Plans for a Premier Inn hotel on the site of a former nightclub next to Broad Street Mall were approved by the council last week.

Broad Street Mall owners Inception Reading SARL will demolish the former Eva’s nightclub and replace it with a 101-room hotel and restaurant/bar at 20 Hosier Street.

Eva’s closed in September 2017 after a number of violent incidents.

Reading Chronicle:

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Planning, said: “This is an area of Reading that desperately needs regeneration.

“I compliment the new owners for investing in Broad Street Mall and responding to the change of society in the area and as a whole.

“It is long overdue that we see that investment in Broad Street Mall.”

The proposal was backed unanimously at Wednesday evening’s (July 17) four and a half hour long Planning Applications committee meeting.

The hotel will be eight storeys on the west side and seven storeys on the east.

As well as the vacant nightclub building and its garden, the developer will also build over an adjacent warehouse building.

Green councillor Josh Williams called the designs “incredibly disappointing”, while Karen Rowland agreed they were “underwhelming”.

Cllr Williams said: “It is a depressing future for Reading if we are just putting up dull boxes.

“We are going to really have to rely on ward councillors going through materials in great detail.”

 Reading Market stall owner Diana McAlister spoke out against the development.

She said the market, which is opposite where the hotel will be, is “not something to be shunted around to fit it with the transient whims of a profit driven agenda”.

Ms McAlister also called for the “much-loved landmark” Eva’s to be saved but Cllr Page said he has “nothing but bad associations” with the former nightclub and disagreed that it was an asset to be defended.

Chris Beard, planning consultant for the developer, responded: “We are currently refurbishing the old Poundland store, bringing in a food and drink concept to bring that borough market type vibe to the area.

“The market has an integral part to play. We would very much like to see it continue there.”

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Chain steakhouse ‘Bar and Block’ will be on the ground floor of the Premer Inn hotel, opening from 630am to midnight.

The council’s licensing committee previously rejected an application by Premier Inn at the site as planning permission had not been granted.

Inception are also planning to build 530 flats on top of the shopping centre in a separate proposal that will follow.