A DEVELOPER has held a public consultation after revealing revised plans for the Basingstoke Gateway at Oakdown Farm in Dummer.

A public consultation event was held on Wednesday, November 15, where residents and councillors discussed the revised plans.

As previously reported, Newlands Developments has returned with a third application for a distribution hub on the land next to Junction 7 on the M3 after its previous scheme was thrown out by a planning inspector in December last year.

The updated proposals include eight units providing 920,000 sq ft of floor space, a reduction of over 80,000 sq ft from the previous plan and a proposed new roundabout that will be reduced in size.

The proposal includes new bus, cycle and pedestrian links to the site. The scheme will also provide close to 1,100 jobs in a variety of occupations and positions, including managerial, skilled trades, admin, sales and customer service, plant and machinery and more.

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Basingstoke Gazette: left to right; Julian Jones, Linda Robinson, Christine Northam, Jeffrey Northam, Jeremy GlynThe Clean Air Green Environment (CAGE) group was set up to oppose the Basingstoke Gateway proposals for a distribution hub shortly after they were first revealed.

A spokesperson for the group, Christine Northam, said: "This development has been amended but is still almost a million square feet in size, in the middle of the open countryside. 

"The traffic generated by this will be considerable, also the local hospital is doing presentations leading the public to believe this is its chosen site. There are many additional houses at the junction too.

"This warehouse, hospital and housing will be on top of each other and will destroy the countryside approach to Basingstoke. This area needs to be protected from becoming an urban characterless sprawl."

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Resident Mike Robinson, 69, said: "There are 100 things that anyone here could complain about, but really do we need it? We have warehouses and office spaces in Basingstoke which already aren't filled. Also, employment in Basingstoke is low - where is this demand?"

Malcolm Donald, who attended the consultation event, said: "I've not got a problem with it. If you went to any motorway up and down the country they all have these big warehouse units lining them.

"My only concern is the amount of increased traffic this will bring. It's already bad compared to what it used to be with all the new houses built in the area, but this will make it even worse. Then there's the proposed new hospital to be taken into account.

"That short journey from the M3 into Basingstoke is becoming a nightmare and it's not going to get better anytime soon."

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Senior development director at Newlands, John Barker, said: "This plan is significantly different to the initial application, as the buildings are a lot smaller, and there is lots more green spaces.

"We've taken queries and questions on board and truly responded to previous refusals and concerns, and have come back with a plan we are happy and proud of. There are many benefits to the scheme including the opportunity of jobs and careers, and we're looking forward to getting people's views and ideas."

Planning director Ben Taylor said: "It's important to stress that the existing local plan identified the need for storage and distribution in 2016. We are here seven years later, and that demand hasn't been met and continues to grow. This is an issue that has been recognised on all scales. 

"We're looking forward to hearing the public's view on the revised plan and are particularly keen to hear their views on the communal spaces on the site, which will benefit them."

There will be another public consultation about the Oakdown Farm proposal, which will be held on Saturday, November 18 at St Michael's Church, Church Street, starting at 10am and running until 2pm.

Feedback can also be submitted online at basingstokegateway.co.uk.