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‘Restaurant quarter’ scheme ‘on hold for now’ What now for Kennet Shopping centre?

PLANS for an ambitious multi- million pound redevelopment of Newbury’s Kennet Shopping centre have been put on hold. In 2016, the Newbury Weekly News revealed the proposals for the first phase of the redevelopment, which would have seen a ‘restaurant quarter’ created to offer more of an option for dining out. The plan, for five or six new restau- rants along the Cheap Street side of the centre, was outlined by asset manager Bride Hall at a public meeting. However, it has emerged that Bride Hall is no longer associated with the project, having left several months ago, and a new asset manager and letting agent have taken over. Speaking to the NWN , Kennet Shop- ping manager Mag Williams said: “The redevelopment is on hold until we decide the best thing to do. “Things can change so quickly nowa- days. It is obviously difficult because we’ve started a planning process. “Bride Hall’s idea was centred on the leisure quarter, but it could take a different direction. We aren’t sure

Report by DAN COOPER email dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk twitter @danc_nwn

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The heat is on for chilli-eating competition

what’s going to happen just yet. “We’ve got some potential interest in the retail units, so decided to hold fire for now.” Plans for the first phase were approved by West Berkshire Council last year, but nothing has happened since. To facilitate the anticipated redevel- opment, Prohibition bar and Chenz restaurant were served notice on their leases and vacated last year. These units still remain unoccupied. Mrs Williams previously said: “This will always be a shopping centre.” The Kennet Shopping centre opened in 1972. It was put up for sale by former owner Alanis Capital in 2015 for £18.5m and acquired by an American firm six months later. The centre comprises 238,000 sq ft of retail/leisure accommodation, includ- ing a seven-screen cinema, which opened in 2009, and is served by a 436- space car park.

Each contestant was given a glass of milk beforehand to prepare themselves for the challenge ahead. For more pictures from Sunday’s inau- gural Newbury chilli festival, see page 5. Boy, 13, drove car POLICE were stunned when they stopped a suspect vehicle and found a boy aged 13 at the wheel. The schoolboy, who can not be identi- fied, appeared in the dock at a youth court in Reading on Wednesday, May 2, where he admitted driving in Newbury without insurance and without a driv- ing licence on February 28. The boy, who was accompanied to court by a parent, was given a condi- tional discharge for six months.

Cyclist injured in crash NEWBURY was the hottest place in West Berkshire on Sunday as six brave competitors took part in an eye- watering chilli-eating contest. The challenge started with milder chillies including jalapenos, eventually building up to the Scotch bonnet and the habanero and others. There was just one rule for those mad enough to compete – no liquids in or out.

the TVAA emergency response vehicle to the scene. After initial treatment, the cyclist was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, for further assessment and treatment. The road was closed for two-and-a-half hours while emergency services attended the scene and diversions were put in place.

A CYCLIST sustained potentially serious chest injuries in a collision in Cold Ash on Tuesday. The 46-year-old man also suffered a lower leg injury in the crash, which involved a lorry in Collaroy Road. South Central Ambulance Service received a 999 call at 12.48pm and sent a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance, the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and

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