Chineham could be set to finally get its own train station, after years of discussions.

Councillors have agreed that cash given the council from property developers should be used to help fund a project to build a station in the suburb of Basingstoke. 

The idea of having a railway station at Chineham on the Basingstoke to Reading line has long been discussed, with conversations stretching back decades.

The project, among many others, are on a list of improvements to the borough's infrastructure to be funded by contributions under Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

CIL is a development tax which the borough council charges when developers submit planning applications.

The borough council will put these funds towards the "construction and implementation" of Chineham railway station, as well as other projects such as adding traffic lights to Hackwood Road Roundabout.

It proposes upgrades to M3 junction 7, transport and access around the Top of Town, and a link between the A33 and Cufaude Lane in Chineham .

The infrastructure list was revealed in a meeting of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's economic, planning and housing committee.

It was also revealed that the borough had an infrastructure deficit of nearly £200 million.

Cllr Onnalee Cubitt (Conservative, Old Basing & Lychpit) told the meeting that a report from 2015 showed that the borough needed £197 million worth of additional infrastructure.

It was this deficit which allowed the authority to start charging CIL.

According to Mark Lambert, the council's design environment and infrastructure manager, the gap is closing.

He labelled it a "snapshot at a moment in time", adding: "That was undertaken a couple of years back.

"Clearly since that time a number of infrastructure projects have been completed, a number of sites have come forward which provided their own infrastructure through section 106 funding and through on site provision so it is quite a difficult measure to draw a firm conclusion on."

As well as the transport items, CIL revenue is earmarked to go towards additional primary school places, expansions to secondary schools, and improvement to community facilities such as libraries, cemeteries and healthcare.

It will be used to fund "new and improved" facilities at Down Grange, as well as artificial pitches at The Vyne and Testbourne schools, plus in Tadley.

Improvements to both swimming and indoor tennis provision are on the shortlist, as well as refurbishment of the football pavilion at Bramley FC.

The council also propose refurbishing the cricket pavilion in Oakley, constructing two new rugby pitches and four team changing rooms at Overton, and refurbishing or providing two new tennis courts in Whitchurch.

The full list can be viewed on the BDBC website, with Mr Lambert saying that the list was due to be updated this year.

Building a railway station in Chineham has long been discussed, and was recently revived as part of plans to improve links between the M3 and M4 corridors, which included possibly dualling the A33.

Cllr Mark Ruffell said that plans to develop a new station in Chineham, and to reopen the station on the other side of the town in Oakley, "were gaining traction".

"It may well be that that is the area where improved transport needs to be focused, rather than improving what would become a national strategic route and has no benefit to the local population."

Arguments for the new station include the fact that Chineham has a large business park that would benefit from a railway station, as well as plenty of houses.

The station would be on the Reading to Basingstoke branch, allowing commuters to get to the two towns, as well as London, quickly.