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Compulsory purchase powers expected to be used to build new A339 access road

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Two business units will be demolished if approved

Permission to use compulsory purchase powers to buy land for a new access road onto the A339 from a Newbury industrial estate is being sought by West Berkshire Council.

On Tuesday, the newly elected district councillors will vote on whether to exercise the council's power to purchase two units in Fleming Road, on the London Road Industrial Estate, where the council wants to build the new road.

If the CPO is approved, West Berkshire Council will demolish unit 7 and part of unit 6 in Fleming Road, currently occupied by Guardian Realty Ltd, as well as areas of external carparking and hardstanding outside units 4, 5 and 6.

The council will also use its powers to obtain land in Victoria Park, adjacent to the A339, from Newbury Town Council.

The traffic light-controlled junction, which will be located approximately 230metres south of the Robin Hood, was approved by West Berkshire Council in February.

It will include the widening of the northbound carriageway to make way for a dedicated right-hand-turn lane into the estate's Fleming Road, and a signal controlled pedestrian and cycle crossing to link the estate with Victoria Park, and construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.

Traffic modeling conducted on behalf of West Berkshire Council last year showed that the access road could reduce traffic at the Robin Hood by 15 per cent in the morning rush hour, and 23 per cent in the evening.

A petition calling for changes in the way decisions on the future of the industrial estate are made has racked-up more than 500 signatures.

More than 100 of these signatures were obtained at Newbury's Crafty Craft funday held on May 4.

The petition was launched by the Community Representation for Open and Fair Treatment group (CROFT), an action group formed last year to represent businesses and local residents who would be affected by the redevelopment of the LRIE.

It followed concerns that consultation with business owners and tenants on the estate had been inadequate and that the revamp of the area would force Bayer, considered to be one of the largest employers in Newbury, out of the town entirely, with the lease on its current unit in Strawberry Hill reported to cease next year.

However, any petition needs to achieve 1,500 signatures by June 8 for it to be put before the newly elected West Berkshire Council members for debate.

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