PLANS to install student accommodation near the town centre have finally been given the green light following a successful appeal.

Designs submitted by Barton Willmore for 103 units were initially rejected by Reading Borough Council's planning committee.

The purpose-built development was designed for East Street to address the need for more facilities for the town's growing student population.

A similar project at St Patrick's Hall was also rejected by the council and revised plans have been re-submitted to the authority.

The planning inspectorate has overturned the council's decision, after the project to transform a 'redundant' car park were rejected.

Craig Pettit, senior planner at Barton Willmore, said: “The planning inspectorate’s decision is a welcome one and one that will have long-term benefits for Reading.

"This includes freeing up existing housing stock by alleviating the prevalence of HMOs, the additional expenditure by students in the town and delivering much needed accommodation for students.

“Indeed, the inspector makes some key comments in his decision, regarding the emerging student accommodation policy within the draft Local Plan.

"We are also pleased to be able to make a positive contribution to one of Reading’s valued Conservation Areas.”

He concluded that the new development would actually 'enhance the character and appearance' of the Conservation Area.

Members of the council rejected the initial design on the basis that the building would fail to preserve the Market Street and London Street area.

The council was approached for further comment.