When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Borough councillor says parks need protection from housing development
PARKS in Basingstoke need “cast-iron” protection because they could disappear under housing.
That is the view of a long-standing Labour councillor amid fears that developers could build over the town’s green spaces.
South Ham Labour ward member Sean Keating has tabled a motion calling for extra protection to be written in to the borough’s Local Plan – a blueprint of future development until 2029.
The 60-strong council will vote on the issue tomorrow.
“I see the parks as part of the family silver of Basingstoke and Deane,” said Cllr Keating, who has been a passionate campaigner for removing a threatened part of Down Grange Sports Complex from a list of sites for potential housing development. He added: “If we don’t protect them then we are at risk of developers proposing anything.”
Drafts of the town’s development blueprint state that between 13,140 and 13,860 homes will be built over the life of the Local Plan.
As previously reported, more than 7,000 homes are set to go on greenfields on the outskirts of Basingstoke, and surrounding villages.
However 1,200 homes are earmarked for within Basingstoke town – and planners have not yet allocated any sites.
Cllr Keating believes this leaves the likes of Stratton Park, in South Ham, or War Memorial Park, in Eastrop, open to the threat of development.
The motion set to go before Council on Thursday, reads: “Our open spaces and playing fields, such as Down Grange, where the community as a whole clearly support the continued use as a playing field, should be protected from proposed development in the Local Plan.”
The Local Plan will go out for consultation later this year, before coming into force next year.