The Newbury Society is established for the public benefit for the following purposes in the area comprising the former Borough of Newbury together with the adjacent civil parishes:
--To stimulate public interest and educate the public in the geography, history, natural history and architecture of the area of benefit, and in the transport and communications serving it.
--To promote high standards of planning and architecture in or affecting the area of benefit.
--To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in the area of benefit.
--To promote civic pride in the area of benefit.
The City Project
Since the Open day in March 2010, The City Project (TCP) have met regularly to plan further activities.
In September they held a “Paint the City” day in collaboration with the Newbury Art group. Access to the peaceful courtyards of the Almshouses was granted by the Essex-Wynter Trust, allowing the artists to capture some rarely-seen views of these architectural treasures. A gloriously sunny day meant the light was perfect.
Some of the works produced at this event received many admiring comments when displayed at the TCP stand at the Heritage Fair on 16 October, an event which was modestly attended, but those attendees were certainly interested about the Project.
One important recent development brought about by the Project has been the Notification of Modification Order (S 53 Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981) applicable to the short passage way running from the Funeral Directors on Hampton Rd, behind the row of small cottages, to Derby Road. This order, if not challenged in court before the end of February, will secure this as a public footpath - a vital preservation act, since this footpath was previously annexed by a local developer in an attempt to make his plot large enough to justify building a further house. Although the development application failed on that (and a subsequent) occasion securing the tranche of land as a footpath would prevent any potential for misunderstanding in future. It is hoped that publicising small success such as this will draw in local residents to add their support to the project, which is a much longer term attempt to make the City area a more appreciated part of Newbury.
In October, the Project sent a letter to Councillor Bale (Executive member with responsibility for The Vision), noting that the commitment to producing Conservation Area Character Appraisal for the Newbury Town Centre Conservation Area (into which The City falls) by 2004 had not been met, and that with the introduction of the concept of the Big Society The City Project was happy to offer its considerable local historical knowledge and associated skills to enable a Conservaiton Area Character Appraisal document to be produced for the City.
A response is awaited.