Burger chain plan for Reading back on the menu at store

Burger chain Fat Hippo is hoping to open at the well-known Jackson’s Corner in the town centre, some 10 years on from the closure of Jackson’s Corner on Christmas Eve 2013.

Most recently, plans have been put forward by Fat Hippo to replace the standout ‘Jacksons Corner’ gold and green branding with its trademark black branding, which would be created by installing a fabric awning.

A previous application for Fat Hippo to occupy the unit was refused by Reading Council’s planning department as it was judged that the plan failed to integrate with the rest of Jackson’s Corner, and that a noise assessment was not conducted.

The previous plan was refused in February 2023.

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The latest proposal put forward by Fat Hippo hopes to address the previous concerns and the company has also submitted a noise assessment with its latest application, which demonstrates that noise from the proposed extraction fans would not exceed 10 decibels above background noise.

The company also adjusted the proposed black awning to bring it in line with the historic design of the shopfront, and includes kitchen extraction units required to get rid of cooking fumes.

Reading Chronicle: The shop front plan for the Fat Hippo burger restaurant at Unit 2 of Jacksons Corner in Reading. Credit: John Taylor ArchitectsThe shop front plan for the Fat Hippo burger restaurant at Unit 2 of Jacksons Corner in Reading. Credit: John Taylor Architects

Its plans have been recommended for approval by council planning officer Marcie Rejwerska, who concluded that the plan is acceptable as long as noise and cooking odours are suitably controlled.

Planning officer Rejwerska judged that the latest changes addressed the previous concern that the awning failed to integrate with the rest of Jackson’s Corner.

She also pointed out that the large Jackson’s Corner lettering on the upper floors of the building will be retained.

The project for Fat Hippo to occupy Jackson’s Corner is set to be decided by the council’s planning applications committee on Wednesday, January 10.

You can view the application by typing reference 230574 into the council’s planning portal.

Fat Hippo is not the only eatery that could open in the former department store either. Rosa’s Thai Cafe, a collection of oriental restaurants, has approved plans to install a kitchen extraction and air filtration system at Unit 1 of Jackson’s Corner back in May 2022.

Previously, the Byrons Burgers chain also expressed interest in occupying a unit. However, little has been heard about the Byron Burgers interest since 2017.

Reading Chronicle | Town Centre