A mixed-use development with up to 1,000 flats in Reading can go ahead after an error by Reading Borough Council.

The long-running battle over Aviva Life and Pensions’ outline plans to redevelop Reading Station Shopping Park (RSSP) at Vastern Court for a mix of flats, offices, community facilities and retail has ended with success for the developer because a High Court challenge by the council had failed to follow correct procedures.

Aviva’s plans for the high-rise scheme were first made public in 2019 and the developer went to appeal in 2021 over Reading Borough Council’s non-determination. The council later decided its position would have been to refuse planning permission.

In April 2023 a planning inspector dismissed the appeal but in March this year, then Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, overturned that decision.

A Reading Borough Council spokesperson said: “Due to a procedural error, the Council’s legal challenge relating to Vastern Court has been regretfully withdrawn. While the Council lodged the application to the High Court in time, service to other parties was not completed on time, resulting in a technical breach of procedure.

 “While obviously disappointing, the council fully stands by its original grounds for refusal, which were upheld by an independent Planning Inspector. We would emphasise that the withdrawn legal challenge relates to an outline planning permission only, which means there need to be further applications submitted for approval.  These applications will be considered on their merits.”

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