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MP silent on Manydown
BASINGSTOKE MP Maria Miller has again refused to be drawn on whether she supports the building of any new homes on Manydown.
The Conservative MP was approached by The Gazette after bosses on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council accepted it is likely new homes will be built on the 820-hectare land.
The major issue, which culminated in a High Court ruling in April, has divided the borough. Instead of building on Manydown, council bosses had proposed thousands of homes in the north east of the borough, in their now defunct Core Strategy development blueprint.
This was opposed by many people in Chineham and Old Basing, who felt the council should build on Manydown as that is the reason it was acquired back in 1996. However, those living to the west of Basingstoke do not wish to see the land developed due to poor infrastructure.
When asked to give a yes or no answer as to whether any homes should be built in Basingstoke, Mrs Miller refused to do so.
Instead, she said: “I think we have huge questions to ask before we agree to building large numbers of houses in Basingstoke in the future.
“As a result of the previous Government’s policies, thousands of houses were built without the right infrastructure in Basing-stoke. There are serious questions about future house-building levels so that we can ensure that the existing infrastructure gap is filled.
“Where new houses should be built is down to the local authority and not MPs. Local authorities should be given a much stronger say in how that is done. Through the Localism Act, that is what this Government is doing.”