THE CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a link road through the site of the Camrose ground has been included in the county council's latest proposals for a highways regeneration project.

This is despite both Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Sport England objecting to the plans, saying that there was no mitigation for the loss of the sporting facility.

It comes as Hampshire County Council launch a fresh consultation into the improvement of Brighton Hill roundabout, scrapping the plan to maintain the existing subways and instead opting for traffic signals with surface level pedestrian crossings.

As previously reported, Basingstoke council sided with Sport England regarding the proposal at the end of last month, saying that building a road through the historic pitch will lead to the loss of "existing cultural and leisure facilities without satisfactorily demonstrating that sufficient and alternative provision has been made".

Now, whilst setting out their latest proposals for the improvements to Brighton Hill roundabout, have included the Camrose link road.

The scheme will see the exit slip road from Western Way onto the roundabout closed, and traffic instead diverted onto a new road built through the ground and onto Winchester Road, where traffic light junction will be created.

The main change in the plans involve pedestrian activity around the junction. The central area of the roundabout will be reprofiled, which HCC say will make it easier to access the pedestrian crossings on the roundabout.

The initial proposals allowed for the existing subways under the road to remain, however, HCC say that these were "too complex and costly to retain". Instead, a series of pedestrian crossings will be installed at the traffic lights on each of the six roundabout exits.

Additionally, cycle facilities have been improved, with a segregated cycle lane on each approach and inside the roundabout.

However, the updated proposals have been labelled as a backwards step by one councillor.

Cllr Andy McCormick, Labour group leader on BDBC and ward councillor for Brighton Hill South, said that whilst he was pleased with certain aspects, such as the increased cycling provisions, he couldn't understand the reason why the subways have been filled in.

"That is huge work they are doing there," Cllr McCormick says of filling in the subways. "I am really at a loss to understand why they think that is required really.

"I am not sure about this link road now. We will have all these at grade crossings.

"I would be interested to know the reasoning behind this."

Concerns were echoed by fellow Brighton Hill ward councillor, Andy Konieczko (Lib Dem, Brighton Hill North).

He said: “We know from the conversations that we’ve had with local residents that Brighton Hill Roundabout is a major concern for people in the area. The roundabout is disliked by many drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, and is in urgent need of improvement. So it’s encouraging to see progress on the redevelopment and I welcome the fact that Hampshire County Council is now taking the project forward again. It’s what we’ve been pushing for for a while.

“Given the importance of this project, it’s concerning that the consultation process could be missed by many residents who are keen to have their say. Given that social distancing is limiting how much we talk to our friends and many community newsletters are suspended, there’s a risk that people simply won’t hear about the process. The County Council needs to do more than just send a letter to residents and post a document on its website - it has to make sure that the people most affected by these plans are fully aware of what’s happening. As a result, I’ve been working closely with County Councillor Gavin James to ask for a slightly longer period of consultation, but without affecting the timing of the overall project.

“The lack of meaningful consultation is a concern because the plans for the roundabout have changed since residents last saw them. The initial feedback I’ve had from local people is that pedestrians and cyclists could be concerned about being forced to use the roundabout at ground level because of proposals to fill in the underpasses. This could be an issue given that we’re supposed to be encouraging people to walk and cycle as part of our commitment to tackling climate change. That’s why it’s so important that we consult residents properly on this and fully understand what they think.”

Brighton Hill roundabout is a crucial part of the transport infrastructure in the town, with traffic between the town centre and the M3 passing through it. In addition, the A30 corridor serves the communities of Beggarwood, Hatch Warren, Kempshott, Brighton Hill and South Ham, with roads from Oakley, Viables and Kings Furlong convening at the intersection.

The roundabout also has a number of retail amenities close to it, including Pizza Express, Homebase, a petrol station, Hobbycraft, St Michael's Retail Park and Brighton Hill Retail Park, in addition to the facilities at Brighton Hill Centre.

The traffic using the pinch point is forecast to increase in the future, with 2,000 homes planned along the A30 and 3,500 at Manydown.

Work on the £20 million project, which is being part-funded by the EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership, had been due to start this year. However, this has been delayed because of the numerous points of contention, including the Camrose link road and the Western Way closer.

It will also be delayed by work overrunning at Thornycroft - it is believed that work there must finish before this scheme starts. As previously reported, work at Thornycroft was suspended at the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

To take part in the consultation, visit It will close at midnight on Wednesday, June 10.