Consultation on the Draft Design Guide to Shopfronts

Closed 24 Sep 2021

Opened 30 Jul 2021

Feedback updated 7 Mar 2023

We asked

What changes can be made to the draft SPD to improve clarity, provide helpful guidance for shop owners and improve the design of shopfronts and high streets throughout the borough?

You said

There was widespread support for the SPD’s aim and contents. 15 written representations were made and resulted in improvements to the text. A summary of each representation and the resulting changes to the document is available here.

We did


Reading Borough Council is now consulting on a Draft Design Guide to Shopfronts SPD until 24th September 2021.
With the new Local Plan having been adopted in November 2019, the Council is in the process of publishing a number of Supplementary Planning Document (SPDs) which give further guidance on the implementation of policies within the Local Plan. The Draft Design Guide for Shopfronts provides user-friendly guidance on how planning applications affecting shopfronts will be decided. Currently, Reading does not have an adopted Design Guide to Shopfronts SPD and this document will be critical in delivering the Reading Heritage High Streets Action Zone, although it will apply to shopfronts across the whole Borough. Additionally, as the nature of the high street is changing this guide will provide advice for conversions of existing shopfronts to residential use.
We are seeking comments over the next eight weeks. The draft Design Guide to Shopfronts SPD can be viewed as a PDF below and copies can also be viewed at the Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU (between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays) and in all Council libraries (during normal opening hours).

Two online presentations and one in-person drop-in session will be held where council officers will be able to explain and discuss the proposals. 

2 September - online (6.30 to 7.30pm)
7 September - in person - just outside the Broad Street Mall Iceland on Oxford Road, opposite Cheapside (2 to 7pm)
9 September - online (6.30 to 7.30pm)

Recording of the online session held on 2 September.

If you would like to attend the in-person drop-in, please email with your preferred session and we will send you an invitation which contains the link.

We welcome any questions or comments that you have. Please provide written responses to the consultation by 5 p.m. on Friday 24th September 2021. Responses should be sent by e-mail to: or by post to: Planning Policy Team, Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, RG1 2LU. 
We intend to take your comments into account in producing a final draft of the SPD that will be considered for adoption in Winter 2021.  Once adopted, it will be used in making decisions on planning applications. We look forward to receiving your comments.
Planning Policy Team


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