Saturday, February 24, 2024

Kennet Centre developer fights back

The developers appealing against West Berkshire Council’s refusal to develop Newbury’s Kennet Centre say the move “flies in the face of national policy”.

Lochialort has been trying to get the go ahead for a huge rejig of the town centre for more than a year.

Its plans – which would see the town centre’s Kennet Shopping centre area transformed into multi-storey blocks of flats with a new shopping district called ‘The Eagle Quarter’ – are in their third round with council planners who keep kicking it out.

“Lochailort were very disappointed to have had their scheme refused last year,” said Lochialort planning director Sarah Ballantyne-Way.

“Particularly after having been encouraged to submit the scheme from the outset given the enormous benefits the proposals will bring to Newbury town centre. 

“We made several significant amendments and reductions and yet it was refused without even going to committee.

“We have since struggled with WBC’s refusal, which flies in the face of national policy, and have now made the difficult decision to appeal.

 “Our scheme is a brownfield site, in a sustainable location next to the railway station.

“We employed the best architects to work on the scheme, Professor Robert Adam and Roy Collado of Collado Collins, and produced an architecturally exemplar design and net zero scheme incorporating the latest green technology.

“The scheme includes acres of open space, in the form of new streets, numerous roof terraces, public spaces, and communal and private amenity space for new residents, a particular benefit as there is no open space on the site currently.”

The council and conservationists  have previously disagreed saying the project is to “big scale”, and would make Newbury look like Basingstoke.

The planning inspector will now decide the fate of the application at appeal in October.

“We are confident that an inspector will see that the enormous benefits of this scheme outweigh any perceived harm and that the objections to the proposal simply reflect those who object to any sort of change and allow the scheme,” added Ms Ballantyne-Way.

You make your views known on this planning appeal, by lodging a comment with the planning inspectorate on the following link: