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Surprising objection to new Newbury retailer plans

Shopping centre owners raise concerns

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Surprising objection to new Newbury retailer plans

KENNET Shopping centre’s owners are set to object to a scheme which would bring a new retailer to Newbury.

As reported in the Newbury Weekly News a fortnight ago, plans have been submitted to build a 12,000sq ft shopping unit on the site of the now-redundant Narrow Boat pub at the London Road Retail Park.

Among the first to raise concerns over the scheme is Kennet Shopping owner HIG Luxembourg Holdings.

Writing on behalf of the centre’s owner, real estate firm CBRE said: “The Kennet Centre provides significant retail and leisure floorspace in Newbury town centre, which is suffering from a number of vacancies; therefore HIG wishes to strongly object to the principle of a new retail unit outside Newbury town centre.

“The proposed retail unit would be harmful to the vitality and viability of Newbury town centre, particularly the Kennet Centre.

“We have fundamental concerns with the sequential and retail impact assessment which has been undertaken on behalf of the applicant, particularly the assumptions which have been made about the Kennet Centre.”

Planning documents say that the unnamed retailer has more than 400 stores throughout the UK already, but wants to expand to 700-plus in the next five years.

The plans said that the retailer had looked at the former TK Maxx and Debenhams outlets in the Kennet Centre.

But despite the units being of a suitable size, the developer added that neither unit was being actively marketed.

The Kennet Shopping centre also recently put on hold ambitious plans for a restaurant quarter. 

Centre manager Mag Williams told the NWN: “The redevelopment is on hold until we decide the best thing to do.

“Bride Hall’s [former asset managers who submitted the plan] idea was centred on the leisure quarter, but it could take a different direction.

“We aren’t sure what’s going to happen just yet.

“We’ve got some potential interest in the retail units, so decided to hold fire for now.”  

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Article comments

  • Ihavenonickname

    06/07/2018 - 20:08

    Well there's a surprise! How many empty units are there currently in the Kennet Centre? Might it have something to do with the cost of parking in the town centre when the out of town retail parks have free parking? Funny that!


  • sdm36

    05/07/2018 - 14:02

    The owners of the Kennet Centre enjoy a reduced tax rate courtesy of registering the business in Luxembourg. Great for them, less so for us. I hope this new place is built and they go under, if you're not already doing it, boycott the Kennet Centre!!


    • Tommy

      06/07/2018 - 11:11

      Never bother going in the place anymore apart from using it as a short cut or for the toilets anyway, no point. The idea of an Ice Rink or Bowling alley, you know, the sort of thing people keep asking for will never happen as long as the present management / owners keep their heads buried in the sand !!


  • newsouls

    05/07/2018 - 10:10

    kennet centre has been on a downhill slop for years and years now. Nelson's diner and their reported 'pipe' issues the kennet centre said they will reopen but they were selling their assests on facebook. i can see the kennet centre turning to flats. How about an ice rink, new bowling alley something to make people want to visit newbury. That and a restaurant quarter would really enhance the cinema.


  • Bombey

    05/07/2018 - 09:09

    BooBars - mysteriously closed. Nelson's Diner - mysteriously closed. Prohibition & Chenz - forced to close. all independent small local businesses...large units empty for years. Something fishy going on in the Kennet Centre...


    • biggus_richus

      05/07/2018 - 09:09

      Spot on. It's a bit rich for Kennet Shopping to whinge about their empty units when they've forced a number of them themselves.


      • Bombey

        06/07/2018 - 08:08

        I'm waiting for the time the owners declare the place not 'economically viable' as a retail site & plans go in for 300 flats. What with a new multi story car park over the road...


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