AMBITIOUS plans to build four towering apartment blocks containing 422 homes above Broad Street Mall have been given the go ahead.

Inception Reading, which owns the shopping centre, was granted planning permission to build the apartment blocks, that will range from five storeys to 20 storeys, in March 2020.

The company can now press ahead with the project after Reading Borough Council’s Planning Applications Committee agreed to impose a condition stating that improvements must be made to the Broad Street Mall car park, at a meeting on January 13.

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It states that “landscaping shall take place” at the council-run car park to improve the appearance and biodiversity.

In December, the committee decided not to sign off on the plans, because councillors were concerned about a lack of greenery in the car park.

The multi-storey car park contains 787 spaces and 22 will be reserved for people who move into the new apartment blocks.

The current plans for the development state there will be: 

  • A 20-storey building containing 148 apartments next to the junction of Queens Walk and Dusseldorf Way
  • An 18-storey building containing 134 apartments next to Dusseldorf Way
  • An 18-storey building with 98 apartments and ground-floor shops next to Hosier Street
  • A five-storey building containing 42 apartments that will be accessed via Oxford Road

Council planning officers have said that Broad Street Mall is “of brutalist design and is considered to be of limited architectural value” but there is now a “high quality approach to lift the appearance of the existing mall”.