Reading FC homes plan causes concerns over building heights

Royal Elm Park plans Image copyright RFC Prop Co Ltd
Image caption Concerns have been raised that a proposed £500m development near Reading's Madejski Stadium could "fundamentally change habitats" around an adjacent stream

The Environment Agency has objected to a proposed 600-home development due to fears that high rise buildings will put a nearby river in the shade.

It says the planned £500m development next to the Madejski Stadium, has not adequately assessed the impact to wildlife in the adjacent Foudry Brook.

Plans for the 20,000 sq m site, which could include an ice rink and a park, were released in February.

The developer said it would respond to concerns in the coming weeks.

'Fundamentally changed habitat'

Objections to the proposed Reading FC development - called Royal Elm Park - have been raised over how shade from the high-rise tower blocks - some of which will be 270ft (82 metres) in height - will affect habitation in Foudry Brook.

Image caption Green Party councillor Rob White has said that the loss of sunlight from high-rise tower blocks could impact the "sensitive river environment" of Foudry Brook

Reading Green Party councillor Rob White said: "If you put high-rise buildings on top of the river bank, that's going to shade the sensitive river environment.

"It could fundamentally change the habitat and change what is there."

Environment Agency planning advisor Michelle Kidd said: "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."

Image copyright RFC Prop Co Ltd
Image caption Royal Elm Park plans include a convention centre, homes, and a mix of retail and leisure, including a hotel

Reading FC has said it is working with Reading Borough Council to resolve the issues raised by the Environment Agency.

A spokesperson added: "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.

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