A new plan to add hundreds of flats to Broad Street Mall in Reading has emerged.

Broad Street Mall is a well-travelled shopping mall at the western end of the town centre which has a variety of facilities such as an NHS walk-in facility, post office and gym as well as stores and restaurants.

But the future of the mall is uncertain as CGI images have surfaced showing four tall apartment towers being built at the mall site.

The CGI appears to show the towers being situated to the rear of the site, facing towards the old Civic Centre and the Thames Valley Police headquarters.

It is unclear what impact such a development would have on existing stores and restaurants, but the CGI does show the rooftop car park of the mall and the Fountain House offices being retained.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) has seen the designs in an exhibition leaflet announcing a public consultation into plans to redevelop the mall.

Reading Chronicle: A CGI of the rear of Broad Street Mall in a scheme for new towers to replace the mall in Reading town centre. Credit: AEW and Mclaren LivingA CGI of the rear of Broad Street Mall in a scheme for new towers to replace the mall in Reading town centre. Credit: AEW and Mclaren Living

A public exhibition will be held in a retail unit inside the shopping centre opposite Poundland from 3.30pm to 7.30pm this Thursday, July 13, and next Wednesday, July 19.

From 6pm access to the mall would be provided from the Oxford Road entrance near Slaters.

The exhibition boards will also be available to view online on https://www.bsmfuture.co.uk/ from 3pm on Thursday, July 13, to allow those unable to attend to review and provide comments.

The website currently states that it is ‘coming soon’.

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Proposals for the future of the mall have been devised by AEW, which bought it from previous owners Moorgarth in June 2022.

AEW is seeking to update approved plans for the mall secured by Moorgarth to build 422 flats and a hotel on the site.

This would have seen two towers being built on top of the mall with free-standing two towers being constructed as well.

However, the plan required revision due to ‘technical difficulties’.

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A spokesperson for AEW said: “AEW is exhibiting its proposals for the part redevelopment of the Broad Street Mall as a residential-led, mixed-use scheme, which is being managed through the planning and development process by McLaren Living.

“The proposal would supersede earlier consented schemes that were found to have technical difficulties, and would additionally incorporate changes to planning policy, fire safety and building regulations.

“AEW believes that the new scheme would be truly mixed-tenure, better meeting housing needs and protecting ongoing operations within Broad Street Mall including activating Dusseldorf Way, enhancing the surrounding public realm and bringing new vibrancy to Reading’s retail offer and the local community.”

Comments for the consultation can be made in person, via the website once it’s live or emailed to feedback@bsmfuture.co.uk.

The LDRS attempted to speak to mall management and emailed a communications team but has not received a response so far.

The original plan for Broad Street Mall was approved by Reading Borough Council’s planning committee in 2019 and achieved final consent after a Section 106 legal agreement was signed with the previous owners in December 2021.