A MAJOR housing development that will see up to 3,520 homes built on land west of Basingstoke has been approved.

Manydown, which has been five years in the making, was given the green light in a one-off meeting of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Development Control committee on Wednesday.

It paves the way for the applicants, BDBC and Hampshire County Council, to enter into contracts and prepare more details for the layout of the development.

However, residents and ward councillors had expressed their concerns in the meeting, held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, including on sustainability, construction traffic and other access issues.

The site was purchased by the borough council 25 years ago, and is possibly the most important site allocated for housing in the council's local plan.

Andrew Reynolds, speaking in support of the application, said that they had "worked hard to develop a comprehensive range of solutions which address the policy requirements of today, but also responds to the borough's future housing needs."

The garden community will see a 250-acre country park, two primary schools, land for a secondary school set aside, two local centres incorporating shops, cafes and restaurants, public open spaces as well as gypsy and traveller pitches.

Located between Winklebury, Wooton St Lawrence and the B3400, there will initially be 3,200 homes built, and that could rise to as many as 3,520.

The councils, alongside their development partner will now reveal more details on what the project will look like.

Councillors had raised concerns over certain aspects of the scheme, including the proposal that could see right turns banned from Worting Road to Old Kempshott Lane, because of increased traffic. It was feared that it would force cars into Chiltern Way, and past a primary school.

Councillors also said that improvements were needed to the Worting Road railway bridge to allow for the extra traffic, and that construction vehicles should use the northern access to the A339, rather than the Roman Road entrance.

Eight councillors approved of the decision, whilst the remaining four abstained.

How they voted:

  • Conservative: Paul Miller (chair) - for; Anne Court (vice chair) - for; Dave George - for; Sven Godesen - for; David Leeks - for; Nick Robinson - for.
  • Labour: Andy McCormick - abstain; Stephanie Grant - abstain; Jane Frankum - abstain.
  • Independent: David Potter - abstain; Chris Tomblin - for.
  • Liberal Democrat: Warwick Lovegrove - for.

The garden community has ten principles which it has been designed against, which include economic vitality, greenery everywhere and homes and opportunities for all.

40 per cent of the homes built will also be affordable, and the scheme will be delivered in three, two-part phases.

The application was due to be decided in March, but the meeting was postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.