West Berkshire Council

New proposal for Newbury's Faraday Road football pitch

Proposal would see recreational use of the land continue until development begins.

2018 - Faraday Road football pitch

A proposal to keep the Faraday Road football pitch in Newbury as a recreational space until the regeneration of the area begins has been put forward to Newbury Town Council.

The football pitch falls within an area earmarked for an ambitious redevelopment of the London Road Industrial Estate. The scheme, a partnership with leading developer St Modwen PLC, will deliver new homes, affordable housing and high-quality office and retail space and transform an important area of the town which is in need of redevelopment. To ensure the land is available at short notice for the regeneration work the facility - currently leased to Trustees of the Newbury Football Club - will return to West Berkshire Council when the lease expires in June.

West Berkshire Council and Newbury Town Council are exploring options for the site to ensure it still remains available for community use until the development begins. Under a new proposal the ground could be rented by Newbury Town Council and made available for recreational use. The proposal will be discussed by Newbury Town Council's Policy and Resources Committee when it meets on Monday 30th April. Should the Committee decide in principle to support the proposal, it's likely a final decision will be made by Newbury Town Council on 25th June, 2018 once it has completed a public consultation on the proposal.

Welcoming the proposal Councillor James Fredrickson from West Berkshire Council said:

"This land is important for our vision for the area but until work begins we want it to remain accessible to the local community. Newbury Town Council have a good track record running local facilities such as the tennis courts and Victoria Park as well as regular events such as the market. I'm hopeful that they will rent the land from us and use it to benefit the town until the moment development begins."

The expiration of the football ground lease marks the next step towards a multi-million pound project to regenerate the London Road Industrial Estate. It follows a strategic assessment of the area undertaken by West Berkshire Council in 2010 which informed a decision to redevelop the area. Following a competitive tendering process St Modwen was appointed by West Berkshire Council as its development partner in 2014 and since then plans for the area have been developed. Under the current proposals modern housing, office and retail space will be created to transform the area.

A separate planning application, submitted by a community group, in relation to the football ground has also been received. The applicants were invited to meet with the West Berkshire Council and set out their business proposals for the site. This has already taken place and the proposals will be considered by the Council. 

The regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate is one of several projects set out in the Newbury Vision 2026 to enhance central Newbury. It follows the prestigious development of the Parkway Shopping Centre, the introduction of a new cinema to the town centre and the pedestrianisation Northbrook Street and Market Place.

Work also begins this year on the regeneration of Market Street which will deliver 232 new homes as well as additional parking capacity in the town centre, a new station plaza, new landscaped step free pedestrian routes through the site and a new bus station.

Speaking about the development in the town, Councillor James Fredrickson said:

"Improving the London Road Industrial Estate will rejuvenate this part of town. It will provide much needed housing and office space and help make the town more competitive for residents and businesses looking to relocate within Berkshire and from further afield.

"Regenerating the area is a commitment we set out in our Council Strategy and which is supported by our partners through the Newbury Vision 2026. It's an important project and I look forward to it being delivered in the coming years."