HOUSING, increased traffic problems, looming planning permissions and health care were just some of the topics discussed at a public meeting.

Basingstoke South West Action Group (SWAG) invited residents to attend a meeting to get answers on what is happening in areas such as Hatch Warren, Beggarwood and Brighton Hill.

The meeting held on, Thursday, 31 May, at Hatch Warren Community Centre, was compared by SWAG member Stafford Napier, aimed to allow residents to have their questions answered by an expert panel and to inform them of the how things will look in the future.

The panel made up of Councillor Mark Ruffell, cabinet member for planning and infrastructure at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, head of planning at the borough council Matt Evans, Phil Marshall, transport planner at Hampshire County Council, Dr Nicola Decker from the North Hampshire CCG, Lee Griffin from Linden Homes and Hatch Warren and Beggarwood ward councillor, Cllr Terri Reid.

One of the main issues raised at the meeting was with the influx of developments surrounding Hatch Warren and Beggarwood, including the Manydown project what would the impact on the transport routes be and if any plans had been put in place to combat this.

Mr Marshall addressed the meeting saying: “The focus is on improving the roads around the Basingstoke area and the county council has already begun a £18 million project, which will see improvements to the Brighton Hill roundabout and the A30 corridor going into the town centre.”

When the issue of how the healthcare service is being run Dr Decker said that primary care will always be available to people but the way it is being delivers is changing.

She said: “We are now using digital technology to assist us in assisting patients. Where possible we are using Skype to have face-to-face contact with patients who may not be able to get to their GPs.”

Another looming issue is the speculative plans for a service station at junction 6 of the M3, this along with Moto Hospitality-led Black Dam proposal which includes a 100-room hotel, have come in for much criticism.

However Mr Napier informed the meeting until an application is submitted there was not much more information to add.

Cllr Ruffell said any application would be disgraceful which was met with a round of applause.

This view was echoed by Cllr Reid who said: “If it does come forward it will be a catastrophic application. And when we do see any form of application I urge people to make their objections heard.”

To find out more about the work SWAG do as a pressure group or to become a member visit http://southwestactiongroup.wixsite.com/swag.