This week’s planning roundup of decisions in Reading includes 14 flats, a barber shop, a fast food chain and a shop-to-flat conversion.

Leon plans get approval

Major fast food chain Leon is set to open its first store in Reading soon, with plans approved by the council this week to open on Broad Street, near The Oracle.

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Leon submitted plans in August to remove existing signage at the 121-122 Broad Street premises, which was formerly occupied by travel company Thomas Cook, and replace it with new signage.

The chain serves ‘naturally fast food’ and has dozens of branches across the UK, while the Reading branch will be the first in Berkshire.

Vacant bank offices to become flats

Old bank offices in Market Place will become flats, with the council approving plans to convert the vacant NatWest offices at 11-12 Market Place into 14 apartments.

International Mobility Ltd submitted plans to Reading Borough Council (RBC) to transform the old bank offices.

Stevensons, a clothing shop below the offices, will stay, with 12 one-bed and two two-bed flats built on the four floors above the shop.

The offices have been empty since NatWest vacated them in January 2020.

Post office and barber shop split plan approved

A barber shop in Emmer Green has retrospectively been granted planning approval after works went ahead to split a post office into two without permission from the council.

The post office at the Milestone Way shopping precinct in Emmer Green has been divided into two shops, with the post office kept in one half and the other half becoming Istanbul Barbers.

Work to divide the shop into two and create the new barbers started on March 1 and finished on April 9, with the barbershop opening on April 12.

However, no approval was sought from the council until July, when a planning application was submitted seeking retrospective approval for the ‘subdivision of the floor area to create a barber’s shop with minor alteration to the shop front to create a new entrance door”.

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Approving the development, planning officers said the barber shop would broaden the range of facilities at the district centre and considered the changes to the shopfront acceptable and in keeping with the character and appearance of the area.

Shop to become apartment

A former electricians shop is set to become a two-bed flat, after plans were approved to convert the premises at 93 St Peters Road.

Hardcastle Electrical, which is believed to have stopped trading at the premises on March 3, 2021, was the last occupier of the shop.