New plans have been submitted to build flats above a recently closed pornography and sex toy shop near the town centre.

Four flats are planned above the former pornography and sex toy shop ‘Private Shop’ at 108 Southampton Street.

Similar plans were withdrawn in September, although the applicant has contradictorily suggested they were both refused and withdrawn by the council.

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On behalf of the applicant, Colony Architects said: “Following the refusal of [the previous application], the previous flat roof modern design has been replaced with a more traditional pitched roof and traditionally proportioned elevations to be more sensitive to the listed building and setting.

“The previously refused modern window style has been replace with traditional sash windows, matching the listed building to the north.

“The design of the extensions is now traditional to be sensitive and in-keeping to the existing building, neighbouring properties and heritage assets in the area, as well as recent developments.

“The proposed rear extension has been reduced from the withdrawn proposals by approximately 1m, levelling off with 112 to the south.

“Overall, the proposal introduces less than significant harm to the adjoining heritage asset and represents an appropriate design response for this situation.”

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In May 2020, plans were approved to convert part of 108 Southampton Street into three flats, whilst retaining the shop.

The developer then sought permission to go further, seeking two-storey rear extensions and a dormer to take the number of flats up to four.

But these plans were withdrawn in September.

Reading Chronicle: Private shopPrivate shop

The latest application seeks permission for rear extensions at the ground and first floor and a dormer added on the second floor to allow for four residential flats, with the existing retail space being retained.

The building was host to adult entertainment store Private Shop for more than a decade.

The retail unit will remain on the ground floor, with a separate lobby to be created for the flats.