A NEW climbing centre is coming to Reading, in a warehouse near the Madejski stadium, but its developers say they can’t meet full environmental standards. 

Council planners gave them the go-ahead anyway, and also this week gave permission for a beauty salon to turn into a cafe, as its owners revealed the salon could soon shut down. 

Here’s this week’s round-up of the most interesting planning decisions made by Reading Borough Council

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New climbing centre

A new climbing centre is coming to Reading, but its developers don’t want to meet the full environmental standards.

A Clip n Climb will open on Acre Road, near the Madejski Stadium. Planners gave permission last December, but this week said the climbing centre didn’t have to carry out the extensive refurbishment works needed to meet full environmental standards.

The climbing centre will be in a warehouse currently used for distributing newspapers and magazines. Smiths, the distribution company, now needs less floorspace and is letting out part of the warehouse to Clip n Climb.

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Planners wanted the climbing centre to meet full BREEAM standards, but this would be difficult to do in the warehouse.

Agents for the climbing centre said: “In practice, significant parts of the building would virtually have to be largely reconstructed, and that is not a practical proposition, and not what planning permission has been granted for.”

Clip n Climb started in New Zealand, and has several branches across the UK. The new centre in Reading could create between 50 to 60 jobs. 

Beauty salon shutting down

A beauty salon on Broad Street will likely shut down, as its landlord revealed it wants to look for new tenants.The owners of 68 Broad Street, currently home to Belleza, has permission from planners to change the unit into a shop, restaurant, cafe or takeaway.

The owners told the council that the beauty salon “is no longer commercially viable” and the salon wants to leave the property. They said with wider planning permission, finding a new tenant would be easier.

Bad communication

Planners gave permission to build a home gym in a back garden and a two-car garage to the front of a house in on Darell Road, Caversham. But they were criticised for poor communication.

Phil Wallace, the planning agent for the applicant, said he attempted to call the council several times to get advice on the plans. The council usually encourages developers to get advice before applying for planning permission. But Mr Wallace had trouble getting any advice.

He said a receptionist told him all information supporting applications is available online, and couldn’t transfer his call to anybody.

He added: “I was eventually advised that an email would be sent to the planning department, and I would receive a call back within a few days. No contact has been received.”