The news that Reading’s Station Hill is steaming ahead is some rare good news but you would be forgiven for keeping your fingers crossed for the future.

The proposed Spring start on the 275,000 sq ft office building – One Station Hill – suggests developer Lincoln MGT is looking to get passed lockdown before getting going.

That seems sensible but you can’t help but wonder what will happen if restrictions and lockdowns return and, after all these years, the brakes start to be applied to what is probably the longest running development story in the Thames Valley.

If, as we are led to believe, this is the period when light is appearing at the end of the Covid tunnel, it would be nice to see our MPs getting behind businesses and those seeking to make things happen, rather than seeking to stop them.

In Bracknell, just as work is starting on the next impressive phase of The Lexicon, a KPMG report has cast a shadow over what is one of the most admired new town centres.

Pre-Covid, Bracknell was fighting the retail troubles with vigour. A revamp was announced at Princess Square and work on The Deck, the latest phase of The Lexicon, was coming closer.

Now it seems 1,505 of its retail jobs could go. While that is a dire statistic, the news would be sweetened if we could be sure Bracknell will be allowed to adapt to the modern demand for leisure.

But again, if lockdowns and restrictions are hanging over the town, that will hinder its chances of recovering.

And with so many other Thames Valley towns on the verge of regeneration, now, more than ever, they need to be given encouragement from authorities.

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