The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Gra­ham Ot­way

PLAN­NING per­mis­sion has been granted for a con­ven­tion cen­tre and 600-home build­ing pro­gramme on the huge car park which sur­rounds Read­ing’s Made­jski Sta­dium.

With the ap­proval granted by Read­ing Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day, build­ing for the £500 mil­lion project is now pre­dicted to start in 2018 with com­ple­tion two years later.

Read­ing fans will be hard hit as the num­ber of car park­ing spa­ces for home games will be re­duced from the cur­rent 2,200 ca­pac­ity to around 800.

But the con­sor­tium of Thai busi­ness peo­ple led by Khun­y­ing Sasima Srivikorn will be quids in.

Their plans to sell the foot­ball club and sta­dium, which only opened in 1998, to Chi­nese brother and sis­ter Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li are set to go ahead with the Thais main­tain­ing their own­er­ship of the de­vel­op­ment site.

As well as the homes and the con­ven­tion cen­tre, the plans also in­clude a 246-bed ho­tel and an ice rink with the cre­ation of around 1,000 new jobs in the Berk­shire town.

And Tony Page, a Read­ing coun­cil­lor, has said the fans will be given help to get to the ground which is set in a huge re­tail/ in­dus­trial es­tate close to the M4.

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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