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Reading’s Going Green Posted On 29 October 2021

Green by Nature, Green by Colour?

Reading’s Broad Street Mall is being transformed with more than 400 flats being built in the three tower blocks atop the mall. Councillor Tony Page sadly informed ‘Get Reading’ that the mall had previously “decayed” and that he was excited about the commitment Moorgarth has shown in developing the Minster Quarter. He also explained that the council are dedicated to redeveloping the whole area with the Broad Street Mall plans being “one small part of the major regeneration which we aspire to.”

Moorgarth chief executive Tim Vaughan reinforced Tony’s assurances and said the development will act as a catalyst for further regeneration in the area and that it will support the sustainability of the mall, keeping it “relevant, vibrant and appealing”.

The latest addition to the redevelopment is the submitted proposals by Toucan Finance on behalf of APM to build a four/five storey building behind the vacant shops at 86-87a Broad Street. This four/five storey building will house 15 flats. Toucan Finance also plan to revamp the two shops (formerly EE and Shoe Zone) which currently sit empty.

In their application, Toucan stated: “The existing site and its cluster of vacant buildings are in a poor state of disrepair following long term vacancies and poor-quality additions in the past, which has led to an ad hoc industrial style structure. There is a clear and compelling opportunity to utilise the sites full potential with central Reading in a way that respects and celebrates its original design.”

Plans leave the original facades on the first, second, and third stories, with a new façade for the ground floor. An additional storey is proposed to be added above 86 Broad Street. The apartments are set to be above the shops and facing St Mary’s churchyard and would feature front gardens, balconies, courtyards, and terraces. Toucan aims to make their new development sustainable, with the apartments using solar panels to harness energy.

The new apartments will certainly be green by nature, but fortunately won’t be green in colour as the striking colour proposal was turned down by the council’s design review panel.

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