COUNCILLORS have voted to refuse an application for four warehouses at Basingstoke Gateway, near Junction 7 of the M3, with one councillor stating ‘it doesn’t belong here’.  

The application put forward by Newlands Property Developments would have seen outline permission granted to the development, which promised to bring nearly 1,500 jobs to the area, but was met with more than 100 written objections from residents.

Council officer Sue Tarvit advised members of the Development Control Committee to refuse the application, on the grounds that it would “ be detrimental to the character and visual amenity of the landscape” and “does not make adequate provision for off-site highways works, access works, public transport, a travel plan, employment skills plan, noise mitigation and biodiversity mitigation”.

Residents of Dummer voiced their concerns about the plans, with Parish councillor Julian Jones citing the high level of HGV traffic in the area - 290 movements per hour at peak times.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Ms Davis spoke about the need for the economic and employment boost, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, and explained that “extensive” resident consultation had occurred in line with coronavirus guidelines.

However, the Mayor of Basingstoke Cllr Diane Taylor and cabinet member Cllr Hannah Golding, who both represent the affected ward of Oakley and North Waltham, spoke out in objection to the plans. 

Cllr Taylor said that “more than 50 football pitches worth of warehouses simply do not belong here".

In debate, points were raised in support of the developer’s contribution to the economy and attempts to ensure sustainability and contribution to the fight against climate change.

However, it was not considered to be enough.

Cllr Nick Robinson said the effect on nearby cottages is "horrendous" and the effect on countryside "dramatic", while Cllr Potter suggested the developer should perhaps have considered an alternative site, adding: "This development doesn't belong here, that's for sure".

He continued by saying that 1,400 jobs is "tempting" but that the "impact on community overrides it in my opinion".

Moved by Cllr McCormick and seconded by Cllr Tomblin, the application was refused, in line with officer recommendation, by 10 votes to one, with only Cllr Sven Godeson against.

Members are now considering a second application on the site, for a 630,000 square foot distribution hub thought to be home to Amazon - which is recommended for approval by council officers.