EXTRA government funding to the tune of nearly £700,000 is being put towards major housing projects to the west of Basingstoke.

Yesterday (Wednesday), housing minister, and North West Hampshire MP, Kit Malthouse, announced an extra £695,000 more funding for the Manydown project, to be used to contribute to technical studies on both the 3,500-home scheme and other housing developments to the west of the town.

The announcement brings government funding for work on more detailed planning for Manydown to over £2.7 million, in addition to over £10 million in government cash already earmarked for infrastructure projects, including the access junctions for the northern part of Manydown, with more major bids being worked on.

Mr Malthouse said: “We have not built enough homes in this country for the last three decades, and we are turning that around as we work towards our target to build 300,000 properties a year by the mid-2020s.

“This funding boost is the next step on the road to delivering 10,000 properties in Basingstoke.”

An outline planning application for the northern part of Manydown was submitted by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, as the owners of a joint long lease on the Manydown land, in March 2017.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: “This further support from the government for Manydown is extremely welcome and will help ensure that the infrastructure for the development is not only the best it can be but will meet the long term needs of the area.

"We want the future residents of Manydown to feel part of a community, with facilities and infrastructure that are well-designed and run smoothly and not cause unacceptable pressures on existing residents.

"It’s good to see support for our vision, and further investment in the future community we are building."

The outline application sets out a proposal for 3,520 new homes, businesses, shops and community facilities, two new primary schools and land for a new secondary school, and a 250 acre country park.

More consultation on the application by the planning authority has just finished which followed changes made to the application after more work by the two councils, particularly on areas such as highways and transport, in response to comments from previous consultations in March 2017 and July 2018.

A planning decision is expected this spring.

The borough council’s cabinet member for property and development Cllr John Izett said: “Borough residents told us that timely provision of good roads, utilities and broadband was essential to ensure that developments such as Manydown work well, contribute to existing neighbouring areas and learn from the past.

"This additional funding will be put to good use and represents further evidence of the national importance of Basingstoke and the government's confidence in our ability to deliver well designed new homes for our residents."