Have your say on Hosier St Plans

I think residents underestimate the influence they have on the development of our town.  One small decision locally stood out for me over the summer: the refusal of flood lights for existing tennis courts in suburban Reading.  Whilst the main reason for refusal was linked to the light directly, the documentation reveals local complaints related to noise were also upheld:

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Planning appeal outcome on floodlights for existing suburban tennis courts in Reading

“Youthful high spirits!” Look, I’ve nothing to suggest the correct laws and processes weren’t applied.  Maybe those laws should be reviewed, but my main point here is that we need people to be more community-spirited than the folk at number 23.  Wouldn’t it be great if people directed their energy and influence to making exciting new things happen, rather than constantly protesting against the endeavours of others?  As it happens, this week – Wednesday 5th September – you have a chance (actually a second chance) to do exactly that.  The council is consulting on initials ideas for the regeneration of a swathe of central Reading, including Hosier St, the former civic centre site, and the police station.  I went to the first consultation earlier in the summer.  Continue reading “Have your say on Hosier St Plans”

Have your say on Hosier St Plans

Street Food heading indoors

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I find whales fascinating.  (Bear with me.)  After millions of years, fish evolved into creatures that ultimately ventured out of the water onto land.  We lost the gills, gained some lungs, and mammals then roamed the earth.  Some of those mammals then stumbled across the oceans and quite enjoyed a swim, eventually giving up the land entirely for an evolutionary path leading to whales.  Over a slightly shorter timeframe, we’ve seen the street food concept burst out of the kitchen to roam free.  Yet apparently now it’s ready for a further progression – heading back indoors.  Like the whale, street food appears to have gone full circle, lured to return to its physically constrained origins.  Okay.  Tenuous.  But you’d get bored with yet another “I’ve just spotted a new planning application…” post wouldn’t you? Continue reading “Street Food heading indoors”

Street Food heading indoors

Gaol Hype

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The community interest company known as Theatre & Arts Reading (TAR) has today released details of its vision for an arts complex at Reading Gaol.  The 1970’s Hexagon theatre is a true Reading landmark, and is well loved locally having endeared itself to at least a couple of generations over the years.  My childhood Hexagon highlight was the Sooty show, whilst more recently, if I admit it, I do quite enjoy the travelling West End musicals my wife “drags me along to”.  I’m perhaps not the culture vulture that TAR is aiming at, but when I’ve spoken to people who are closer to the arts scene, they tend to complain about the Hexagon. Continue reading “Gaol Hype”

Gaol Hype

Centred about Town, with guest opinion

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After a lot of interest in my last post about Christmas trade, I thought it would be good to get the opinions of the great and good on the future of the town centre.  To give you an element of relief from my own ramblings, I wrote to some of the town’s movers and shakers to get you some further insight.  I’m pleasantly surprised to have received many great responses, so here you are – the views that matter… ok, and maybe one or two of my own as well. Continue reading “Centred about Town, with guest opinion”

Centred about Town, with guest opinion

A big shout out to 2018

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A new year is upon us, and an unmissable chance to revisit some of last year’s highlights and to look ahead to what might be making waves in 2018. Continue reading “A big shout out to 2018”

A big shout out to 2018

Reading’s Local Plan

The council is currently consulting on the final draft of its “local plan” covering the development of Reading up to 2036.  I’ve taken a look through the document.

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Continue reading “Reading’s Local Plan”

Reading’s Local Plan

5 Reading buildings that could be put to better use

1) The Lower Ship, Duke Street

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Any list of misused buildings in Reading has to start with The Lower Ship on Duke Street – a pub/hotel that’s been boarded up since the late eighties when it was sold to Yorkshire Brewery Samuel Smith’s.   Continue reading “5 Reading buildings that could be put to better use”

5 Reading buildings that could be put to better use