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.

Continue reading “Cosmo Corner – Future Friar Street”
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.

Continue reading “A closer look at Kings Meadow View”
A closer look at Kings Meadow View

Jury’s Out for ex-Arcade Hotel Plan

New plans have been lodged for a hotel to replace the former Bristol & West arcade opposite Reading town hall. This is something of a saga site, with a troubled recent history of abandoned construction and a multitude of stalled proposals that I’ve covered on these pages before. The latest plans constitute only minor amendments to the physical appearance of the most recently approved scheme. However, developers now propose a hotel rather than an office/retail hybrid.

Continue reading “Jury’s Out for ex-Arcade Hotel Plan”
Jury’s Out for ex-Arcade Hotel Plan

Queen Victoria Courtyard Scheme Unveiled

On these pages, I’ve frequently emphasised the need to drive Reading’s offer forward, to keep the visitors from neighbouring towns coming, and therefore to underpin the overall vitality of the town centre. Yet I reflect now that perhaps the biggest competition to those aims is not Oxford, Basingstoke and Newbury, but rather Amazon, Deliveroo and Netflix. Will the Covid lifestyle stick, or will there be a collective clamour to return to the physical, or the “in real life”? Thankfully, whilst lockdowns have shut us all indoors, that hasn’t stopped the investors and architects forming new plans to haul us off our sofas and back into town.

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Queen Victoria Courtyard Scheme Unveiled

After Covid…

sunrise over Kenavon Drive, Reading
Sunrise over Reading. Photo by Caroline Gratrix, Viva Photography

Readers may know this blog promotes the town centre. In the current Covid predicament, clearly the economic health of the high street is far surpassed as a concern by the public health risks of the pandemic. This is not a rallying call to head to the shops at the present time. But perhaps it is a good point to be asking questions about how we might plan for when the sun rises on a post-Covid Reading.

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After Covid…

Broad St. Bunker Bowl Plan Revealed!

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It’s a case of “Anything you can do” for Reading’s Broad Street Mall. Following news last year that The Oracle has lodged plans for bowling and mini golf to replace the lower floors of House of Fraser, the Broad Street Mall has found a tenant to provide… mini golf and bowling. “Bunker Reading”, in the storage basement of the former Argos store, would provide a 12-hole mini-golf course, together with a two-lane bowling lounge. It’s a bold move to go up against Hammerson’s much larger leisure scheme, but I think this place looks the business, and they look likely to strike first.

Continue reading “Broad St. Bunker Bowl Plan Revealed!”

Broad St. Bunker Bowl Plan Revealed!

Station Hill North – Reflections on the Future

Gensler_Station_Hill_CAM2_10

In an unpredictable world, one constant we can rely upon is that every few months there will be new images of the potential regeneration of Reading’s Station Hill. The long-running saga has had more twists and turns than the landscaped pathways featured in the latest plans, so I’ll suggest you switch back to my previous posts for more on the history. This weekend’s exhibition coincides with the submission of a planning application for the northern part of the site. Let me take you through the new proposals. Continue reading “Station Hill North – Reflections on the Future”

Station Hill North – Reflections on the Future