Concerns have been raised after new proposals were released with regard to the redevelopment of the Kennet shopping Centre in Newbury.

Local resident Richard Garvie set up a petition to challenge the new plans after gauging growing upset from the community.

He has said that the proposed buildings are too tall and massively out of character for Newbury and that the development would change the Newbury skyline forever.

“Once permitted, we can expect other developers to seek high-rise buildings in Newbury forever changing our town,” Mr Garvie said.

“While most West Berkshire residents will support a sympathetic redevelopment of the Kennet Centre that is mixed-use, this current proposal does nothing to benefit anyone other than the developers.”

Mr Garvie said that the developers are reluctant to commit to any social housing units or affordable housing within the property on viability grounds. Historic England has also opposed the development.

“There are also not enough parking spaces proposed to support the housing units,” he said.

The current proposal is for high-rise commuter flats which would all be owned independently.

“There is no commitment for badly needed affordable housing or social housing units at a time when Housing Associations have almost 100 properties sitting empty.”

Mr Garvie said that from speaking to all of the political parties, everyone is against the proposal apart from the Liberal Democrats who control the Council.

After drawings of the new plans were shared on Facebook, dozens of residents took to the comment section to further air grievances on the proposal.

Many agreed that the proposals were not taking into account the dire need for affordable housing in Newbury.

One person wrote “I don’t like the idea of apartments that are not in the character of the historic town centre, especially as there will be no affordable housing meaning only those on high salaries will be able to afford them.”

In agreement with the previous comment, another user said “Oh god here we go again! Right, ah this is terrible, we’ve lost our town, we shouldn’t have any development. Never been the same since the railway arrived!”

A further person commented “Those that have been built beside the council offices were supposed to be affordable, but they're not.

“How about the council start putting the people first and doing something about it? Look at the average wage, look at the economy. Most of us are being priced out of rented accommodation.”