Last week it was revealed that plans are in the works to build up to 2,500 homes in Basingstoke as part of a huge project.

To be known as “Upper Swallick Garden Community” the concept document was submitted on behalf of Viscount Lymington and the Trustees of the Portsmouth Settled Estates and was pitched a 'garden community'.

Having read through the document, Cllr Andrew McCormick, leader of the Basingstoke Labour group, shared his thoughts on the proposal.

"The impact on Brighton Hill is going to be huge," he told the Gazette.

"There's two access roads, one of which is onto Woods Lane, under the motorway and into Brighton Hill.

"That would be heavily used to access Asda, Sainsbury's, Brighton Hill school, the various retail parks on Harrow Way/ Winchester Road, and Viables / the industrial estate.

"I'd also be looking for significant contributions to things like residential parking schemes and charging points in Brighton Hill, we had similar schemes in Popley when Marnel Park was built 10 years ago."

"The other access road will add traffic to the A339, which is already busy and has long queues at peak times," he added.

"Hampshire Highways would need to upgrade the A339 to a dual carriageway under the M3 and maybe from Audley's wood to the access roundabout."

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The document said that the likely timescale for the commencement of delivery of Upper Swallick Garden Community should approval be given is 2025/26 with final completions to be secured by 2045/46.

Cllr McCormick added: "The disused Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway needs the alignment preserving and a footpath / cycle path created from Herriard via Cliddesden and over the M3.

"The irony is that the A339 is so busy between Basingstoke and Alton now that this railway would now be viable. It still might be suitable for a tramway into town from the south, but we're talking megabucks which Hampshire would never spend."

"There is going to be loss of amenity value in the country walks taken by Cliddesden and Brighton Hill residents in the area, and the views from the top of Farleigh Hill, looking up it from Cliddesden, and to the south from many parts of Basingstoke will be dramatically altered."

He said that it was "only a matter of time" before some such scheme was seen.

He can also see some of positives in the plans.

"One of the few good things that might be said about it is that Cliddesden would have a local shop or set of shops without having to go under the M3 to Brighton Hill," he said.

"The housing is needed. And with no 5-year housing supply in Basingstoke and Deane that increases the chance that this scheme will go ahead."

The document made sure to emphasise that these proposals are at an "extremely early stage" and subject to the council’s review of the Local Plan.

You can view the full proposal here.