Residents welcome £60m plans for Shaftesbury site at consultation

Original article written by Carys Thomas for the South Wales Argus published on 19th April 2015.

RESIDENTS have welcomed plans for a £60 million plus project at the former Sainsbury’s site in Newport which will include student accommodation, a hotel and residential housing.

The public consultation took place at the Shaftesbury community centre, Evans Street, on Saturday where 80 residents turned up to view the plans. The Fear Group who is developing the site bought the land near the river Usk in 2010.

The site has been derelict for nearly five years.

The proposed plans include 600 units for student accommodation, 140 residential homes which will include affordable housing and a 60 bed three to four star hotel. The plans also include a convenience store, doctors’ surgery, pharmacy and dentist.

Stephen Fear, director of the Fear Group, said: “The feedback has been extremely positive. We wanted to come to talk to the people it will affect at this early stage.

“The small convenience store is getting the most positive feedback.”

He said the hotel would be to support parents of students, retail developers in the city centre and those attending the convention centre at the Celtic Manor Resort.

He said: “The project will be in excess of £60 million, possibly quite a lot in excess. We are investing a lot of money in this project as we believe in Newport.

“Newport is the centre of the new western powerhouse region between Bristol and Cardiff. It has in the past suffered due to the proximity of the two cities but now this will bring all the cities together.”

The site is nearly six acres and the developers propose to upgrade the flood protection system to give 200 years protection. Mr Fear said they hope to regenerate the derelict site for the community.

The student accommodation will have no parking provision and Mr Fear said they would have to sign an agreement to say they didn’t have a car. The residential homes will have one space each and there will be parking provision for the hotel and health centre.

Anne Gatehouse, 74, of Hoskins Street, said: “I think the site is fantastic. My concerns are with the amount of traffic and the parking problems it will bring. Everybody is going to end up parking on Hoskins Street to get quick access to the Harlequin roundabout to go to Cardiff.”

She added: “I have no problem with the student accommodation – I think that’s wonderful.”

The developers hope to log their planning application to Newport City Council‘s planning department by June. Residents can have their say on the proposals until May 1 at www.nashpartnership.com/

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