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Royal Elm Park Project Hits Environmental Road Block

Could the owners of Reading Football Club be scuppered in their Royal Elm Park property development plans due to an issue over sunlight?

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Remember when we used to have fun talking about things like players, transfers and formations? Well sorry, today it's more of that property development nonsense that we've had to talk about a fair bit since our Thai takeover. However if you're a fan of the planned Royal Elm Park project, you might be left frustrated this afternoon after a report emerged that environmental concerns may hold-up or alter the current scheme.

The BBC have reported that the Environment Agency has raised an objection to the development, with specific concerns cited over how the raising of several tall buildings of up to 270ft will impact the local area. In particular, there are worries about how the new development may block sunlight from reaching the nearby Foudry Brook, therefore changing the local eco-system.

Speaking to the Beeb, Enviroment Agency planning advisor Michelle Kid clarified the objection.

"We object to the proposed development as submitted because the assessment and mitigation of the risks to nature conservation are inadequate.

We will maintain our objection until the applicant has supplied information to demonstrate that the risks posed by the development can be satisfactorily addressed."

Whether this objection will prove strong enough to stop the development seems highly doubtful right now. You'd imagine the plans might have to be tweaked slightly or more care given to environmental concerns but the idea of the whole thing being scrapped seems unlikely at first glance. As Reading FC themselves said in a brief statement...

"For a project of this scale it is normal part of the planning application process for [bodies that are consulted] to request clarification and additional information as discussions continue.

So while the project will probably go ahead, any delays could frustrate the Thai owners who will have a lot of cash tied up in, or waiting to spend on the development. That's probably bad news for the Football Club itself because the more money and time spent on REP... the less they'll potentially have to spend on the football side.

You can read the full BBC story here.

For now it's in the wait and see category, much like transfers, a new manager, the new name for the North Stand, what the soup of the day is, DJ MegaParty's place in history and so on.