As part of the proposed works, Thames Water has partnered with building firm Belwey Homes and plans to create 80 residential properties, rather than the 96 homes previously proposed.

The renovation will involve the removal of the proposed offices in the old water tower and improved screening for local residents in line with the recommendations in the original 1996 council planning brief.

Thames Water’s head of property, Marc Selby, said the revised planning application has taken government recommendations made at the last public inquiry in November last year into account.

Selby said: “The old Water Tower will no longer be converted for office use but will provide residential dwellings. This will mean less change to the external appearance of the building and retention of more of the original internal structure.

“This is a brownfield site that has been earmarked by the council for redevelopment on this scale since 1996 and most people now recognise that the issues that need to be resolved are about ‘how’ and not ‘if’ the site is developed. There is a need for family homes in Reading and development on this site will help address this, while providing important work for local builders. ”

A detailed plan for public consultation will be published by Thames Water and Belwey Homes on 24 September.

Carys Matthews

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