Layout changes to a town centre food hall and hotel have been conditionally approved after the applicant withdrew controversial rooftop expansion plans.

Market House, a hotel, food hall and rooftop bar being developed in Market Place, in central Reading, was given planning permission in October 2018 and a premises licence two months later.

The developers had applied for a licence variation to change the layout of the premises, including expanding the rooftop terrace and changing the ground floor layout.

The rooftop expansion element was withdrawn, however, after discussions with council officers, who had raised concerns over noise.

RBC’s environmental health team subsequently withdrew its objections.

The licence variation was approved subject to the condition that the applicant be granted planning consent for the changes.

Licensing and planning officers argued that planning permission should have been sought before licensing, but the committee agreed to bypass this norm on this occasion.

Councillor Paul Woodward, licensing chairman, said: “This was trickier than expected.

“We are never happy about treading on people’s toes. We do prefer to do it the other way around.

“However, we do take note that you have modified your proposal.

“The sub-committee is satisfied that the presumption against granting the application has been rebutted.”

Licensing sub-committee members approved the variation of the licence on Thursday, May 9.

The building is within the council’s Cumulative Impact Area, where the council aims to limit the potential impact of a significant number of licensed premises concentrated in one area.

The originallly approved licence allows alcohol to be sold between 10am and 11pm.