Where Next?

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Last month, Thames Valley Property reported that Next is to relocate from Broad Street to The Oracle next year.  It could turn out that 2017 is a difficult year for Reading’s retailers, but could this be the time to look to the future for our central shopping area. Continue reading “Where Next?”

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Where Next?

Towering Aspirations or the Height of Madness?

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This year has seen a succession of high-rise living proposals emerge for central Reading.  Each seems to provoke a similar outburst of polarised opinions.  Here I take a canter through each of the plans, and examine the debate on whether we should be wary or welcoming of this new trend. Continue reading “Towering Aspirations or the Height of Madness?”

Towering Aspirations or the Height of Madness?

Walking the Walk – Queens, Kings & Friars

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Whether it be for Queens, Kings or Friars, it seems Reading isn’t very good at “Walks”.  This simple suffix seems sufficient to ensure failure – in Reading it’s a jinx.  Here I review their recent tribulations and take a look at plans and possibilities to get them walking tall.

Continue reading “Walking the Walk – Queens, Kings & Friars”

Walking the Walk – Queens, Kings & Friars

Homebase/Toys R Us – Kenavon Drive update

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There was a further opportunity today to see how the proposals are coming along for the redevelopment of the Homebase and Toys R Us sites.  The firm behind the plans is London & Quadrant.  They are a housing association, but do their own planning and construction, as well as developing for private sale (they presumably write and sing theme tunes too).  They do certainly believe in community consultation.  Having previously exhibited “concept” images in June, they’re back now with high-res CGIs and even a matchstick model.  I reviewed the proposals then and the latest plans are essentially identical.

Continue reading “Homebase/Toys R Us – Kenavon Drive update”

Homebase/Toys R Us – Kenavon Drive update

Swan Heights, the Thames and a Tunnel

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Last Friday I attended a public exhibition at the Town Hall for revised proposals for the development previously known as Swan Heights to be built on the former BMW site on Napier Road.  Here’s what I picked up, and some follow up thoughts…  Continue reading “Swan Heights, the Thames and a Tunnel”

Swan Heights, the Thames and a Tunnel

Station Hill – no news whatsoever

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The largely derelict Station Hill site was bought by John Madejski’s property company in March 2005.  Eleven and a half years later, progress has been painfully slow.  With no news on the project in months you can only imagine my excitement upon noticing last week that the website logo in the top right-hand corner of the screen had been updated!  Whilst the Station Hill developers are somewhat tardy at building buildings, in relation they’re positively prolific at building websites.  By now I should surely be writing a piece about gleaming new architecture?  In the absence of any bricks and mortar, and thanks to the little-known online gem that is the “wayback machine” internet archive, here instead is my history of the StationHillReading.co.uk website.

Continue reading “Station Hill – no news whatsoever”

Station Hill – no news whatsoever

East Reading MRT – widening the debate

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This week I attended a public consultation on the East Reading MRT.  MRT stands for mass rapid transit.  The proposal is for a new link from the big Tesco’s on Napier Road through to Thames Valley Park, including a bridge over the Kennet.  A new park & ride scheme would be based at the eastern end.  The media have picked up some local opposition to the impact to the riverside, but I think they miss a bigger picture. Continue reading “East Reading MRT – widening the debate”

East Reading MRT – widening the debate