David Peacock, chair of the Newbury Society has responded to West Berkshire Council’s refusal to grant planning permission to the plans to replace the Kennet Centre in Newbury:
“Our main response is one of relief. A large-scale development which would have been damaging to Newbury has been refused, leaving the opportunity for a future redevelopment of the Kennet Centre which would make a positive change to Newbury – and one which respects the character of the town centre. The voices of Newbury residents should be heard.
We see that the “Eagle Quarter” plans have been rejected for several reasons, many of them echoing the views voiced by The Newbury Society back in May 2021; and in spite of two sets of revised plans, they were never really addressed by the developers. The highest blocks would have been “excessively tall and dominant”; so, among other things, hopefully this will shut the door both to high-rise blocks and to poorly-designed six-storey flats on Newbury’s street frontages.
And please, any redevelopment which involves flats should include a significant proportion of affordable housing, and sufficient parking; two things the developers repeatedly resisted.”