This week’s planning roundup includes a new Costa coffee shop, the demolition of the landmark east Reading gas holder, major plans to transform offices and a 10-bed HMO.

Five-storey office transformation withdrawn after concerns raised

A plan to transform Soane Point offices at 6-8 Market Place into a mix of co-working spaces and private offices has been withdrawn after concerns were raised.

Castleforge Partners had sought permission for a mix of one-to-five storey extensions are planned, taking the highest point of the building from four storeys to seven, including a new rooftop terrace space, and adding an extra wing to one of the blocks.

Reading Chronicle:

It wanted “to provide an attractive contemporary flexible workspace for predominantly local, small and growing businesses”.

A café, gym, small kitchens and meeting rooms were also planned.

But the plans have been withdrawn after concerns were raised by City Pub Group, which owns the neighbouring Market House and Reading’s Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC).

City Pub Group said the proposals would have a significant adverse impact on Market House due to the increased height.

They said the plans were “akin to a tower block” and “completely inappropriate and out of character within the Conservation Area”.

While CAAC chair Evelyn Williams said the development would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

She added: “Whilst there may be a small cosmetic improvement to the facades this is more than outweighed by the increase in height and mass of the building.”

New Costa coffee shop

Plans have been approved for a new Costa coffee shop.

Reading Chronicle: PICTURED: Costa plans approvedPICTURED: Costa plans approved

The unit at 99 Broad Street will become the fourteenth Costa Coffee in Reading and the fourth in the town centre.

READ MORE: New Costa Coffee shop in Reading town centre gets the go-ahead

Recently home to Nationwide Building Society, the bank left the site and the unit was temporarily operated as a luggage and clothing shop.

Gas tower to be dismantled

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

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

Reading Chronicle: PICTURED: Reading's iconic gasholderPICTURED: Reading's iconic gasholder

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

READ MORE: East Reading gas tower demolition works approved by Reading Council

The demolition or dismantling of the tower is expected to take around six months to complete.

10-bed HMO gets the thumbs up

A 10-bed HMO has been granted a certificate of lawfulness, allowing it to continue to be used as a huge shared house.

The council confirmed there is “sufficient evidence demonstrate that, on the balance of probability, the basement, ground, first and second floors, of 11 Addington Road has been in use as a  10-person large HMO for at least 10 years”.

The 10-year rule means if a landlord can prove a property has been in use as a HMO for at least 10 continuous years, planning permission is not needed, only a certificate.

As your local newspaper we’ve been keeping readers informed about what’s going on in your community for generations.

To find out what’s going on near you, see the latest Public Notices at or pick up Thursday's newspaper.