Plans for a new modern three-storey building and roof top garden next to a Grade I listed church have been approved.

Greyfriars Church will demolish and rebuild its church centre, adjacent to the 14th century church on Friar Street, with a new one which will include a rooftop garden.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) planning application committee unanimously approved the plans on Wednesday (March 4).

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Councillor Emmett McKenna, chair of the committee, said he is happy that the current “architectural monstrosity” will be replaced.

The plans were backed by conversation organisations including Historic England and Reading Civic Society.

Heritage lead member Cllr Rowland raised concern that the development would detract from the view of the western side of the church view but voted for the proposal because Reading Civic Society and Historic England were in support.

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Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Planning, said: “I am pleased to see the Historic England support and now that of the Civic Society as well. I agree with both their sentiments.

“I prefer the use of the light materials which I think would be less impactful than if the building was darker. The replacement of the existing building will only enhance the area.”

Greyfriars Church, completed in 1311, is said to the most complete example of Franciscan-architecture in England in use as a church and is one of six Grade I listed buildings in Reading.