A revamp of a “key” part of the town centre has been updated following criticism by 18 organisations and individuals.

Concerns were raised in response to a consultation into Reading Borough Council's (RBC) Hosier Street Area Framework.

The framework covers Hosier Street and the surrounding area and includes sites such as the former Civic Offices, Broad Street Mall, and the Thames Valley Police headquarters.

The height and density of proposed buildings in the plans have been criticised as well as a lack of open space.

The Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) called proposals for an upgraded market in the Minster Square area “half-hearted and not thought through.”

The organisation added: “This is the site of Reading’s oldest market and if Reading wants to create a ‘destination market’ it needs to try harder.

“However, Reading is not a theme park and the market needs to be fit for purpose for traders and customers to cater for all tastes and pockets.”

Matt Rodda, Reading East MP, criticised the lack of green space in the proposals but the council have said there would be a small net gain in open space within the area.

However, the CAAC criticised the council’s view that the Minster Square church yard counts as public space.

Matt Rodda also raised concerns about the height and density of proposed buildings in the area.

He said: “The density of flats proposed is higher than would normally be found in Reading and I am concerned about the effects on quality of life for residents.

“The central area of Reading is already deprived and the new development needs to be sustainable.

“Tall buildings along the IDR [Inner Distribution Road] will alienate the population of Reading West.”

RBC responded: “High-density housing will not necessarily negatively affect the quality of life for residents.

“The density of housing proposed is fairly typical of recent residential development in central Reading.”

The framework has been revised following the feedback and the strategic environment, planning and transport committee will decide whether to approve the revised version on November 21, 2018.

The new version includes preservation of the Cartwheeling Boys and other heritage items in the Russell Street/Castle Hill Conservation Area, after concerns were raised by the CAAC and Reading Civic Society.

Further work has been undertaken to address criticism of open space and assess the most appropriate location and form of a new tall building.

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said the framework is intended to “lead and help shape the future development and contribute to the regeneration of what is a key part of the historic town centre”.