A DEVELOPER planning an overhaul of a Newbury industrial estate has said the project will deliver a “landmark” building to the town.
The redevelopment of 115 London Road will see 35 one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as 1,700sq m of office space, developed on the edge of the London Road Industrial Estate by the Robin Hood roundabout.
The outline plans for the scheme were approved by West Berkshire Council last summer and now it is the appearance and landscaping of the site which is up for discussion.
While presenting the plans to Newbury town councillors last Monday, the director of Newbury-based developer Ressance Ltd, Duncan Crook, told them of the firm’s intentions.
“Our objective is to achieve a landmark building,” he said.
“We want to create a statement on the gateway into Newbury.”
The three- and four-storey development will replace the existing office building, which is currently occupied by electronics firm Kraus and Naimer, at the corner of London Road and the A339.
The scheme will include 10 affordable homes and has previously received the backing of both the district council and Newbury Town Council.
At the meeting in the town hall chamber last week, councillors raised no objection to the appearance of the building, but did express concerns over the landscaping.
Councillors pointed to comments made on the application from West Berkshire Council’s tree officer, who said the tree selection earmarked for the development was “uninspiring and disappointing” for what is considered to be a “prominent location”.
Mr Crook told councillors: “He’s entitled to his view. We will engage with him. You probably know it’s not that easy to get access to officers.
“I would prefer to sit down with him and discuss what the appropriate scheme should be.
“We wouldn’t resist it if it’s going to make a positive contribution.”
Councillors accepted this and voted unanimously to no objection.
The development of 115 London Road will mark the second phase of a scheme, which will see a large section of the industrial estate undergo a major transformation.
The first phase involved Ressance Ltd converting units at Kelvin House in Kelvin Road, while the third phase will include the Faraday Plaza development – a major redevelopment of a large portion of the estate with plans for offices, shops and a hotel.
A new planning application is yet to be submitted for the Faraday Plaza scheme since developer Faraday Development Ltd won an appeal against the council’s decision to turn down the proposals in 2014.
However, Mr Crook told councillors on Monday evening that the developer was “cautiously optimistic” that there might be a breakthrough soon.