The planning application for the mixed-use scheme proposed for Reading Station Shopping Park has been submitted but faces inevitable delay because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Barton Willmore, on behalf of Aviva Investors, submitted the application to Reading Borough Council at the end of February. It is awaiting validation by the authority before it can be published online.

The outline application is for between 750 and 950 flats, plus offices, a hotel and retail and community space at the 1.77-hectare site in Vastern Road. It is currently home to TGI Fridays, Majestic Wine Warehouse, Aldi, The Range and a vacant former Mothercare unit.

Barton Willmore engagement director Kate Greatrix said: “I can confirm we submitted the application at the end of February but in light of the awful circumstances (COVID-19), our expectation is that, like many planning applications, it will be significantly delayed.

“On behalf of everybody involved we would like to wish everyone well in these difficult times. Be safe, be kind and care.”

More than 70 people attended the second public consultation in October 2019 and there were 208 feedback forms submitted.

Aspects of the scheme members of the public like, include:

  • Walkways and cycle access through to the Thames
  • Green spaces
  • Reduced height of the tallest building
  • The overall design and layout
  • Improved cycle routes.
  • Providing inner city living
  • Being car free other than for car clubs
  • Providing new homes and shops

The concerns people mentioned include:

  • Strain on local facilities/services – especially GPs
  • Losing Aldi and free car parking
  • Potential increase in traffic
  • Lack of parking
  • Oversupply of flats and offices
  • Height of the tallest building

The scheme is directly opposite Berkeley Homes’ plans for 209 flats in Vastern Road.

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