Thursday, July 25, 2024

Plans submitted to remodel the Kennet Centre

Under plans submitted this week, Newbury’s Kennet Centre could be mostly knocked down and rebuilt into a mixture of shops, homes and restaurants.

Lochailort Newbury Ltd has this week submitted two virtually identical planning applications for a comprehensive redevelopment of Newbury’s Kennet Centre.

The plans would see most of the current shopping centre flattened with a mixed-use development built in its place.

The proposed complex would include 402 multi-family build-to-rent flats, and homes for private sale.

The scheme includes 30 shops, restaurants and co-working spaces, with a focus on attracting local, independent and artisan businesses.

The difference between the applications is that the first application features plans for a new technology “incubator hub” that would provide flexible space for high-tech and start-up businesses as well as a HQ office building.

The second application includes proposals for a high quality senior living development of 91 flats, complete with residents’ amenities on the ground floor.

In a nod to Newbury’s history, the development would be named Eagle Quarter, after Plenty’s Eagle Iron Works, which was previously on the site.

One of the key features of the scheme is the creation of the new connections back into the town by forming new streets which would provide pedestrianised links between the train station, market place and the town centre.

The development would also create a number of landscaped new public spaces and outside areas that would be used in conjunction with the restaurants, cafes and shops.

Other features include a Health Centre, as well as on-site residents’ gym, squash court, meeting rooms, dining rooms, garden terraces and residents’ lounge.

The plans also include the retention and changes to the existing Vue cinema and food area, as well as improvements to the existing multi-storey car park, with the provision of an additional floor of parking and more parking spaces and electric vehicle charging points.

The developers are keen to stress that they have incorporated a number of sustainability features into the plan such as solar rooftop panels, ground source heat pumps, tree planting and open spaces.  The development would use sustainable energy solutions in place of fossil fuels.

The plans have been submitted following a public consultation late last year. The applications will now go through West Berkshire Council’s normal planning application process, with the opportunity for public views to be expressed.