Plans for an ‘urban village’ in the heart of Newbury have been submitted

Posted on 8th March 2016 in Community Consultation - 0

Following extensive consultation, Grainger, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, has submitted a detailed planning application to West Berkshire Council to develop land between Newbury railway station and Market Street creating an attractive new gateway to Newbury with high-quality homes to meet local need and additional parking capacity for Newbury station users.

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Image shows a CGI of the view along Market Street

The application for the ‘urban village’ includes 232 residential homes, providing a mix of apartments, duplexes and houses, with 10,200 sqft of commercial space. In addition to the new homes and commercial space, these proposals provide over £8m of further improvements for Newbury by way of station car parking with additional capacity, replacement car parking for the Council offices, a new station plaza, new landscaped step free pedestrian routes through the site, replacement housing contribution and a new bus station. Furthermore, the development will facilitate the payment of a community infrastructure levy (CIL) amounting to approximately £1.53m.

The proposals are anticipated to create more than 220 new full time jobs in the next four years and, upon completion, anticipated to provide more than £4m of additional expenditure in local shops and services each year.

David Walters, Development Director at Grainger, said,

“We have had the opportunity to meet with many residents, businesses and community groups and would like to thank everyone who gave up their time to meet with us and share their views. Our final proposals are a culmination of this extensive public consultation process, and the community’s views have significantly influenced and shaped the plans. These detailed proposals have been designed with careful consideration to Newbury’s heritage, and we believe will greatly enhance this under-utilised 5.5 acre site in the centre of the town.

“Grainger is proposing the new housing is professionally managed Private Rented Sector (PRS) and affordable homes, meeting local demand and supporting growth, employment and labour mobility in Newbury. With over 100 years’ experience in owning housing, Grainger will continue to manage the buildings after construction and be focused on providing the highest quality rental homes for Newbury.”

The majority of the site is owned by West Berkshire Council and is currently a combination of parking spaces and the bus station. As part of Grainger’s proposals, a new multi-storey car park will be built and the bus station is being moved to the wharf, where planning permission was granted earlier this year. The development has been designed to ensure there is no loss of station parking during construction.

Nick Carter, Chief Executive of West Berkshire Council said,

“I am pleased that we have the planning application from Grainger. It marks a huge step forward for this important improvement for Newbury. The plan to improve this site, create a new gateway into the town and ultimately bring significant economic benefits for the whole town is a very exciting prospect. It forms a key part of the Newbury Vision 2025 which has already delivered projects such as Parkway, the cinema, and the town centre pedestrianisation. Newbury is one the best connected towns in the South, along with the investment committed by Network Rail, to have a more impressive gateway can only continue to boost its appeal.”

As part of its consultation, Grainger held a Community Planning Weekend in July 2015 to create a new vision for the site. More than 200 people took part in workshops and hands-on planning activities during the Community Planning Weekend process, and meetings were also held with local businesses, young people and community groups. In September 2015 Grainger also invited local people to the Market Street Community Forum for an update on the proposals which gave the community an opportunity to provide further feedback.

Grainger will be holding another exhibition later in March so the community can view the final proposals. The application will be considered by West Berkshire Council’s planning committee, and is expected to be determined later this year. More information can be found by calling the Freephone project information line on 0800 0126 730.

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