Permission has been granted to demolish Reading’s landmark gas tower.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) approved plans in November 2019 to demolish Gas Holder No.4, on Alexander Turner Close in east Reading and build 130 flats in its place.

But the council refused to approve the demolition in October 2020 as it said it did not have assurance about the safety of the works.

READ MORE: Reading gas holder will be demolished and replaced with 130 flats

RBC has now granted approval to developer Danescroft to demolish the tower through the method of dismantling.

Works can begin once a photographic archive is completed and are expected to take around six months to complete.

Reading photographer Callum Cromwell said: “I think it’s ridiculous. The flats replacing it look out of place and character. The gas holder should remain.

“I have grown up around seeing it. I used to live opposite it as a child. It’s a shame Reading is losing such an industrial piece of heritage from the past.”

While former Reading councillor Richard Stainthorpe took a different view, saying “the end result will be a significant improvement for this part of Reading”.

He added: “The gasholder is a relic of the past with no particular significance and the land it is on is an ideal location for a residential development, riverside and within easy walking distance of the town.”

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Before approving the dismantling of the tower, RBC asked the developer to first carry out a risk assessment and put measures in place to prevent the spread of any contamination.

Danescroft has now submitted the necessary documents and satisfied the council.

Some residents had called for the plans to be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The developer will need to carry out and hand over a formal photographic archive of the gas holder before dismantling the gasholder, to “provide a record of the heritage asset for future generations to come”.

There is also a cast iron column base structure on the site dating back to 1887. This must be safely uplifted and placed into an area away from any demolition activities and stored until after all the works are complete before a decision is made on its future resting place.

For a virtual exhibition on the gas tower, visit

No works can take place outside of the following hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, and Saturday 8am-1pm.