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Newbury Town Council will be fighting against the developers appealing for planning permission for high rise development at The Kennet Centre.

In May of this year, the District Council refused planning permission for redevelopment proposals up to 9 storeys high. However, since then, the developers have appealed this decision to the Planning Inspectorate. The Town Council has told the Inspectorate that they support the decision to refuse permission and the inspectorate has invited the Town Council to join the appeals process.

Cllr Gary Norman, Leader of the Council, said, “While the Town Council would love to see the Kennet Centre redeveloped, the current proposals were way too high and out of character for Newbury”.

He continued, “As the only democratically elected body representing the people of Newbury, we feel that we have a duty to fight against the proposed development. It is clear to all of us that there is very strong local feeling against the proposals. We have told the Planning Inspectors dealing with these appeals that the scale of the proposed development would irreparably ruin the existing character of Newbury.

We are also concerned that the height of the proposed development would have a seriously detrimental impact on the Town Centre Conservation area and the listed buildings nearby.

As well as that, there are already too many apartments in Newbury, and we need a more diversified housing supply.”

Cllr Nigel Foot, the Mayor of Newbury and Chairman of the Council’s Planning and Highways Committee, will also be involved in the appeal and the fight against this development.

He said, “I am very pleased that the Planning Inspectorate has made the Town Council a party to this appeal. We are the voice of Newbury, and we will make sure that they know the level of opposition to this development. As well as the evidence which West Berkshire District Council will present, we will be telling the inspectorate how the proposed development contravenes the Newbury Town Centre Master Plan, The Newbury Town Design Statement and the findings of our surveys for our Neighbourhood Development Plan.

He added, “We are also delighted that The Newbury Society will be joining us at the appeal. The Society has great expertise in heritage and conservation matters and they will demonstrate how the development would have such a serious impact on the Town Centre Conservation Area. We would also like to thank the Society for the great work they are doing in collecting signatures for their petition opposing the redevelopment, which already numbers more than 2,000. You can add your name to this using the following link: https://chng.it/6tM7V9zV96

We are all for the redevelopment of the Kennet Centre and for boosting the economy of the southern end of the town, but we must do so in a way which is acceptable to the people of Newbury and enhances the character and offer of our Town Centre.”

The actual hearing of the appeal is scheduled to commence on 10th October and could last up to 5 working days. The appeal decision is expected to be issued on or before 14 November 2023.


Cllr Gary Norman, Leader of the Council gary.norman@newbury.gov.uk 07801 046115

Cllr Nigel Foot, Mayor of Newbury and Chair of the Town Council’s Planning & Highways Committee nigel.foot@newbury.gov.uk 07970 790773