Plans to transform London Road Industrial Estate into a “vibrant, successful and diverse neighbourhood” by 2030 are back on track.

West Berkshire Council says the project has taken a big step forward this week after it was handed a draft development brief, which states the regeneration of the site in Newbury “remains a viable proposition”.

The detailed document, drawn up by consultants at Avison Young, weighs up the council’s options and advises it on how to proceed.

The brief says up to 544 homes, 6,023 sqm of office space and 6,690 sqm of space for other businesses could be built on the site as part of one comprehensive development.

It also says the council could construct 280 homes, 3,473 sqm of office space and 5,400 sqm of space for other businesses if it develops the site in phases.

But, according to the brief, both options would result in businesses on the estate “either vacating the site or being relocated elsewhere in the district to enable development”.

The council owns the majority of the 25 acre estate and is “in a strong position to help and encourage redevelopment” but several businesses have signed long-term leases and this could “curtail its ability to deliver new development”, says the brief.

READ MORE: West Berkshire Council says ‘we will do our bit’ to help child refugees

It also says the council may need to consider using compulsory purchase orders, to obtain property without the consent of the leaseholders, but this is a “costly process” and it “should only be used as a last resort”.

West Berkshire Council has been looking to redevelop the estate in Newbury for over 15 years and build homes, state-of-the art-offices and industrial space.

The project suffered a major setback in 2018, when the Court of Appeal ruled the council had breached EU law by failing to follow the correct procurement process when it appointed St Modwen Plc as the developer.

But the Conservative-run council refused to shelve the project and commissioned Avison Young to draw up a development brief.

According to the brief, the council is aiming to transform London Road Industrial Estate into a “vibrant, successful and diverse neighbourhood where people will want to live, work and visit” by 2030.

West Berkshire Council’s Executive Board will discuss the document and decide whether to launch a public consultation on it so people can have their say, at a meeting on September 3.

A council report prepared for the meeting states the development brief “confirms regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate remains a viable proposition” but the process will be “long, challenging and potentially risky”.

READ MORE: Map reveals coronavirus 'hotspots' in Reading

It adds: “On the basis that doing nothing or selling the council’s freehold interest are unacceptable options, the council will be acting reasonably if it approves publication of the draft Avison Young development brief for public consultation and where appropriate reflect comments in a final version of the development brief to be published later in the year.”

Councillor Ross Mackinnon, executive member for economic development, said: “We want West Berkshire to be a place which welcomes business, enterprise and industry.

“In the district we already have a very competitive offer for start-ups and businesses wanting to grow but we want to do more.

“Regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate will help us protect existing jobs and create new ones by creating some first-rate office and industrial space.”

The council says it is also working on plans to build a new football ground that can be used by Newbury Football Club, who were evicted from their old ground in Faraday Road to make way for the London Road Industrial Estate.

Further details on that project will be released later this year.