New cafe planned for Reading shop empty for more than 15 years

A Reading shop which has stood empty for over 15 years could be converted into a new cafe.

Readingbusinessman Tony Chima hopes to open a takeaway called Coffee Corner in Christchurch Road.

The building was previously used as a tool hire shop, but has been empty for a number of years.

Read more: Closed Zizzi in Reading could reopen as a Sri Lankan restaurant

Mr Chima previously applied for permission to convert the shop into a cafe but this was rejected in March due to the following missing information:

  • Details of extraction equipment
  • A delivery and servicing plan, setting out how vehicles would access the unit without creating safety concerns and congestion
  • An assessment of the likelihood of odours based on the proposed cuisine and a statement of how odour nuisance will be prevented
  • An acoustic assessment to assess the noise impact on neighbours

The new application seeks to address the reasons for refusal, with each of these documents now provided.

Officers had also raised concerns the plan would lead to there being too few shops and professional services like banks and too many takeaways on the street.

Find out how you can get the latest news from BerkshireLive delivered straight to your inbox

But town planners Bell Cornwell, on behalf of Mr Chima, say the plan would be compliant with local policies, setting out why in detail.

The unit has been empty for 15 years and has been previously described as “shabby” by officers and is in an area where concerns have been raised by neighbours about anti-social behaviour, as well as other issues, with student behaviour having been a concern for many years.

Download the Berkshire Live app

You can get the latest news for Berkshire straight to your mobile or tablet when you download the free BerkshireLive app. 

Keep up with breaking news, traffic and travel updates and what’s on from across the county plus unrivalled Reading FC coverage.

You can sign up to receive push notifications, which means you’ll always be the first to know what’s happening in the area.

You can find it for Apple devices here and Android devices here.

The nearby bus stop at Christchurch Green has been a particular hot spot, with the neighbouring University of Reading implementing a street warden scheme focused on dispersing students in this area.

Neighbours have reported people vomiting and urinating in residents’ gardens, chanting and screaming until 3am and leaving cans of beer and pizza boxes on the streets.

The local businessman was given approval in December 2019 to turn a disused Natwest bank at 76 Christchurch Road into a fish and chip shop but has not yet gone ahead with the plan.

GetReading – Food & Drink Windsor