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Author Topic: Planning? What planning?  (Read 1269 times)
stuving
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« on: November 06, 2018, 05:52:17 pm »

You have to feel sorry for all those creative types at Grimshaw, who beaver away for years to make your new station look pretty, only to find one of these gets plonked down in front of it (this is your first view of the station from the end of Station Road).
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eightonedee
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 05:55:05 pm »

Thankfully, on my usual commute, changing from Thames Valley to North Downs and vice versa I won't have to see this!

What ever happened to tasteful statues of royalty?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 05:57:30 pm »

They don't bring in the money!
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
stuving
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 06:03:47 pm »

They don't bring in the money!

But to whom? Who owns that bit of land? (And it would still need planing permission, wouldn't it?)
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 06:19:50 pm »

I presume the council do?  It is plonked right on where the old road used to go, so wasn't 'railway' land then, and the redevelopment of that area was a council led scheme IIRC, independant of (though linked with) the reading station remodelling.
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 06:37:51 pm »

I presume the council do?  It is plonked right on where the old road used to go, so wasn't 'railway' land then, and the redevelopment of that area was a council led scheme IIRC, independant of (though linked with) the reading station remodelling.

Yep, used to be a road - and that's the first time I've ever heard Reading station described as "pretty"!
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stuving
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 09:03:11 pm »

I did find its planning documents (application 180410), which don't say (that I can find) who owns the site - so perhaps it is the council and they are not proud of themselves. There is a heritage statement from the applicants, and an assessment from the planners which sees no adverse issues. But then "heritage" consists only of what's got a listing, so the Three Guineas and a few things further away. However, the five public comments (one from the owners of Thames Tower) and the Conservation Area Appraisal Committee are all agin' it, the CAAC quite vehemently so.

The bit of the heritage statement that refers to visual impact in general, rather than listed stuff, reads:
Quote
4.10 While it is recognised that the proposed digital screen will be noticeable in views of the listed former Station building, its location has been well considered in this context. In this regard, the proposed screen will be positioned so that it reads against the backdrop of the circa 2014 footbridge addition at the western end of the station. This will ensure that the proposed screen will not impede the key views of the heritage asset from the western end of Blagrave Street looking northwest, in particular (Plate 1 and Plate 2). It is also important to note that the screen will be obscured in other views, such as that from the northern end of Station Road, given the presence of Thames House (Plate 3). To the southwest of the station the terrain falls away beyond the entrance to the 2014 footbridge addition (i.e. Station Hill), which combined with the orientation of the screen (facing southeast), will lessen its prominence when read against the listed former Station building.

That bit about "it reads against the backdrop of the circa 2014 footbridge addition at the western end of the station" is a bit cheeky, isn't it? Certainly if you look back at the council's plans for the "public realm", and some councillors' aspirations for a station building of quality, the thing just looks all wrong.

But what did the plans say it would look like? This is Maxx Media's picture in the planning statement that's closest to mine. From there, of course you can't see the station - I went forward to the corner of Thames Tower, where you first can, so the lamp post is in my picture.
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stuving
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2019, 06:43:06 pm »

I finally got round to taking a picture to match the one Maxx Media did for planning (post above). It's not absolutely spot on for camera position, though it must be within a few inches. Given their picture has had some artifice applied to it I suspect it can't be matched exactly. In any case, it does show ... well, can you see any differences between what they said we'd see and what they have put up?
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2019, 07:00:23 pm »

Thats absolutely awful (ruder words are available).  How to ruin a fairly good, if somewhat modern looking station approach...... Angry
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Reading General
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2019, 09:48:43 pm »

Bloody awful and unnecessary. Part of the councils 'vision' to completely ignore anything of former civic pride and flog themselves as 'were not far from london'?

I don't know what the idea of the Station Hill closure was, simply that the lead transport councilor had wanted it closed for a long time. I recall him not wanting arriving people to cross a road outside the station, but this road crossing has simply been moved further into the town centre at the carfax of Friar Street and Station Road. The latter has a narrow pavement down one side cluttered with bus stops which arrived when the stops were evicted from Station Hill and re-distributed to points around the Town Centre.

When the 'Stations' (as it was still called by older drivers) terminus was still in use, before the closure of the road, I was under the impression that the bus stops within the layby that existed against the wall of the station was rail land and the outer stops on the island were the public land. So I should well imagine that the boundary between the two is an unmarked line across the front of the station where the island used to be, although a section of that has been taken down to the original land level.

From a public transport point of view, closing Station Hill to buses is one of the daftest things that Reading Borough Council have ever done! It is difficult to believe that they own the bus company given how little they communicated with each other regarding the change. The closure has removed, not just the terminus for every bus route bar the cross town routes (which because of closure and diversion is down to one), it has removed the only route across the Town Centre available when the others are closed for various reasons, forcing buses on diversion into regular traffic on the Inner Distribution Road. Also missing now is the space for buses to wait time or stack for the next journey. The bus network has ended up all radial routes with no Town Centre terminus. Some routes don't even make it to the Railway station!

What has been left behind after the terminus was removed is a large private/public square backed by the ugliest NCP car park ever built, a large area for idling taxis and cars awaiting loved ones (so buses have been replaced by car access) and a ludicrously ugly wall of a wheelchair ramp. Occasionally I have even seen said councilor stood overlooking his creation and looking very pleased with himself. In return the buses got the self styled north entrance 'interchange', which is some bus stops at the northern entrance to the station. These are used only by buses heading for north Reading (which have been cut back enormously by Reading Buses) and require a double back manoeuvre during the route to use. It isn't even possible to get parallel with the kerb on one of the stops because of the road layout, a poor use of space. There isn't really much way back for the town's public transport now, the streets are at capacity in the Town Centre for buses and there is no more space for additional routes, unless cross town routes were re-instated, but the one way nature of the Town Centre makes these complicated.

So I shouldn't have been surprised when the tacky advertising screen arrived as all other planning seems to be ill thought out.

Cheers
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Reading General
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2019, 09:58:01 pm »

It's worth noting that, because the land is built up outside the station, it would have been possible to have a short tunnel (or wide bridge) across the front of the station, then the bus terminus and through route accessed by stairs, escalators and lifts below. Of course this wouldn't have stopped large advertising screens appearing.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2019, 09:27:50 pm »

Those who go back a little way (1970s and 80s) remember when we had quite a good transport hub on the south side of Reading Station. There was a subway under Station Hill leading to the old Thames Valley/Alder Valley bus station under the old Top Rank dance hall for out of town buses and "Corporation" buses leaving from the bus stops outside the station as described by RG for many (but not all) town services.

I am afraid the current arrangements are a definite step backwards for inter-modal public transport, even if the old subway was not a particularly pleasant experience
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