West Berkshire Council unveils updated proposal for London Road Industrial Estate
A fresh approach for regenerating the council-owned site
West Berkshire Council will consider the next stages for delivering regeneration on the London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE) on the outskirts of Newbury Town Centre at Executive on Thursday, 9 June.
The delivery strategy for the council-owned LRIE, which supersedes the development brief approved by Executive in November 2020, outlines a fresh approach for the site which focuses on job creation, attracting investment to Newbury and achieving carbon neutrality. If the proposals are approved, they could see the site, which is currently home to around 36 businesses and 300 jobs, welcome additional employers and investment as well as at least 200 new jobs.
The approach has been developed following a review of the project which took into account the post-pandemic economy, market demand and the district's ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030. This marks a move away from the previous mixed-use approach and instead will unlock the site's potential as a sustainable, high quality employment site and business destination.
Under the delivery strategy, it is expected that site-wide improvement works will commence and a planning application will be submitted for the former depot site within the next 12 months. Environmental improvements, flood prevention works and negotiations with leaseholders to provide the certainty needed to stimulate private sector investment will get underway.
In the long term, the former depot and playing field will be redeveloped for employment use, with at least £250,000 of private sector investment being brought forward by the estate's existing businesses, seeing an increase in council income from rent and rates, which will in turn be invested in vital public services to benefit residents.
Councillor Ross Mackinnon, Executive Member for Finance and Economic Development at West Berkshire Council, said:
"I'm delighted to share with residents and the business community our fresh approach to the redevelopment of the London Road Industrial Estate, which is a real step forward.
"Over the past few months, we've gone right back to basics. We've reviewed our objectives for the site, taking into account the results of work commissioned from our consultants, as well as the need to drive post-Covid recovery and progress towards our carbon net zero aspirations. We've also put together a comprehensive delivery strategy that sets out very clearly how we intend to achieve those objectives in the coming months and years.
"At the heart of our plans is a desire to engage with existing leaseholders and tenants to discuss their aspirations for the future and see how we can support their sustainable economic growth to create new jobs and benefit the local economy. We also want to hear from potential new leaseholders keen to invest in and create new jobs on the site, which has excellent connectivity to Newbury town centre.
"The successful redevelopment of this important employment site has the potential to deliver a range of economic and environmental benefits for Newbury and the surrounding area. What's more, by investing in our assets and encouraging others to do so too, we will generate income that we can then invest in vital public services to benefit residents and businesses across the district."