RESIDENTS and politicians have objected in their hundreds to a warehouse development that could see a new Amazon distribution hub come to the outskirts of Basingstoke.

More than 250 people have registered their disappointment with the application to build warehouses at Oakdown Farm, close to M3 Junction 7, which include both the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Diane Taylor as well as Maria Miller, the town's MP.

Mrs Miller said that the application "would be in breach of planning rules" and that it "conflicts with national Government policies", stating clearly that she would prefer that there be a new hospital on the site instead.

Meanwhile Cllr Taylor, who represents the ward of Oakley and North Waltham, said that the proposal of a distribution centre "is not part of the vision for the town", labelling it "a money-making exercise with little benefit to the Borough of Basingstoke & Deane and its residents".

It comes just days after the borough council published its draft vision for the development of the valuable land that surrounds the key strategic motorway junction, which included both a new hospital and warehouse development.

Additionally, the document incorporated a health campus, a transport hub for a new mass rapid transit system and park and ride network, plus new houses at Hounsome Fields, Basingstoke Golf Course and Manydown South.

But the plans for the Basingstoke Gateway warehouse development have attracted hundreds of objections and just three letters of support.

Now, the town's MP and the borough's mayor have been added to the list of those against the new proposals.

Mrs Miller said in a letter to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council: "This planning applications conflicts with national government policies, specifically the government's national NHS hospital building programme.

"The land opposite this site is on a shortlist of two to be the location of North Hampshire Hospital's new Basingstoke hospital. If this site is chosen for a new hospital, it would be the major NHS hospital providing acute care for hundreds of thousands of people living in north and mid Hampshire.

"The junction 7 site has been the emergency services' preferred location for a new hospital because of its ease of access to an extensive road network, indeed this was one reason why the planning authority has previously granted planning consent for a new acute hospital at junction 7.

"The application for a new distribution centre would have significant impact on traffic congestion levels on local roads and congestion.

"The site has been chosen by the distribution centre developer because of its proximity to junction 7 on the M3, in the full knowledge that the NHS has shortlisted it as a site for a major new acute hospital, but without detailed analysis of the capacity of the road network.

"The Highways Agency has confirmed there is no government plan to expand the capacity of M3 junction 7, so all development planned at this location needs to work within the current road capacity or have funded mitigation in place."

Additionally, Cllr Taylor cited the visual impact, environmental impact and pollution as "key considerations", adding: "It is hard to see how these can be overcome.

"However, the overriding argument against this proposal is the inadequacy of the proposed accesses to the site and the impact that these will have on the current road system.

"Of particular concern is the impact on the A30 of the proposed new roundabout and the two entrances to the facility from that roundabout.

"In addition the three houses – Ganderdown cottages – on this section of the A30 will be unacceptably impacted by the constant use by HGVs of the proposed new roundabout and the section of the A30 at the front of the homes.

"This segment of our borough is clearly going to become a highly developed and significant area, and access is key to its success. This mustn’t, as in other areas, be allowed to develop piecemeal. The entire area around Junction 7 should be the subject of rigorous study and re-design so that it is fit for the kind of development that will benefit not just our borough but the entire county.

"The proposal to allow a key piece of land at Junction 7 of the M3 to be used as a distribution centre – a vast mass of warehouses – would hark back to the early days of poor and hastily-made decisions.

"Quick, ill thought-through approval of this outline application, simply because it would “create jobs” would resurrect a reputation for our town that we have taken so long to eradicate. Such a key site could be designated for other uses that would be in keeping with our vision for Basingstoke.

"Junction 7 is one of the two “Welcome to Basingstoke” locations on the motorway. We should consider carefully if we want that welcome to be heralded by a vast unattractive mass of utilitarian warehouses and constant flow of HGVs."