The online polls held during our latest webinar on Thursday suggested a large proportion of those taking part were in favour of the proposed new Eagle Quarter in Newbury.
But there was conversation in the chat, which ran alongside the webinar, about the heights of one building.
The point was made that the scheme has to work and, for it to do so, there has to be a good number of people around to regularly use the retail.
It has a wide pedestrianised street and ‘white box’ shop units designed for independent retailers to hit the ground running. Shoppers throughout the UK have been crying out for more independent shops for decades.
Whatever the most appropriate number of flats and offices, the more there are, the better the chance the commercial units will succeed. If there are too few, it could put the success whole scheme at risk.
Newbury already suffers from its major retail attractions being too spread out.
So when a proposal to bring offices, residential and independent retail together, close to the railway station in a modern scheme that ticks all the necessary sustainability boxes, it must be frustrating to still find objections.
The area around the Corn Exchange is wide and pedestrian-friendly. Sadly the Kennet Centre is dying a slow death alongside it.
It would be a strange world if people rejected 30 new independent shops and cafes purely because there may be one tall building needed to support them.
Perhaps developers don’t need telling, but they will never please everyone.
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