PLANS for a five-storey block of flats and six maisonettes in South View could turn the town centre into “a dormitory without facilities”, a publican has said.

Housing association Vivid have amended plans for the development of the Laleham site off Chapel Hill, now opting to build a single block of 68 flats alongside six two-bedroom maisonettes.

The disused warehouse site was previously earmarked for 79 flats across two four-storey apartment blocks and is next door to the under-construction Chapel Gate development and Dextra Court.

As previously reported the landlord of a nearby pub said the development will “dwarf and change” the area and impact heavily on his business.

Basingstoke Gazette: The site will be sandwiched between Chapel Gate and Dextra Court. Photo: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council documents.The site will be sandwiched between Chapel Gate and Dextra Court. Photo: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council documents.

Kevin Divall, who runs The Rising Sun on Chapel Hill, is now pleading with the community to have their say on the development before the period of public consultation ends next Tuesday, July 13.

Posting on the pubs Facebook page, Kevin said: “You may be aware VIVID has put amended plans in for the development of the Laleham site at the rear of the pub. The only way we will turn over this application is if enough people put an objection in on the council's planning site.

“If the plans go ahead I believe it will be the nail in the coffin for summer events in the garden and more stress on the local facilities and traffic.”

The 58-year-old is concerned the proximity of the flats will cause residents to complain about noise from the pub garden in summer months.

“Many of the proposed flats will have balconies overlooking the garden which will very likely result in complaints. VIVIDs response has been, the flats will be double glazed and sound proofed no consideration made for hot weather when the balcony doors and windows will be open” Kevin added.

Basingstoke Gazette: The Rising Sun pub, Google street viewThe Rising Sun pub, Google street view

The publican is also alarmed that the development could have an impact on services in the area.

He highlighted that local schools already have waiting lists and that development could increase traffic and pressure on local GP surgeries that are “already extremely busy”.

The lack of plans for bike storage, on street car parking and outdoor recreational space was also mentioned, with the Norden ward currently having one of the lowest recreational space per resident.

Speaking about his business, Kevin stated: “The pub is 200 years old and is within the South view conservation area, the proposed development will dwarf the pub and garden, changing the character of the pub and area.

“The height of the proposed flats will overshadow the garden impacting the light and historical privacy and seclusion currently enjoyed by customers.

“Although as a business the Rising Sun has always been conscious of our neighbours and tried to manage events and noise to minimise impact, the removal of the warehouse and housing close to the site will severely restrict the use of the garden.”

The Director of Development at Vivid, Mike Shepherd, told the Gazette: "We welcome all feedback on our development proposals. Listening to the views of the local community allows us to shape our plans to complement the area.

"We’ve undertaken a full consultation programme for the Central 37 Chapel Hill site. This included writing to 680 local households, neighbouring businesses and meeting with local councillors.

"The feedback gathered from this has allowed us to shape our new proposal which have been amended since January 2021 and now has a new large open space between the pub and the block of flats, and increased internal storage designed for residents to store bikes and pushchairs.”

To have your say on the plans, search 20/03311/OUT on the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council planning portal.