces.
Joyce added the extra traffic will add to noise and make the street more dangerous for children who play there.
Ann Thomson, who lives in Hardwick Close, volunteered at the old people's home for 23 years before its closure in October.
The 79-year-old said: "Four houses would be ok. It would fit in with the area. We do not want flats there."
Residents are concerned that if the council approves the project, it will set a precedent for more high-density developments.
Ann added: "If you start putting flats in, the whole area is going to change. It won't have the same sort of atmosphere."
The unhappy residents say they will be sending letters of objection to the borough.
Burfield Construction could not be contacted for comment.
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