The proposed development comprises several interconnected buildings on Friar Street and Market Place.
173-175 Friar Street is the former Bristol & West office building opposite St. Laurence Church on Town Hall Square. Beneath the building runs the arcade (now boarded-up) to Market Way and Market Place Square and Broad Street (via Sainsbury’s). This building would be demolished and rebuilt as an eight-storey hotel (including existing basement) with the arcade reinstated as an open and wider public space with a thoroughfare featuring the main hotel entrance and a spill-out patio dining area from the hotel restaurant and bar.
The arcade also backs onto the rear of the three boarded-up listed buildings, 27-32 Market Place (located opposite the NatWest Bank). One of these listed buildings was the Cooper’s Arms public house that closed in 2010. These listed buildings will be refurbished in line with the permission granted by Reading Council in 2019 to create a new pub flanked by two shops on the ground floor with eight residential apartments on the three floors above.
The new hotel and the listed buildings refurbishment are all part of the proposed development by Sonic Star Properties Ltd. who secured the planning consent in 2019.