While the proposed Royal Elm Park development has attracted plenty of headlines in the past few months, there's quietly been another major development close to the stadium that's been given the green light.
In recent weeks fans have been banned from using the car park on the site of the old HP buildings at Worton Grange, which is on the roundabout just past the stadium heading towards the M4. The reason for this is that preparation works have started on a massive new development called 'Reading Gateway' which will be a mixed-use site including 175 homes, 12 commercial units, two car showrooms and three warehouses. Of note to both home and away fans alike is that the plan also includes provisions for a 120-bed hotel that will have a pub/restaurant, plus a coffee shop, restaurant and bank, with all three having 'drive through' facilities. The BBC report that council approval has now been given for the project and that building work is expected to begin later this year.
The plus side of this is that it should provide another place for fans to grab a pint or a bite to eat before the game but the downside of this is that this coupled with the Royal Elm Park project could spell increased traffic chaos around the stadium, particularly during the building phase. The two new developments combined with the Tesco Depot, existing commercial properties and retail park traffic could lead to an even bigger bottleneck around match days, particularly if (as we hope...) we make it back to the Premier League in the not too distant future.
So folks what do you think? Good news or bad news?