Submission of a new planning application for the Eagle Quarter in Newbury is imminent after developer Lochailort withdrew its appeal for the mixed-use development of the ailing Kennet Centre.

Lochailort says the tallest building in the scheme will now be eight storeys. The tallest had initially been 11 but was later revised to nine.

In addition a deal has been agreed with West Berkshire Council (WBC) over parking in the scheme.

In a statement Lochailort planning director Sarah Ballantyne-Way said: “We have been able to agree the dual use of the existing car park, which we own and lease to WBC, which is empty at night when our residents will want to use it and can pay to do so.

“This has enabled us to remove the additional deck of car parking and has saved the scheme considerable money.

“Subsequently, we have agreed to remove two storeys from the two tallest buildings, reducing them from nine storeys to seven storeys, plus roof, leaving one building in the middle at eight storeys.

“We have also removed one storey from the last block on Bartholomew Street. To compensate for the loss of units resulting from the reduction in height, we have changed the office space to more flats.

“The rest of the elements that made up the scheme remain the same, together with the Robert Adam detailed facades, new retail units, cafes and restaurants, and new pedestrian streets and spaces.

“The saving from removing the additional floor from the car park has also enabled us to be able to include 19 affordable homes, in the form of discounted market rented units, ideally for key workers, as well as car park improvements helping to bring the car park up to date.”

Cllr Tony Vickers, WBC executive member for planning, said: “I am pleased that the developer has reflected on our concerns and those put forward by the local community.

“It is important we have a plan for the area which helps the town develop in the coming years while protecting the heritage and character which makes the place so special.

“We are now working with them on what we feel would be more appropriate for the area and in line with the planning policies which are there to guide future development. That application will then be judged on its own merits through the planning process.”

Lochailort had previously submitted two applications which proposed different options for some elements of the scheme but both were refused.

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