Councillors have approved plans for a 182-room hotel at Reading’s derelict Bristol & West arcade.

Reading Borough Council’s planning applications committee approved plans by Sonic Star Properties for the hotel which also includes restoration of three Grade ll-listed retail units in Market Place with eight residential units above, at its July 21 meeting.

The retail units, which will for flexible Class E use, include the former Coopers Arms pub.

The hotel plan is for a four-star, eight-storey building of up to 182 rooms with bar, restaurant, and gym on the ground floor.

Cllr Tony Page, lead member for strategic, environment, planning and transport, said: “There are not many towns or cities where hotel groups are looking to bring forward this sort of size and quality of hotel that’s being proposed her and I welcome it.”

The approval came against opposition from the Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee.

But Cllr Page said: “The worst thing you can have in a conservation area is dereliction and it is long-term dereliction we have seen here.”

The meeting heard the hotel operator is on board and wants to proceed quickly.

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