THE Basingstoke Labour Group has been criticised and accused of putting the Manydown development “at risk” at the eleventh hour.

During a full council meeting on July 27, leader of the Labour Group, councillor Paul Harvey, proposed that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) should confirm its commitment to providing 40 per cent affordable housing on the site, and that this percentage should be non-negotiable.

Cllr Harvey said: “We want an unequivocal guarantee of 40 per cent affordable housing on Manydown.

“This is going to be the largest development in Basingstoke, so why would you seek to amend the recommended 40 per cent and start playing games with it? We need to say that we are committed to the 40 per cent.”

However, cabinet member for property and development at the borough council, cllr John Izett said he was “staggered”

by the motion being proposed at this stage.

Cllr Izett said: “This administration has consistently said it is commented to delivering affordable housing at Manydown.

Over the past five years there has been a great deal of cross-party work and it has been an example of Basingstoke and Deane at its best.

“We are at a critical stage and this mention is a risk to any potential developers getting on board with the plans.

“Do you want to play with fire and for bidders to back out in favour of making these changes?”

Cabinet member for planning and infrastructure, cllr Mark Ruffell added if the motion put forward by cllr Harvey was passed it would be against the borough council’s Local Plan.

Cllr Ruffell added: “We have all made the decision and we have the 40 per cent as a starting point on the local plan. So to say 40 per cent is non-negotiable, it is against policy.”

The motion was shot down as members agreed with cllr Izett’s view it could put future negotiations at risk.

The proposed plans, if approved, would bring around 3,200 new homes, businesses, shops and community facilities, two new primary schools and land for a new secondary school into the borough.