Developer set to build 1,200 flats in Reading named

Developers McLaren Living has been named as the firm that will build Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Minster Quarter project for more than 600 new homes.

RBC has had a vision to revitalise the quarter, which was the former site of its civic centre, for years, with the project finally starting to get off the ground this year.

As well as more than 600 homes, the Minster Quarter project will also see a 100-bed hotel and 20,000 sq ft of commercial space built in the area.

This will sit alongside another 600+ homes being built by McLaren Living at the Broad Street Mall.

READ MORE: Update on plans for 600 flats for ‘much needed’ regeneration of town centre area

It is expected the builds will help provide skills, jobs and training for people in the Reading area.

McLaren Living was selected as the development partner in a closed session of the council’s policy committee on Monday, January 22. But its selection as the builder could only be revealed now following a minimum 10-day waiting period.

The firm was previously selected for plans to build hundreds of apartments at Broad Street Mall last year, in collaboration with mall owners AEW.

Reading Chronicle: A CGI of a plan that would see Broad Street Mall demolished to make way for new towers. Credit: AEW and Mclaren LivingA CGI of a plan that would see Broad Street Mall demolished to make way for new towers. Credit: AEW and Mclaren Living

Both the Minster Quarter and Broad Street Mall flats projects are currently subject to planning approval by Reading Borough Council. No applications have yet been submitted.

There was a political clash last year over the amount of affordable housing that would be provided at the Minster Quarter.

RBC councillor Rob White (Green, Park), the leader of the opposition, called for 50 per cent of the homes delivered to be affordable.

At the time, it was envisaged that 618 homes would be built at the Minster Quarter, of which cllr White suggested 309 could be affordable.

However, Jason Brock (Labour, Southcote), the council leader, argued a policy-compliant 30 per cent (185 homes) would be the most appropriate level and viable for a developer to deliver.

READ MORE: Reading fears newcomers at exciting new Minster Quarter area could have ‘their lungs destroyed’ by the IDR

It is understood the number of homes envisaged has been reduced to 612 so that family-sized homes could be delivered.

The Minster Quarter will be built on the former civic centre, which was demolished in 2016.

The area is currently characterised by paved walkways between Broad Street Mall and Reading Magistrates Court, with Lavender Community Gardens in place where the civic centre once stood.

Reading Chronicle | Town Centre