April was a month of contrasting fortunes for Reading’s two major regeneration projects. Royal Elm Park, a convention centre and hotel complex adjoining Madejski stadium, was enthusiastically approved by the council, to wide acclaim from the business community. By contrast, Station Hill is being put up for sale, which will likely see the proposals back on the drawing board. Since 2005, variations of plans have come and gone. The five hectare site adjacent to Reading Station was supposed to transform the town, but years on it hasn’t lived up to its incredible potential. Station Hill really is the Jack Wilshere of regeneration schemes. Continue reading “Reading’s Regeneration – a game of two halves”
A new residential district for Reading is proposed at Weldale St – the current disused Wickes site. The plans were on display this week at an exhibition at Greyfriars Church. For those who didn’t make it, here’s what was presented. Continue reading “Foundry Quarter, Weldale St”
A year ago I set out half a dozen hopes and expectations for 2016. I think we’ve managed three out of six. Let’s take a look at what’s been ticked off, and throw in a few extra things to look out for in 2017. Continue reading “A look ahead to Reading’s 2017”
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?”
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?”
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”
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”