A MASSIVE scheme which aims to build thousands of homes at Manydown has taken a step forward with the submission of an outline planning application.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, acting as landowners, have applied for planning permission on land they jointly acquired.

The application is for 3,200 new homes, businesses, shops and community facilities, two new primary schools and land for a new secondary school.

Parks, children’s play facilities, sports pitches and allotments also feature, and a 250- acre country park would be created.

The borough council said a central street running through the new community is proposed together with parking, footpaths, cycle links and other infrastructure, including power, water and other utilities.

Cabinet member for property and development Cllr John Izett said: “This planning application marks a notable milestone on our journey to building one of the best designed and thought out new housing developments in the UK.

“It is so much better for having drawn so many of its ideas from local residents through the many stages of consultation. I am grateful to everyone for the part they’ve played so far.

“The next important stage will be selection this summer of a private sector development partner. We remain on track to build the first new homes at Manydown in 2019.”

HCC leader Cllr Roy Perry said: “As joint landowner, we are committed to develop Manydown as a thriving community, while showing respect for the environment, and reflecting the great character of Hampshire as a place to live, work and prosper.

“As a strategic authority for the county we also have the experience and expertise to ensure long-term planning for Manydown fits in seamlessly to developments across the county as a whole.”

If outline planning permission is granted, other planning applications would be submitted later on the detailed design proposals, such as the exact locations of the streets, community facilities and houses and their sizes and styles.

Residents would have further opportunities to comment on these as they are drawn up.