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Plans to regenerate Newbury's London Road Industrial Estate move a step closer

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New development brief has been published and gives two options for redevelopment

PLANS to redevelop Newbury’s London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE) have moved a step closer following the publication of a draft development brief for the site.

The West Berkshire Council-commissioned report by consultant Avison Young found that regeneration “remains a viable prospect” and puts forward two possible options for developing a new masterplan for the area.

The first is for a comprehensive redevelopment of the entire site, while the other is to develop it on a phased basis when individual plots become available.

However, neither of them involve keeping the Faraday Road football ground where it is.

The council says it is instead “looking at options to build a new football facility in the Newbury area” which could be used by Newbury Football Club as well as the wider community.

The local authority has confirmed that it will reopen the Faraday Road ground as “recreational space for community use” in spring 2021 and it will stay that way until the land is required for regeneration.

Work is due to begin this autumn with the “creation of an area of grass surrounded by a rail and hard surface”.

However, before work can safely begin, contractors will be appointed to demolish the derelict clubhouse on the site which the council says “is in a dangerous condition and beyond repair”.

An application for demolition will be submitted in the coming weeks.

As well as new business space, the regeneration could also deliver up to 544 new homes on the site and provide an opportunity to introduce new travel routes, the report has said.

The development brief is due to be considered by the council’s executive committee next Thursday.

Subject to approval, a consultation on the plans will then be held.

In coming up with its proposals the consultants, Avison Young, spoke to existing businesses on the site as well as other local stakeholders.

Speaking about the proposal, West Berkshire Council’s executive member for finance and economic development Ross Mackinnon said: “We want West Berkshire to be a place which welcomes business, enterprise and industry. In the district we already have a very competitive offer for start-ups and businesses wanting to grow but we want to do more.

"Regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate will help us protect existing jobs and create new ones by creating some first-rate office and industrial space.

“It’s a huge project and an important one, and I hope local people will let us have their views on how they want the area to be developed.”

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