A huge plan to transform a long closed arcade in Reading town centre into hotel, restaurant and pub has fallen through.
Sonic Star Properties, a development company, had applied to transform the Bristol & West Arcade in Friar Street into a 182 bed, eight-storey hotel with its own restaurant.
The plan also involved restoring The Coopers Arms pub in Market Place and bringing it back into use.
Even though the developers won approval from Reading Borough Council’s planning committee to go ahead with the project, they have since withdrawn their plan.
Indications that the scheme was in trouble surfaced in May, when separate developers Mountley Ltd applied to convert the upper floors of the arcade into a total of 26 apartments.
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And elements of the hotel and pub plan did receive opposition from residents.
Paul Windley objected to it, arguing that it would lead to the “needless destruction of the neo-Georgian façade.”
Meanwhile, Evelyn Williams, chairwoman of the Conservation Area Advisory Committee, also raised “serious concerns” over the design, stating its “big and white” modern frontage would ‘leap out’ at people.
Most recently, in July, applicants Watercrown Bracknell Ltd submitted a plan for 29-31 Market Place which involve restoring The Coopers Arms pub to bring it back into use, turning the two ground floor units either side of it into retail space, and converting upper floors into eight apartments.
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The Sonic Star Properties application to transform the arcade into a hotel was withdrawn on August 2.
You can view current plans for the Bristol & West Arcade by typing their application references in brackets into the council’s planning portal:
- 20 apartments at 173-174 Friar Street (220579)
- Six apartments at 175 Friar Street (220577)
- Pub, retail and flats plan for 29-31 Market Place (220545 and 220546)