Date Published 22 November 2018
Hugh Forte, Get Reading wrote Designs for a massive 650 home, office and retail plan in Reading town centre have been cautiously welcomed by people in the town.
And the 25-storey Reading Metropolitan development on the former Royal Mail depot next to Reading Station is likely to feature a number of town houses, as well as flats.
An exhibition into Hermes' plans for the site in Caversham Road was held on Tuesday, November 21, and curious people from around Reading went to the New Hope Centre in York Road to find out more.
Architect Bill Soper told get reading it is hoped the development will get permission next year and work will start in early 2020. He said the current plans are to have around 650 residential units, as well as offices and retail units. He added a company had already shown interest in a proposed large retail unit on the site. Mr Soper also confirmed the site is likely to have a community centre and a health centre for people who live there. The plan that will be submitted will be an outline one, asking for permission to develop the site in Reading, Berkshire. Detailed applications will then be submitted as the project progresses. Mr Soper also confirmed an underground car park with just 80 spaces will be included in the plan.
People at the exhibition cautiously welcomed the plan, with one urging Reading Borough Council to take the opportunity to use the cash generated from it to revamp a nearby park. The man, who asked not to be named, said: "Broadly speaking I quite like this development. "The area is a rundown part of town which is mostly vacant. "I'd much rather have a high density development like this in the town near Reading Station than on green land. House prices in Reading and Wokingham fall again "What I'd like to see is the council use some of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money to enhance Christchurch Meadows. "There are pockets of space planned for within the development, but there will be around 1,000 people living there who will want to go to the park, so it's a good chance to do it up a bit. "I'd also like to see a local exhibition space or somewhere that could be used for local businesses." Former Reading councillor Richard Stainthorp was also at the exhibition. He said: "I think the concept is very good. "I'll be interested to see how the building work goes as building next to railway lines is always fraught with problems."
Richard Bennett, chairman of Reading Civic Society, added: "My early thoughts are that it looks like a good design - it's definitely better than what's there now.
"I think it's potentially a good look for this sort of site."