Thursday, July 18, 2024

Eagle quarter refused

The redevelopment of Newbury’s  town centre has been knocked back again.

West Berkshire Council has rejected the latest application to build multi-storey blocks of flats on the site.

It says the scheme – called Eagle Quarter –  would present an “over powering and dominant feature” .

The vision is to replace the ageing Kennet Shopping centre in a £115m rebuild.

Whilst the council acknowledges that the Eagle works industrial buildings used to be on the site, it says those were of low scale, no higher than three storeys.

“To introduce a development of the scale and height proposed in the historic core of Newbury would alter the character of the conservation area and introduce a false narrative to Newbury’s past,” it said.

The council further rejected the scheme as it didn’t offer enough affordable housing and open space for the 367 proposed flats.

It added that the parking arrangements weren’t good enough either, and that there was a risk of greater on street parking because of it.

And included in the nine point refusal document, the council also said that insufficient information had been given about the sustainable management of surface water and flood risk.

A separate but linked application to include 91 retirement homes at the same site was also refused on the same grounds.

The decision comes just weeks after Historic England weighed in on the application, saying the development would create a high degree of harm to the area.

“We do not consider the heritage benefits alone, which are limited to a slight improvement in façades (other heritage benefits claimed as part of the application are of little real value), come close to outweighing the harm that would be caused,” it said.

The latest application was rejected despite developers Lochialort reducing the number of storeys on block A by two, and by one storey on block B.

There was also a reduction and greater set back from 33/34 Cheap Street of block C.