A BASINGSTOKE councillor is “glad” a developer has listened to concerns after revealing plans for regenerating an area of Basingstoke to include 206 new homes, a pre-school, and health centre.

Vivid is preparing to submit a planning application to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in the New Year, which will see various areas of Winklebury transformed to deliver much-needed affordable homes and bring long-term improvements to the area.

The housing association wants to regenerate four different areas of Winklebury – the former Fort Hill School, the Winklebury Centre, Newman Bassett, Carrisbrooke Close, and the Play Council site.

The proposals also include providing a new health facility to house a GP surgery, new retail units with a public square, 4.5 hectares of new open space on the former Fort Hill School playing fields, a new pre-school building, and a fort themed children’s play park with new equipment.

Councillor Sean Dillow (Conservative, Winklebury and Manydown) said that he is glad Vivid has taken on his initial concerns.

“It is essential that the circa £60 million investment by Vivid Homes in the Winklebury Regeneration Project provides what the residents of Winklebury need and deserve, now and for the future. I am glad Vivid Homes have taken on board a number of my concerns and the reservations that Winklebury residents have concerning the regeneration project,” he told The Gazette.

He said that the new health care facility is a welcomed idea.

He added: “Looking at the update, the proposed larger healthcare facility will now have a wider healthcare provision than currently available in the Winklebury Centre.” I will be pushing for this facility to be part of the first phase of the regeneration project so all the residents will benefit from this new facility, which will now contain a local pharmacy, sooner rather than having to wait years and years for it to be built.”

Around 50 people living in the Winklebury Centre will need to be rehomed before the work begins while retailers will be given temporary space for their shops while work is carried out.

Cllr Dillow has been campaigning on behalf of the local Winklebury businesses to ensure that they can continue trading during the regeneration project and he is glad they have listened.

He said: “It looks as though Vivid Homes has listened and will be putting in place specialist units to allow these vital businesses - which are the heart of the community spirit in Winklebury - to continue trading.”

Despite this, he still has some reservations about how sustainable the new homes will be.

He added: “I will be pushing for more detail on their approach to sustainability and future proofing the new homes. Solar panels, air heat pumps, and the installation of on street EV charge points need to be part of the project. I would also like to know more about the mix of housing sizes as it will be important to provide a wide range of housing to allow families of varying sizes to live and flourish in the new development.

“Going forward it is important that residents and businesses give their comments on the updated proposals.” to Vivid so that they can incorporate their views into the planning application in Spring 2022.”

The plans, which Vivid has shared with The Gazette, will include a mixture of homes, with 120 one and two-bed flats, four three-bed flats, five two-bed bungalows, 31 two-bed houses, and four four-bed houses.

Forty per cent of these are set to be affordable homes, offering a mixture of social housing, affordable rent, and shared ownership