A DEVELOPER looking to convert offices on a Newbury business park into 107 flats has submitted plans, which would see the number of dwellings increased by a third.
Overbridge Development Ltd is aiming to convert five office blocks on Overbridge Square Business Park in Hambridge Lane under Permitted Development Rights (PDR).
However, a new planning application has been submitted to West Berkshire Council to construct a roof structure on top of the buildings, which would accommodate an extra 35 dwellings across the site.
Members of Newbury Town Council’s planning and highways committee have objected to the plans, saying: “The area is zoned for commercial and industrial purposes and Newbury cannot afford to lose land zoned for that purpose.”
Councillors also raised concerns over noise from traffic of neighbouring businesses, while also stating no provision had been made for waste collection.
In December, Overbridge Development Ltd was given the go-ahead by West Berkshire Council to convert the offices – amounting to more than 60,000 sq ft of office space – under PDR (meaning no planning application is necessary for the conversion).
However, despite giving approval for the development, the planning officer in his report stated the council would have almost certainly rejected the proposal if a planning application had been required.