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John Lewis store recommended for approval

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West Berkshire planning officers have been considering plans for the John Lewis 'at home' store in Newbury's Parkway

WEST Berkshire planning officers have recommended that expanded retail space, which would make way for a John Lewis 'at home' store in Parkway, Newbury, be approved by councillors.

The application names the proposed large store at the forthcoming Parkway shopping hub as John Lewis 'at home', confirming previous reports on Newburytoday.co.uk that this could become a second anchor store for the site, in addition to Debenhams. It also shows that the increase of 1,852 sq.m of retail floorspace would be constructed in place of smaller retail units and open space as shown in the original scheme.

The planning officers' report, which will be considered at West Berkshire Council's Western Area Planning Committee meeting next Wednesday evening (January 19), states that the John Lewis store will help ‘claw back' shoppers from larger retail areas such as Basingstoke and Reading.

It also states that the store is expected to employ about 170 people.

However, the plan has attracted some opposition.

Newbury Town Council has objected to the revised plans on the grounds of a loss of public amenity space and overdevelopment.

House of Fraser, a fierce competitor of John Lewis, has also written a letter of objection, stating the reduction in smaller units that, which will have to make way for the anchor store, is contrary to planning policy.

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