Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 11:38 UK

Reading's new 400m plans on show

Graphic impression of the Station Hill towers
Previous plans in 2007 were blocked by the government

Revised plans for a £400m revamp of the centre of Reading have been unveiled at a public exhibition in the town.

Previous plans for Station Hill near to the town's railway station were vetoed by the government after being accepted by Reading Borough Council in 2007.

The new scheme includes three 20-plus storey buildings and improved access to Reading town centre.

A planning application will go to the council in June and developers hope building work will begin in 2011.

A previous application for the development was granted consent by the planning committee but later called in by the Secretary of State.

The veto was placed after concerns were raised by the Commission of Architecture and Built Environment (Cabe) and English Heritage.

'Stunning difference'

A number of changes have been made to the scheme since the original planning application was submitted in 2007.

Sir John Madejski said the revised plans detailed a "bigger and better" scheme

The new proposal, unveiled by Sir John Madejski's Sackville developers, now includes the adjoining Friars Walk shopping centre and aims to improve connectivity to Friars Street and Reading town centre.

Sir John, who is also chairman of Reading FC, said: "We believe we've overcome all the problems the government put to us... it's looking really good."

A planning application is likely to be put to the council's planning committee in the autumn.

Developers hope the first phase will be completed by 2014.

"This area of Reading, which has been a disgrace for a great number of years, is now going to be suitably enhanced," added Sir John.

"We believe it will make a stunning difference."



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