Among their many duties, one of the most important roles of councils is to decide on planning applications.

Whether it’s at a town council level, where decisions are made on whether or not to object to the plans, or at a borough council level, where plans are considered and approved, there are always major decisions being made over what can be built in your area.

Some of these decisions are bigger, and more controversial, than others. Here are some of the big planning decisions you should know about:


Plans for Manydown have bene in the pipeline for decades, with the land destined to become large new estates for Basingstoke first purchased by the borough council 25 years ago.

Since then, much work, and controversy, has been generated over the plans, which will see up to 3,520 homes built on the site. There will also be a 250-acre country park, two primary schools, land reserved for a secondary school, two local centres and community facilities.

Outline planning permission for the area was granted in July last year, with many councillors praising the move.

Cllr John Izett said: ““It is brilliant news for the people of Basingstoke that planning permission for the new community at Manydown has finally been secured.

"The process to get us to this point has taken too long but I am confident that the result will be a better designed, more sustainable and successful place to live.

“This is a key milestone in Basingstoke’s future, providing much-needed homes in sustainable and green communities where people will want to live, as well as benefits for the whole borough.”

However, others raised concerns about 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.

Since approval, the council has entered into partnerships with organisations including Urban&Civic and The Wellcome Trust to take the scheme forward, with a potential starting date of construction at the end of the year.

While outline planning permission has been granted, further applications will be needed, and then be approved, to shape how the site will look.

Basingstoke Golf Club

Though not quite the same scale as Manydown, plans to redevelop Basingstoke Golf Club will see 1,000 homes built on the site.

The plans were immediately controversial amongst residents and politicians, with council leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan, calling the application "unsupportable" when it was first submitted in 2019.

Meanwhile, other residents objected to the inclusion of pitches for travellers on the site.

However, following amendments to the plans, Bloor Homes won around Basingstoke & Deane’s development committee, with measures such as relocating the site closer to the area’s amenities.

At the time of the plan’s approval in July 2020, Cllr Ken Rhatigan said: “Fortunately, over the last year and a half, the wider public have had their say to make sure that what comes before you is approvable.

"This is a highly sustainable site with clear walking and cycling routes to connect the community to the wider area."

However, concerns over crossings near a proposed school, and increased traffic in the area, are still to be resolved in reserved matters applications that will supplement the outline plans given permission.

Basingstoke Gateway

Plans to build new warehouses near the M3 are the most recent of the plans on this list, but have caused no less controversy.

Newlands Development submitted plans for outline planning permission for both a four warehouse site and a 630,000 square foot warehouse, the latter of which is thought to be earmarked for online retailer Amazon.

Concerns over the impact on the area’s amenities, the environment and traffic had been raised, with councillors choosing to reject plans for the four warehouses.

However, the proposal for the single warehouse unit was accepted, with work now allowed to commence on the demolition of three dwellings, out-buildings and related structures and the construction of a storage and distribution warehouse including mezzanine floorspace and associated infrastructure works.

The developers also are in talks with the potential occupiers of the other warehouses, with the potential for the decision to be appealed or resubmitted, as they “respectfully disagree” with the decision.

However, five MPs from across Hampshire, including Maria Miller, have called on the government to call the plans in for both sites, something which would see the Housing Secretary decide at a national level if the plans should be approved.

They claim that the plans will adversely impact a planned new hospital to be built nearby, by taking up road capacity used by visitors and ambulances.

The developer disputes this, and the Housing Secretary is yet to decide whether to call the plans in.