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Market Street development approved

Six-storey 'urban village' will be a 'bonus' to Newbury

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

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01635 886639

Market Street development approved

PLANS for a six-storey, 232-home development in Newbury town centre have been given the go-ahead.

The 'urban village' will see the face of Newbury town centre’s southern gateway changed forever after councillors approved the plans at a meeting of the western area planning committee last night (Wednesday).

Serious concerns had been raised over the low number of affordable homes included in the project – developer Grainger had proposed just 13 units (5.6 per cent) – however councillors ultimately decided in favour of the development.

Addressing the committee, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley) said it was "extremely disappointing" that the number of affordable units didn't meet West Berkshire’s requirement of 30 per cent but pointed to new figures which suggested the number of affordable homes built across the country was 52 per cent lower than the previous year.

She added: “It's really indicative of the issues that all developers are facing in delivering affordable homes.

“We are where we are and we have to be pragmatic."

The 5.5-acre site, just north of Newbury Railway station, has been earmarked for development since 2006, with the council including the regeneration of the area in its over-arching planning document for the town – Newbury Vision 2026.

The development will also see the construction of a new multi-storey car park, providing almost 500 car parking spaces, as well as the relocation of the bus station to The Wharf.

The scheme became the subject of controversy when it was revealed that the land, which the council previously owned and valued at £3.9m, was given to Grainger at no cost.

Proposing the application be approved, Jeff Beck (Con, Clay Hill) said: “If this development goes ahead it will be another bonus for Newbury."

Councillors voted in favour of the plans subject to conditions and completion of a developer contributions agreement. 

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Article comments

  • NewburyLad

    24/11/2016 - 14:02

    Can someone explain why this development should contain any "affordable housing"?! Affordable housing is just another name for "low cost/low rent" housing and as this development is just a few minutes walk away from the shops, places of entertainment, the park and a railway station with fast express connections to Reading and London, it is clearly going to be a prime residential location. The council should have been seeking a maximum return on the area, not turning it over to low cost housing with very little coming back in revenue & council tax raising.

    Reply

    • PhilW

      25/11/2016 - 10:10

      The developers are seeking to maximise their return - all WBC will get is the extra council tax. To encourage this they are giging away land worth almost £4million. And this council supported development will fail to meet council targets on affordable housing (30%) - it's a disgrace. As a result the council will end up paying more for private rentals to house those unable to get housing association properties while the developers enjoy their profits.

      Reply

  • lance3

    24/11/2016 - 14:02

    Question, does this impact the railway station car park at all?

    Reply

    • newsouls

      24/11/2016 - 15:03

      Because it is going in this development. 700 spaces are going and bring replaced by a multi storey with 500 spaces

      Reply

      • lance3

        24/11/2016 - 22:10

        thanks. and i guess that means some disruption while the multi storey is being built.

        Reply

  • quadnewbury

    24/11/2016 - 14:02

    Hush hush people. we don't want to upset the poor developers, and the tossers who gave away £3.9 million pounds of taxpayers money now do we.

    Reply

  • grumpy

    24/11/2016 - 14:02

    Please change the name from "Urban Village", it sounds like a war zone :-(

    Reply

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