New Greenham Park gets the go-ahead

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ProLogis’ plans for the development of New Greenham Park at Greenham Common in Newbury have been given the go-ahead at appeal. ProLogis has been trying to get permission for the past two years to build roughly 670,000 sq ft of distribution space in several buildings at Greenham. It acquired the 42-acre site in 2005 from Sainsbury’s, after the retailer decided to cut capital expenditures.

Originally, West Berkshire Council, Hampshire Council and Basingstoke & Deane Council objected on the grounds that the development would increase traffic and have a detrimental impact on the area, but at the beginning of the Public Inquiry the councils did a U-turn and dropped their objections.

It has been said that the reason for the withdrawal is because the developer has increased its infrastructure contribution from £1.6m to £1.9m.

In a written statement inspector Trevor Cookson said the planned buildings were classical and would not have a detrimental impact. “I consider that there is no demonstrable harm to the ecological value of the common. The buildings proposed are classically simple… there is an understated elegance in their detailing.”

ProLogis said the development would create about 500 jobs.

As a condition of the appeal decision, work on the plans must start within three years. But ProLogis said that the new complex could create up to 500 jobs in the local area.

Meanwhile, the public inquiry into the development of Hartland Park in Farnborough by ProLogis subsidiary Astral and PRUPIM has finished. The inspector, Christina Downes, will now prepare a report on the proposals so the secretary of state can make the decision in the early summer.

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