The iconic gas holder in east Reading looks set to be demolished and turned into flats described as “more like a prison than a home”.

Plans to turn the landmark site, on Alexander Turner Close, into 130 flats will be voted on by Reading Borough Council (RBC) next week with officers recommending approval.

70 people have objected to the plans at the Kennet Mouth site, raising concerns such as the loss of the landmark, the “overbearing” design of the proposed flats and the impact on wildlife in the area.

Resident Colm Daley said: “Such a unique riverside space can be put so much better use by improving the quality of life for existing residents who really deserve better.”

The proposal will go before the Planning Applications committee on Wednesday, November 13.

The 33-metre high gas holder was built in 1916, replacing an earlier Gas Holder that had been on the site since the late-19th century.

The site is currently owned and operated by Southern Gas Network (SGN), but the gas holder is no longer in use.

Gas holders became increasingly obsolete since the mid-20th century and the gas holder in east Reading was decommissioned in 2008.

The application would turn the site into a three-building complex, with a nine-storey building including a two-storey car park, a five-storey building, and a two-storey building.

Many have slammed the design, calling for it the gas holder to be retain or the design to “at least make reference to it”.

The application proposes just 15 affordable housing flats, which is 12 per cent of the total, whereas 30 per cent is normally expected for a development of this size.

However, the developer says it cannot provide more affordable housing due to the cost of turning the site from a gas holder into flats.

Dozens have also slated the “scandalous” lack of affordable housing.

Tom Allen commented: “We need more affordable housing. This design also looks more like a prison than a home.”

The iconic site is earmarked for residential development in the council’s newly adopted Local Plan.

But the new plan, adopted this week (November 4), also states any development should “enhance the character of the mouth of the Kennet and maximise the potential of the site to be a river gateway to Reading”.

Planning officers believe the development meets the requirements set out in the new planning blueprint.