A new development of flats and offices in the town centre could be “a great thing for Reading”, according to excited councillors.

Plans have been approved by Reading Borough Council (RBC) for the demolition of the ‘Unit 16’ offices on North Street, in the town centre, to replace it with a mix of offices and apartments.

The development, which includes a green wall at the front of the building, was approved at the council’s most recent Planning Applications committee earlier this month.

The building will have six one-bed apartments and four two-bed apartments, each with their own balcony, as well as 295sqm of office space.

Councillor Karen Rowland, lead member for Heritage, said: “The proposal is quite innovative and one of those fun things we don’t get every day.

“The potential for this to positively impact the street is significant.

“The green wall, which is certainly the attractive feature of this development, is most unusual.

“It may not be to everyone’s liking but it certainly supports our climate change initiatives and we look forward to many more green walls in the future.

“I think it’s going to look pretty grand. I’m very excited about that.”

Thirty per cent of the housing will be affordable – two social rent flats and one shared ownership.

The development will be car free but will have 18 cycle spaces.

RBC planning officers says the green wall, which will be covered in plants, will make the development more sustainable, generate a green street character in a mostly industrial area and enhance the privacy of tenants’ balconies.

Concerns had been raised about the long-term management of the green wall but a management plan has been secured to ensure the wall is responsibly maintained.

Councillor Emmett McKenna, chair of the committee, said: “The update fully addresses my concerns about the green wall. I am fully happy to see it and I think it might be a great thing for Reading.”

The committee backed the plans unanimously at the council’s Planning Applications committee meeting on November 13.