Fear Group Gain City Planners approval for Newport Site

Fear Group is pleased to announce that our planning application for the regeneration of the old Sainsbury’s Supermarket site in Newport South Wales, which extends to nearly six acres, has been given approval by the City planners in a meeting held this morning November 19th 2015.

The application includes 601 student flats, 144 residential apartments, including elderly and affordable homes, an 84 bed hotel, small supermarket, cafe and health precinct.

image2Stephen and Leon Fear focused on the small Welsh City in 2010 when the Sainsbury’s site came to their attention through their internal research department.

Leon Fear (32) who runs the groups extended property division said;  “We have a dedicated research department set up by my father Stephen 34 years ago and which focuses on identifying hotspots for investment across the world, in 2009/10 we identified Newport as a location where growth would inevitably take place” he continued: “It was clear from the off that Newport had been dominated by the larger cities of Bristol and Cardiff but that its location between the two was now turning into a major advantage, this coupled with electrification of the railway from London to Swansea and the proximity to Bristol International Airport meant in our minds that Newport was about to become an investment hotspot. The City Council were visionary in granting permission for the new Friars Walk Shopping Mall and had even more foresight in financially underwriting it to the tune of £90M! At the time they were criticised in some quarters, even those close to home, but that risk has paid off big time for the city and its citizens”.

Stephen Fear who started his career at the age of 15 by using a public telephone box in Bristol as his office and is now an Ambassador for The British Library in London, as well as its Entrepreneur in Residence, went on to say;

19-002“We have found the council staff, planning officers, and councillors themselves, very professional in their approach, besides holding a public consultation which both Leon and I attended personally, together with our planning consultants and architects Nash Partnership, ably led by Mel Clinton and Robert Locke also made a full presentation in the council chambers, where quite rightly we were actively questioned in some detail by the full house of councillors present”

Mel Clinton, Director of Planning and Economic Regeneration at Nash Partnership, commented: “Starting with a Local Plan allocation for 140 homes and considering how the site can make its fullest contribution to Newport’s future, the project demonstrates the role of density, tall buildings and public realm in achieving a high quality mixed-use riverside environment. A positive and extensive process of pre-application engagement with the City Council and other stakeholders has also been vital in securing planning permission on this key site.”

Stephen continued saying;

“Private/Public partnerships are here to stay, each needs the other to create a stable and progressive society based on the democratic free enterprise principals which have produced unparalleled wealth for the United Kingdom over the last 150 years”

Leon Fear is quoted as saying “Newport is truly a city on the rise and I would encourage both national and international investors to look closely at the strategic location, brilliant communications, enterprising council, and skilled workforce before investing elsewhere”

Stephen Fear finished by adding; “We are working closely with The University of South Wales (USW) so that the university can continue to grow and develop new courses appropriate to the modern digital age. Only by providing the bespoke top end accommodation expected by overseas students, who financially contribute to the British economy, can any university hope to expand and succeed, our scheme will hopefully contribute to USW in their long term aims”

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