A vacant former dry cleaners could be transformed into a café or restaurant despite identical plans being refused last year.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) Planning Applications committee vote on the plan at 60 Christchurch Road next week’s meeting on Wednesday, January 15.

The same proposal was refused in February 2019 and at appeal by a planning inspector.

However, the inspector and council officers agreed the scheme would have been acceptable under the recently-adopted Local Plan.

RBC planning officer Anthony Scholes said in his report on the latest application: “The proposed development is considered appropriate within the current policy context.”

Similar plans to the proposal have recently been approved under the new planning blueprint.

The council backed plans for a fish and chip shop and HMO at a former Natwest bank at 76 Christchurch Road in December 2019, despite concerns from councillors and residents.

Committee member and local Labour ward councillor Ruth McEwan declared opposition to the fish and chip plans approved last month.

She said: “This is a beautiful parade of shops. Locals don’t want it to be destroyed with an increase in takeaway shops.”

The nearby bus stop at Christchurch Green has reportedly been a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, with the university implementing a street warden scheme focused on dispersing students in this area.