Berkshire

Reading FC Madejski stadium development approved

Royal Elm Park plans 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

Plans to build a £500m development around Reading FC's football ground have been approved.

The proposed Royal Elm Park includes 600 homes, a convention centre, a 246-bed hotel and an ice rink.

Fans had expressed concerns that the building work - on top of the Madejski stadium's car park - would make it more difficult to get to the ground.

But deputy council leader Tony Page said the development should benefit the club.

'Good for the area'

In November, the Thai consortium that owns the Championship club announced it intended to sell their majority stake in the club to brother and sister Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li.

Concerns had been raised that the development would not benefit the club if the takeover took place.

Image copyright Reading Football Club Prop Co Ltd
Image caption Land owned by Reading FC could be turned into a development including 600 homes, an ice rink and a large public park

Labour councillor Mr Page said: "Any attempt to fragment it and split off aspects of it will be resisted by the council."

The deputy council leader, who leads strategic environment, planning and transport, added: "I and all my colleagues on the council are concerned to ensure that it remains a package of measures that benefits the club."

The development, which will be situated next to the Madejski Stadium will include shops, leisure facilities and restaurants, and could create about 1,000 jobs.

Some Reading FC fans were hesitant about the development going ahead, but Nathan Saleh said: "I'm certainly more confident in the development.

"I definitely see it as a positive rather than a negative. If you look at it as a whole, it's very good for this areas."

Image copyright RFC Prop Co Ltd
Image caption Royal Elm Park plans include 600 new homes with a mix of one, two and three bedrooms

Mr Page added that the reduction in fan parking would force fans to use public transport to games.

He said: "Tickets will be sold with inclusive travel on the buses, that is the way to shift people.

"We will make it as such that people will not take cars [to games]."

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