West Berkshire Council and Network Rail have appointed Grainger plc, the UK's largest listed residential property owner and manager, to comprehensively redevelop a 5.5 acre site in the center of Newbury.
The site, which lies between the railway station and Market Street and includes the existing bus station and council car park, is not deemed to be suitable for rail travelers coming into central Newbury. Network Rail have already announced that Newbury station is set to benefit from rail line electrification, which will transform the current service from London, delivering faster, greener and quieter travel with extra capacity - and potentially more visitors to the town.
Grainger will now work up plans for a residential led development on the Newbury site that will substantially improve the setting, increase parking for the mainline station, and provide a prominent pedestrian links to Northbrook Street, Market Place and beyond.
The scheme will be funded as a private sector development through Grainger, with the land owned by West Berkshire Council and Network Rail.
Pamela Bale, West Berkshire's Executive Councilor for Town Centers said:
"The plan to improve this site will create a new gateway into Newbury and ultimately bring significant economic benefits for the whole town. It forms a key part of the Newbury Vision 2025 which has already delivered projects such as Parkway, the cinema, and the town center pedestrian realm. The Council looks forward to seeing ideas from Grainger for this latest project, which will then be used to consult with the public later this year."
The proposals would allow for the creation of a new bus interchange at the Wharf in the center of town to replace the existing bus station which forms part of the development site. More homes - including affordable housing - will help maintain the vibrancy of the town center.
Amanda Hoyland, Network Rail route enhancement manager, said:
"This scheme will not only bring benefits to people using the station but also to the whole town. Our wider program of investment, including electrification, will pave the way for new trains and a more reliable railway which supports and encourages economic growth across the region."
David Walters, Development Director at Grainger plc said:
"Newbury is one the best connected towns in the South, with substantial future investment committed by Network Rail and a number of significant commercial schemes in the town already delivered. We believe there are strong prospects for the future in Newbury and we are delighted to be working with both West Berkshire Council and Network Rail on this important project."
Source: FTI Consulting