PLANS for a massive development on the land surrounding Madejski Stadium is set to be approved by council chiefs later this month, it has been revealed.

The club's Thai owners - who are in the process of selling Reading FC - made an audacious bid to build hundreds of apartments, a hotel, a business centre and an ice rink.

The development, which will cost in the region of £500m, caught the eyes of planning officers who have recommended council members approve the bid.

A report released today reads: "The site would offer significant economic benefits both during construction and in the operational phases of development and would contribute to reducing local deprivation in terms of skills development, job opportunities and social benefits such as health provision.

"It is the view of officers that, technically, the site can be developed safely subject to stringent conditions and S106 obligations as recommended and discussed.

"While the proposals are not fully compliant with all relevant policies, and there will be some impacts, the officer view is that the significant economic and other benefits of the scheme as a whole outweigh those concerns.

"The application is therefore recommended for approval."

If the plans are approved at a council meeting on April 26, the project will see Reading FC's academy training centre, known as The Dome, knocked down as part of the development.

A separate application is currently being considered by Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) to move The Dome's pitch to Forest Boys' School in Winnersh.

Fans who park in the stadium on matchdays will have to find an alternative place to park however because the development will see the current car park removed.

The hotel will include an indoor swimming pool, 246 bedrooms and more than 100 parking spaces.

There will also be a multi-storey car park, able to house more than 600 vehicles and a convention centre capable of hosting around 6,000 delegates at once.

Residents living in Whitley raised concerns about excessive parking in streets around the stadium once the car park is taken away.

A response within the report reads: "With the loss of open-air car parks, it is not clear where the forty or so buses park during football matches and if they are able to load quickly after the games.

"The reduction in car park spaces and the probable loss of the Worton Grange Park and Walk will lead to excessive parking in local streets for matches."

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