Demolition of Reading’s last remaining gas holder, the iconic Gas Holder No.4, could begin in the next few weeks.

The landmark site, on Alexander Turner Close in east Reading and overlooking the River Kennet, will be demolished and replaced with 130 flats, after plans were approved last November.

Developer Danescroft is now seeking approval from the council to begin the demolition of the gas holder in just two weeks, on October 6.

The demolition works are expected to be finished on April 26, 2021.

The new development will be a three-building complex, with a nine-storey building, a five-storey building, and a two-storey building.

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Dozens of residents objected to the plans at the site by the Kennet Mouth, raising concerns such as the loss of the landmark, the “overbearing” and “prison-like” design of the flats and the impact on wildlife in the area.

Four councillors voted against the plans – Cllrs Simon Robinson, Paul Carnell, Josh Williams and Ricky Duveen – with 10 voting in favour.

Cllr Robinson (Conservative) said he would have accepted an application with all buildings at four or five storeys, while Cllr Williams (Green) questioned the doubling of flats compared to the Local Plan recommendation.

But Cllr Tony Page, lead member for Planning at RBC, said more flats were necessary to make the development viable because of the contamination on the site and the cost of removing the gas holder.

He said a gasholder park, like in Kings Cross, was looked into but was found to be not viable.

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The development will include 15 affordable housing flats, which is 12 per cent of the total.

Gas Holder No.4 is Reading’s largest and last remaining gas holder.