Welcome to this week’s planning roundup of the most interesting decisions made in Reading.

This week’s edition includes the approval of 76 new flats in the town centre, a new tattoo studio, a 5G tower being refused, a proposal at a butchers and an unauthorised two-flat development.

Offices at the site of a former nightclub in the town centre will be converted into 76 flats.

The building, on Duke Street, includes former nightclub Po Nah Nah, which closed in 2008, and riverside offices on the basement, ground and four upper floors.

Developer Lipman Properties will replace the offices at Dukesbridge House, with the disused nightclub area of the building unaffected by the plans.

The developer’s planning consultant said: “The new flats will provide a much-needed range of housing for first time buyers or downsizers in Reading in a highly accessible and sustainable location.”

READ MORE: Road closures outside schools could be introduced by Christmas

There will be 70 one-bedroom flats, along with four studio apartments and two two-bedroom flats.

The change of use of the site from offices into flats was approved by Reading Borough Council (RBC) under prior approval legislation created by the government in 2013.

A vacant former bicycle shop in the town centre will become a tattoo parlour, after plans were approved this week.

Plans were submitted by Mystic Lounge Tattoo Ltd to change the use of the vacant unit at 133 Friar Street, Reading, from a retail shop to a tattoo studio.

The unit – which is on the corner of Union Street or ‘Smelly Alley’ – has been vacant for around six months having most recently been occupied by SCUK Co Bikes as a bicycle shop.

There will be a reception and seating area on the ground floor level, tattooing space on the first and second floors and the basement will be used for storage.

Plans for a 20 metre 5G tower next to Royal Berkshire Hospital has been withdrawn after heritage consultants raised concerns about the impact on Grade II listed buildings.

Hutchison 3G UK Ltd had planned to erect the metre mast next to the hospital’s Craven Road Car Park.

Matthew Burns, an historic buildings consultant, said: “The proposed installation of a 20m telecoms mast and associated infrastructure in this location would harm a number of designated heritage assets…including four Grade II Listed Buildings and the settings of two Conservation Areas.

“The proposed location is therefore considered to be unsuitable to this type of development and refusal is recommended.”

He said the setting of Grade II listed buildings at Reading School would be affected:

  • Main building
  • South House
  • Building to east of South House
  • Chapel

An application to turn a 100-year-old butchers – which closed in March – into a flat in Caversham has been withdrawn.

It is not yet clear why or what the intention is now for the closed-down Whitings Butchers at 20 Coldicutt Street.

The family-run Caversham butchers stopped trading at the end of March because of owner Martin Howarth’s health.

Mr Howarth has the rare immune condition pyoderma gangrenosum which forced him to undergo a double amputation and the family decided to close the shop in March.

An application to rectify unauthorised works which converted basement storage into two basement flats has been refused by the council.

The developer initially converted the building at Eldon Terrace into two flats without seeking approval from the council and his retrospective application was refused by both RBC and a planning inspector on appeal.

READ MORE: Revealed - The cost of failed chaotic Caversham walking and cycling scheme scrapped after one week

The planning officer said: “It is not considered that the amendments proposed would fundamentally alter the issue that these are basement units which suffer from unacceptable outlooks and generally poor light levels.”

A resident who lives in the building slammed the developer for building the flats without consulting the council first.

He said: “There is insufficient lightwell to the front and the rear of the property and this has not been addressed.

“There are currently serious ‘waste’ issues at the development, caused by there being eight flats rather than six.

“There are also major parking problems on site, due to the additional two basement flats being occupied, and the occupants trying to park on site, rather than being used for storage.

“We would welcome RBC taking the appropriate action to ensure these two units are changed back to storage units and kitchens and the bathrooms removed at the earliest opportunity.”