SOCIAL infrastructure is crucial to the new Manydown development, a cabinet minister has said.

James Cleverly MP, the chairman of the Conservative party, said that jobs are just as important as homes when redeveloping the area.

The minister was visiting Winklebury alongside Basingstoke MP Maria Miller, deputy leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Councillor Simon Bound and the Conservative Party Candidate for the new Winklebury and Manydown ward.

Mr Cleverly said: “When places are being redeveloped and new homes are being built, you need the homes but you also need the jobs, so it’s great to see businesses coming here.

“You need the social infrastructure, transport, medical facilities, schools, and that’s why it’s really important that the government at national level is trying to refocus the attention of the country towards schools, hospitals, the NHS and policing.

“Those are the things that people want us to be talking about, as well as redeveloping places that need a pick-me-up.”

The group were discussing the work going on to renovate the area, as well as a new GP surgery for the area, after Ms Miller launched a campaign to re-open the surgery earlier this week.

The Manydown site will deliver 3,200 new homes and is part of the government’s ‘garden village’ scheme to meet the housing demands.

It’s one of two garden villages currently in the pipeline in the area, with Hart District Council hoping to get council approval for its Shapley Heath garden village near Winchfield.

This comes a few days after the Gazette reported how plans for a 4.5-hectare wildlife plot has been proposed on the site, to try and lessen the impact of building the new houses.