PROPOSED sites for thousands of new homes in Basingstoke and Deane up to 2029 will be discussed by borough councillors on Thursday night.
Members of the planning and infrastructure committee will discuss a report outlining suggested sites for the Local Plan – the planning ‘blueprint’ that will guide how the borough develops to 2029.
The council’s decision-making Cabinet has accepted a provisional housing requirement of between 730 and 770 per year for the draft plan and must now decide where the majority of these new homes should be built.
Thursday’s meeting is only one step in the tortuous process of deciding which fields and spaces should be built on. But representatives of the public have been given brief opportunities to speak at the start of the meeting. Provision has been made for the meeting to reconvene on Monday night.
The plan is to focus development around Basingstoke and the larger settlements of Bramley, Kingsclere, Oakley, Overton and Whitchurch. Further large housing developments around Tadley are not deemed possible because of emergency planning zone restrictions related to the AWE atomic weapons plant at Aldermaston.
Overall the council needs to find locations for between 7,083 and 7,803 homes on larger sites within the 15 years of the plan. Some sites included will already have been granted planning permission.
Nine sites are being proposed in areas around Basingstoke in three phases throughout the period of the plan:
- 3,080 homes on three parcels of land at Manydown, west of Basingstoke 1,000 homes on Basingstoke Golf Course land
- 900 homes on land east of Basingstoke adjacent to the A33
- 450 homes on land North of Popley Fields (Marnel Park)
- 420 homes at Razor’s Farm adjacent to Taylor’s Farm/Sherfield Park
- 390 homes at Cufaude Farm off Cufaude Lane
- 250 homes at Kennel Farm to the west of the A30 near Kempshott
- 150 homes at Redlands, opposite the entrance to Taylor’s Farm/Sherfield Park
- 100 homes on land at Swing Swang Lane in Old Basing.
Two sites are being proposed in Overton:
- 120 homes at Overton Hill
- 150 homes at Two Gate Lane.
Two sites south of Bloswood Lane totalling 150 homes together are being proposed in Whitchurch.
In some areas of the borough a housing figure has been set to allow the local community to decide the best sites to meet their needs through a neighbourhood planning process – a new initiative under changes to national planning guidance. These are proposed as:
- 200 homes for Bramley
- 50 homes for Kingsclere
- 200 homes for Oakley
- 200 additional homes for Whitchurch.
The committee will make comments on the proposed sites. Following this the Cabinet will consider whether it feels these are the best sites to include in the draft Local Plan. If so, further work will be undertaken on elements such as transport before a final version of the draft Local Plan is considered by Cabinet in the spring. The consultation period on the draft plan is scheduled to start in May, with residents and other interested groups having the chance to give their views.
Cabinet Member for Planning Cllr Donald Sherlock said: “I am keen to hear the committee’s views about the sites. New housing developments are never popular but we need to give communities clarity about housing sites for the future rather than being under the constant threat of developers focusing on sites they want to build on.”
“Our decisions need to be based on finding the right balance between protecting our countryside and unique character and ensuring the borough continues to thrive, and that our growing population has homes. These decisions need to be taken by the Cabinet working with local communities to draw up a Local Plan that meets the borough’s needs, rather than by developers winning planning appeals.”
The final Local Plan will be submitted to a planning inspector, later this year, who will consider whether it is ‘sound’ before it can finally be adopted and future planning decisions can be made under its umbrella.