Fri, 17 Mar 2017
PLANS to build a four-storey apartment complex on the site of the old St Mary’s Surgery in Newbury have been scaled down by the developer.
Feltham Properties has amended its proposals for the new block of flats in St Mary’s Road following feedback from council planners.
The developer had initially intended to build a four-storey complex housing 15 flats.
However, Feltham Properties is now proposing a three-storey building containing 14 flats.
The most recent proposals are the third attempt at the design of the development following an initial application from previous developer Paul Sievers and others in August 2015.
These plans were granted planning permission by West Berkshire Council in May last year, despite heavy criticism from many quarters, including conservation officers, the town council and residents.
New landowner Feltham Properties then submitted its first proposals in November, with Sean Bates (representing the developer) telling town councillors at the time: “This is very much a choice between two schemes because we are not going to hang around forever.
“We do have consent and we will build that consent for better or worse if we can’t proceed with this application.”
However, the new plans suggest the developer is aiming to come up with a design that satisfies the planning authority’s conservation officers.
In an email to the agents acting on behalf of the developers, West Berkshire Council principal conservation and design officer Debra Inston said she welcomed the amendments, adding: “I am satisfied that the scheme now provides a satisfactory transition between the three-storey development along London Road and the two-storey houses further south.
“While the proposed building is in a contemporary idiom, it picks up on elements of the surrounding buildings, such as their vertical proportions and use of materials (red brickwork and render).”
Newbury Town Council had no objection to the amendments when the application was discussed at a meeting of the planning and highways committee.
The plans also include parking facilities for 19 cars and storage for 28 cycles.
The application states the scheme seeks to maintain a level of affordable housing, agreed under the previous consent, which had been set at four affordable homes – below the council’s threshold for a development of this size.
West Berkshire Council will make a decision on the application at a later date.
The surgery was made redundant following the opening of the ‘super surgery’ at Strawberry Hill, which combined St Mary’s Surgery with Northcroft Surgery.