Plans have been drawn up to replace Reading’s Bristol & West Arcade with a 186-room hotel.

Sonic Star Properties was granted permission in 2019 for a mixed-use scheme including offices, flats and shops and a pub at the long-neglected arcade in Friar Street  but, following the drop in demand for retail and office space, the developer has drawn up the new proposals.

Under the new plans, the arcade and former Brook Henderson offices above will be demolished for the eight-storey hotel (including existing basement), but public thoroughfare will be maintained through the hotel entrance which will lead to a spill-out patio dining area from the hotel restaurant and bar.

The hotel scheme is currently out for consultation and plans will be submitted to Reading Borough Council in the new year.

Sonic Star Properties has had discussions with a number of UK and international hotel operators to run the proposed hotel which will face onto Friar Street, close to Reading Town Hall.

As part of the new scheme, listed buildings at 27-32 Market Place including the former Cooper’s Arms pub will be refurbished in line with the 2019 permission, into two shops with eight flats above.

Once complete, Sonic Star Properties says the scheme will create around 100 jobs. The developer hopes work could start as early as next Summer with completion in late 2022.

Online consultation events have been arranged for December. Visit

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