A former Nationwide building could become a restaurant, with new plans sent to the council.

The empty Nationwide branch, on the corner of Friar Street and Station Road closed in 2018, with staff moving to the building society’s other site on Broad Street.

Developers Thackeray Estate want to turn the ground floor space into a restaurant and takeaway with seating space for around 45 people.

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Speaking in support of the development, planning consultant Paul Bottomley said: “The restaurant will help make the centre a safe place where people want to visit and spend time in.

“The activity it will generate will help add to the vitality and vibrancy of the centre.”

But Reading Borough Council's (RBC) environmental officer Rebecca Moon said she has concerns about noise and has suggested restrictions to opening hours and times for deliveries.

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Plans from another developer for 12 flats on the first, second and third floors of the building have been already approved by Reading Borough Council (RBC), granted via prior approval.

The developer – TE Station Road Ltd – has also applied for prior approval to build extensions to the second and third floor of the building to create an additional three flats, which the council is still considering.

RBC's deputy leader said the council has lost £6 million and hundreds of homes due to the government’s prior approval legislation which allows developers to transform offices into flats without seeking planning permission.

The government introduced the legislation in May 2013.