Residents and community leaders have questioned the plans to regenerate a retail park in Basingstoke by turning it into a trade park.

Equation Properties Limited is seeking permission from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to regenerate Brighton Hill Retail Park and turn it into a high-quality trade park as it looks to provide hundreds of jobs along with several other public benefits. 

The proposal aims to transform the derelict site into several warehouse units, addressing long-standing issues of anti-social behaviour and bringing numerous public benefits.

READ MORE: Revised plans for development of Brighton Hill Retail Park

Basingstoke Gazette: The proposal aims to transform the derelict Brighton Hill site into several warehouse unitsThe proposal aims to transform the derelict Brighton Hill site into several warehouse units (Image: Newsquest)

However, a county councillor and residents have had mixed reactions to the plans.

County councillor Stephen Reid expressed concerns about the surplus of warehouse jobs in the area, citing existing vacancies in the sector.

“I googled warehouse jobs in Basingstoke and the Reed website says that there are 112 vacancies in a 10-mile radius.

“The surplus of warehouse jobs is one of the reasons I opposed the plans for warehouses near Junction 7 of the M3 and I am not convinced that Basingstoke needs more.

“So what to put there instead? I come at this from the perspective of what would most benefit Basingstoke?"

He suggested an alternative approach: "One option I would like to see considered is a facility that enables small businesses to start up in Basingstoke."

He proposed creating small units for businesses with built-in offices and shared facilities, fostering a diverse range of activities from small traders to IT companies.

Barry Ellis, a Basingstoke resident, expressed concerns about the potential traffic impact of a warehouse development.

He said: "We don’t want HGVs going in every day because the roads are rubbish. Even without a distribution centre, the roads near here are gridlocked. So imagine what happens when the warehouses are built."

However, he did offer alternatives, including the idea of repurposing the site for retail or green spaces.

Another resident, David Woodward said: "It will be a lot nicer to knock down the derelict building, flatten it and have a retail park, like how the French do, with everything in one place rather than scattered about in the town."

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Jane, who didn't want her last name shared, suggested a space catering to children and teenagers.

She said: "I’m more than happy to see any money coming to rejuvenate a building in our town as long as it is for the benefit of the people.

"Personally I would like to see something for children and teenagers come up there because there aren’t enough spaces in the town for them.”

The revised plans by Equation Properties Limited address some of the concerns raised by the community.

Notable changes include improved road access, smaller building sizes, and restrictions on HGV operating times, all aimed at mitigating potential issues.