Oracle East plans – detailed plans published

View of Oracle East from above Queens Road Car park

I’ve covered this major scheme already, but with the full plans now visible online we can see all the details. The proposed 449 build-to-rent apartments are split either side of the river, with 202 on the Debenhams side and 247 on the Vue side. The cinema stays but is reduced from 11 to 7 screens. The visual above shows the scheme from the east, with the buildings reducing down to five storeys at the London Street end, with rooflines vaguely echoing the former bus depot that many will remember from the site’s former life.

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Oracle East plans – detailed plans published

HexBox and library relocation plans win government funds

Hexagon extension visual

This week it was revealed the council has secured £19.1M to progress with two highly significant projects. The Hexagon will gain a 200-seat studio theatre for performances and community use, along with a new accessible entrance foyer to the existing 950-seat main theatre. Meanwhile, the central library will relocate to a new extension of the council’s Bridge Street civic offices.

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HexBox and library relocation plans win government funds

The front-runners for 2023

New apartment towers at the eastern end of The Oracle

The end of the year is the obvious opportunity to review the past 12 months, and to look at what’s to come during the next lap of sun. After a tumultuous year internationally, and nationally for that matter, let’s keep things local for a few minutes. 2022 saw a number of projects galloping forwards, whilst others seem perpetually stuck in the traps. One project that’s come up on the rails from nowhere is the Oracle’s major scheme, which was submitted for planning permission this week – more on that shortly. But let’s take a more leisurely canter through the runners and riders for 2023.

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The front-runners for 2023

Friar Street – Finding the Way Forward

Recent months have seen a flurry of new and altered plans for developments along Friar Street, as well as construction continuing on the new Friars Walk. Let’s take a look through the progress, and the context of how this street fits within the evolving story of Reading Town Centre.

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Friar Street – Finding the Way Forward

Jury’s Inn Plan Swaps Sites

New hotel front view

London-based developer Thackeray has revealed new plans for a Jury’s Inn on the site of Revolucion de Cuba, formerly occupied by HMV for those with long enough memories. The hotel chain had been in line to anchor a redevelopment of the old Bristol & West Arcade opposite the town hall, but that scheme fell through and the site sold on. The online consultation event, organised by Reading Civic Society, revealed further details…

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Jury’s Inn Plan Swaps Sites

Cosmo Corner – Future Friar Street

New proposals have emerged for a 103-home build-to-rent scheme adjacent to the Station Hill development on Friar Street. The developer, Shaviram Group, held an online consultation and has published materials online where you can provide your feedback. Here’s what I picked up on this latest residential plan for Reading town centre.

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Cosmo Corner – Future Friar Street

A closer look at Kings Meadow View

Forbury Retail Park from above

Another vast new residential regeneration project has been unveiled this week. This time it’s Forbury Retail Park in the spotlight. As always, I went along to the public consultation to see what’s going on. I’ll try to cover the facts, but I can’t help but express more than one central reservation about these new plans.

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A closer look at Kings Meadow View