Newbury Park Way Development

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Newbury is a market town in west Berkshire with a lot of history. The River Kennet runs through making it an important place for commerce and trade. Not far from the Kennet is a road called Park Way which had a lot of old Victorian houses along it, these were looking a bit run down and some had been demolished to be used as car parking others were still used as small businesses. There was also a double row of parking bays down the centre of Park Way. At some time the council must have decided this would make a good development area so this is what occurred. I had been going to Newbury with my wife on occasion shopping as I have to admit it is one of those nice relatively unspoilt towns. One day I noticed that the back of M&S where the car park was had been dug up and an archaeological dig was taking place which I have been told was mainly old Victorian cellars (to my shame I did not take any photos), the whole lot was recovered and a while later work began on the development along the whole site.
Once I realised what was occurring I began to record with photos each time I returned. Here I have to thank Camp Hobsonís Furniture store for letting me take photos out of the window so I could get an overall view of the place. The photos were taken every couple of months and at first nothing seemed to happen but then the buildings started to arise. I have tried to take a few photos of the same buildings throughout and go back to the point each time but Iíll let the photos do the rest. LinkExternal link LinkExternal link
These photos are how I found out work had started to happen along Park way



SU4767 : No Parking by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Pipes in the car park by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Car wash has gone by Bill Nicholls

By the end of 2008 the drilling machines were in evidence boring deep hole for the piles. The odd one out in this set is the garage, it had stopped serving fuel and was now a car wash, 18 months later it was gone.

SU4767 : Monsters on the site by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Ready to drill by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Lying in wait by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Warning on the fence by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Looking up the piler by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Garage on the corner by Bill Nicholls

Into March 2009 and more machines were becoming evident on the site which was still easy to view with the fencing in place.

SU4767 : More of the machines by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Mud on site by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Site on Park way by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Food for the muncher by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Towards M&S by Bill Nicholls

Come May things were changing slowly with the new wooden fence being erected to keep passers by safe from debris and also trespassing on site. It was also at this time I realised there was a good view out of Camp Hobsons Furniture shop window

SU4767 : Out the gate by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Work carries on by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Looking across the site by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : From another window by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : The back of Woollies by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Piling in the car park by Bill Nicholls

Into August 2009 and things were changing slowly but there were signs of construction round the site.and by now the whole site was surrounded by a big blue fence.

SU4767 : View of the development by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Site Rules by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Park Street by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Fence of Portway by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Wall on the road by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Two roads by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : First of the Buildings by Bill Nicholls

October comes around and a hole starts to appear in the centre of the site, this I can only presume is to be the car park and good entrance for the shops.

SU4767 : Into the hole by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : The other end of the hole by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Taking shape by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Dwarfed by the crane by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : The back of Marks by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Other side of the frame work by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Steel on the side by Bill Nicholls

Into 2010 and February when I return again and the framework on what is to be Debenhams has taken on the shape of the building it is to be.

SU4767 : Framework on the building by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Taking shape by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Looking along the fence by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : View from the window by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Cranes on the site by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Cab on the crane by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Corner of the building by Bill Nicholls

Come June the tower cranes are much in evidence and work is carrying on at apace frames for buildings are going up and concrete towers appearing, the hole is disappearing and the garage on the corner had gone.

SU4767 : Work progressing by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : More of the hole by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Where did the garage go? by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Pillar in the hole by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Flags on the cab by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : A look in the hole by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Construction on the far side by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Looks like a building now by Bill Nicholls

Come September and steelwork has is now in place along Park way and the sight of the clock tower in town disappearing fast.

SU4767 : Looking through the steelwork by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Watch this space by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : One of many by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : New steel from the car park by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Stairway in the car park by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : The hole is going by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Back of Woolies by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Looking like a building by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Cladding going on by Bill Nicholls

October sees the steel is now all the way along Park way and any view of the centre of the site is disappeared and my vantage point in Camp Hobson is just showing the steelwork.

SU4767 : Through gate Two by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Used to be Parkway by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Less to see now by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Through the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : On his way by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : New entrance by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : View has gone by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Glass on the corner by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Park road corner by Bill Nicholls

November shows even more steel which now blocks off any view that had been left as the floors were in place and safety rails erected.

SU4767 : Stairwell enclosed by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Orange and white by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Looking out of one gate to another by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Through Park Way gate three by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : By Camp Hopson entrance by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Almost there by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Couple of bits left to do by Bill Nicholls

February 2011 is the next time I get to visit and great changes have happened. The Debenhams building is not far off completing. Not far up the road a new building is well on the way to being finished on the old garage site.

SU4767 : Green netting on the building by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Site on a wet day by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Tunnel to Marks by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Towards Camp Hopson by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Glass on the stairwell by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Building there now by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Fencing gone by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Park Way past gate two by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Back to the datum by Bill Nicholls

June is my next visit and much has gone on. The blue wooden fence has been removed and part of Park Way is closed off so the road can be resurfaced. The buildings are well on their way to being finished and Debenhams building looks to be the first one completed. The flats facing the park now have brickwork going on. The building which was being built on the old garage site is now a hotel though the photo I took of the place was blurred so I'll take another the next time I go back. The work on the site is due to be finished in October so hopefully I should have updated before then.

SU4767 : Towards the gates by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Gate three by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Taking shape on Park Way by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Between the buildings by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Reference one by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Road up on park Way by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Park Road by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Second reference by Bill Nicholls

Not long after I wrote this I was contacted by Costain who after seeing the article asked if I would like to go on site to take some photos. I finally managed to get there in August after having my visit put off due to a dreadful accident which befell one of the workers when his forklift overturned killing him. The next few pictures are what I took on my way to the site and update the external photos I have been taking. I hope to get back again before the site opens

SU4767 : Extension already by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : View of the new part by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Walkway between the buildings by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Windows in the flats by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Going underground by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Down Park Way by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Back to the corner by Bill Nicholls

This is an update with some of the photo's I took from on the site with my thanks to Costain for showing me round.
SU4767 : Towards the Chapel by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Roof garden by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : New street on Parkway by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Different direction by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Balcony on the show home by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Under the ground by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : View across Newbury by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Park from the penthouse by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Bandstand on the right by Bill Nicholls SU4667 : Castle on the hill by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : View to the church by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Over the site by Bill Nicholls

27th October 2011 and the retail part opens LinkExternal link
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I still have to update the photo's but hope to do so soon.

Due to personal commitments I was unable to get back to Newbury till December where I found a lot had changed. The carpark was open so that was the first place I visited as we had to park the car. Next was to get the lift to M&S. After going round the shops I quickly went along parkway updating my photo's and going to Camp Hopsons to get a few photo's from the first floor of the Furniture department. before heading into the shopping area of Parkway to see some of the pedestrian areas before returning to the car to go home. Parkway has changed though there is still some areas to finish off. Finally my thanks to Camp Hopsons for letting me get some photo's from their store. I hope to get a couple more updates before ending this article.
SU4767 : Cars in the car park by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Arrow to M&S by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Some hoarding left by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Steps by the café by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Tarpaulin over the scaffolding by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Entrance to the underground by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Debenhams by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : The finished store by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Into Camp Hopson by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Goods entrance to M&S by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Two years on by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : From by the camera by Bill Nicholls
SU4767 : In Parkway by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Through the over bridge by Bill Nicholls

Feb 2012 and a shopping trip to Newbury with my wife gave the opertunity to updat some more.
Most work looks to have been compreated with just the John Lewis shop to be finished and the appartments on the top of the development.
SU4767 : Wharf Road by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Hoarding is down by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Through the window by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Northbrook Street Entrance by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Debenhams by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Towards Northbrook Street by Bill Nicholls

April 2012 after a walk along the Kennet we stopped off at Parkway and found the John Lewis At Home store now open. One of the tower cranes is still there and work is being done on the apartments but the place looks good now.
SU4767 : Open at Last by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : The flats on Parkway by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Now Open by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Looking very different now by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Quiet Sunday by Bill Nicholls SU4767 : Open walkway by Bill Nicholls
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