A DEVELOPER has submitted a screening opinion application to build 130 dwellings in Worting near Basingstoke town.

Cala Homes (Thames) is planning to build the properties on a 20-hectare site called Worting Park on Worting Road.

The development will have houses, a local centre comprising a gym, a day nursery and a village hall, and additional office spaces associated with Worting House among other infrastructure.

The builder has already held discussions with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Planning Officers, Urban Design, Tree, Landscape and Biodiversity Officers and its Historic Environment Team. They have also received advice from Historic England.

This has resulted in removing all development proposed from within the north-west area of the Park and reducing the development area at the west and south-west of the Park, in order to maintain views of the Park from the Listed Building.

In addition, the pre-application engagement in 2016 has resulted in the reduction in the number of dwellings proposed from 300 to up to 130.

Worting Park is located on the western edge of Basingstoke adjacent to the village of Worting. It is bound by Worting Road and two residential properties (Oakley Lodge – an assisted living care home, and Kings Lodge – a private residential dwelling) to the south.

The park has Church Lane and the St Thomas of Canterbury Church to the east, Scrapps Hill Farm to the west and agricultural land to the north.

Worting House, a Grade II listed manor house built between 1714 and 1727, sits to the east of Worting Park.

Worting House is an established business centre providing serviced office accommodation for more than 40 businesses.

According to Thom Hayes, Senior Archaeologist for Hampshire County Council, who was consulted for the application, the site lies within an area with high archaeological potential related to both the later prehistoric and Romano-British periods.

He wrote: “Multiple areas of cropmarks surround the site that indicate significant levels of archaeological activity, including areas of extensive late Iron Age and Roman-British field systems and settlement to the north and southeast of the site. Further undated cropmarks, immediately to the east of the site, possibly date to the medieval or post-medieval period.

“The majority of the site has not been the subject of extensive previous development, suggesting that there is a good potential for in situ preservation of below ground archaeological remains, where present.

“Whilst it is disappointing that the potential impact on below ground archaeological remains is not discussed within the heritage section of the screening request, I would advise that an Environmental Impact Assessment would not be required on the basis of archaeological issues.

“However, there is a high potential for as yet unidentified archaeological remains to be present within the site and that the proposed development will likely impact any remains present.

“Therefore, I would recommend that any planning application should be submitted with an Archaeological Heritage Statement.”

To view the application, click here.