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The townscape, connectivity, mix of uses and vitality of this part of the town centre call for a comprehensive approach to the redevelopment of the impermeable and dated shopping centre.
The scheme will provide a variety of long-lasting benefits to the local community including:
|367 new homes|
|A new low-carbon headquarters office building or alternatively a new retirement community.|
|A workplace hub|
|Flexible commercial units for artisan and independent retailers and a refurbished multi-storey car park|
|Sustainability enhancements including solar panels and ground source heat pumps, electric vehicle charging points, car club spaces, cycle parking and on-site cycle hire and repairs, and a ‘Library of Things’.|
|A new landscaped pedestrian route named New Street, connecting Market Street to Bartholomew Street and Market Place. A new public square, Eagle Square, will provide a new link into the retained Vue cinema as well as a bandstand. A range of activities will take place in Eagle Square and along New Street, as well as in Plenty’s Yard, a new public space with direct access to the improved multi-storey car park.|
The amended proposal creates a series of pedestrian routes, spaces and alleyways through the currently impermeable site, which are all familiar design patterns within the heart of Newbury and serve to reconnect the site with the surrounding areas.
Where new buildings sit alongside listed or character buildings, and toward the more historical northern end of the site, the buildings are lower, relate to the historical plot patterns, and have been designed to reflect the historic design and character of the surrounding buildings and streets.
Towards the southern and central area of the site where the surrounding buildings are newer, larger, and where the historical industrial uses were located, the texture of the design changes a little, with buildings of a larger scale and a more industrial aesthetic. The internal part of the site is planned to allow permeability and the buildings reflect the past historic Eagle Works’ use of the site and draw on a local palette of materials.
The design is intended to re-capture the essence of this site’s past and to allow movement through the site to reconnect Newbury and enhance the pedestrian experience of the town, as well as add to the success of the town centre for shoppers, residents, visitors and businesses alike.
The landscaping and public realm proposals for the redevelopment are based upon the re-creation of historical streets and spaces accessible for people to enjoy.
This brings an opportunity to introduce landscaping, seating, places to sit and eat, and an animated extension of the High Street directly to the train station. In addition, the new route takes pedestrians to the Corn Exchange and better ensures that all parts of Newbury can be more easily and safely enjoyed.
There is the opportunity to create a more diverse mix of uses on the application site. This would complement the variety of uses already present in the local area.
Bartholomew Street and Cheap Street have shaped the site’s urban form and active frontages and the communal focus of Market Place and Market Street to the south have created a rich and lively urban quarter. The proposal aspires to add to this as a mixed-use scheme consisting of retail, amenity, work space and residential uses.
The proposals have already been viability tested and it has been confirmed that the scheme cannot afford to deliver affordable housing on site.
The design approach for the landscaping and public realm proposals for the redevelopment of the site considers the rich history of this site as a reference for defining identity and character within the new public realm. In particular the design looks at this history in terms of the urban grain patterns and the creative industries which have been active at the site through time.
The central north – south pedestrian spine route is a key opportunity for project and will also allow for east-west connections both to Bartholomew Street and Cheap Street providing the potential for creating new spaces including a new civic square as well as opportunities for commercial, cultural and public uses of the new streets as a whole.
Upper levels, including residential accommodation look out onto a range of spaces and include communal gardens, roof terraces and biodiverse roofs.
Permeability with the context is key within the project. A new sequence of spaces, with a variety of scales and characters, will offer connectivity with the existing context.
Update road alignment to minimise vehicular area and introduce flush kerbs to improve pedestrian character.
Improve western crossing, omit taxi rank and add additional landscaping. Create connection to Market Street Development and Newbury Railway Station. Add planting and street trees to improve Market Street.
New crossing treatment to Market Place.
New pedestrian route connecting Eagle Square to the north and north east of the site at Bartholomew Street and Market Place.
Eagle Quarter aims to deliver an energy efficient and sustainable development in the heart of Newbury, which supports the environmental aspirations of West Berkshire Council and provides a flagship for the town.
The proposals will incorporate ground source heat pumps providing efficient and renewable heating and cooling throughout the development. Photovoltaic panels are also proposed on the roof of the office. The efficient, all electric system provides the scheme with a flexible and future proofed solution to meet with net zero in the future.
The key sustainability benefits of the proposals are as follows:
The residential and commercial uses will incorporate the following measures to improve sustainability on site:
“Making Newbury a town we can all be proud of”
TOWN COUNCIL’S GOAL 1: HELP MAKE NEWBURY A UNIQUE, WELCOMING, SAFE AND WELL CARED FOR TOWN
How we’re responding:
TOWN COUNCIL’S GOAL 2: FOSTER A REAL SENSE OF COMMUNITY
How we’re responding:
TOWN COUNCIL’S GOAL 3: TAKE ACTIONS TO ADDRESS THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY
How we’re responding:
Key principles include:
Broadening the leisure, community and cultural ‘experience’, the town centre can be transformed into a ‘multi-functional’ space, attracting more visitors and increasing dwell time.
Response: Eagle Quarter will create a new and exciting part of the town centre, renewing a currently underused area with new retail, restaurant and café uses with active frontages onto the new streets and public spaces.
Make the town centre more ‘walkable’ and increase the appeal of the town’s spaces, buildings and key assets by enhancing north-south and east-west permeability by foot.
Response: The proposals create new streets, linking the railway station and the Market Street development through to Northbrook Street from north to south. The proposals also link Bartholomew Street in the west to Market Place and Cheap Street in the east. Cycling facilities are hugely improve on site
A greener town centre.
Response: The current Kennet Centre incorporates no green space or landscaping with the only tree on site located next to the multi-storey car park on Bartholomew Street. The proposals incorporate significant tree planting and soft landscaping and green roofs on the upper levels.
A more sociable town – support opportunities for spill out space for cafes and restaurants.
Response: The proposals ensure that the new streets incorporate spill out space for cafes and restaurants as well as market stalls and other on-street traders.
A more cultural town.
Response: The scheme incorporates space within the new public and civic spaces for events to be held. A bandstand is proposed, and space is available for outdoor events such as concerts and outdoor movies.
Promote the heritage of Newbury as an “independent” market town supporting independent businesses and recognising that the proposals for Eagle Quarter will provide units catered for small independent businesses.
Report: Our proposals have been carefully designed to support independent and artisan businesses on site.
Delivery of new office space particularly on delivering smaller, fit-for-purpose new office space for small businesses, start-ups and those looking for workspace closer to home.
Response: Our proposals incorporate a variety of different types of workspace.