Young people gave their ideas about what they would like to see in the proposed country park at Manydown at summer holiday workshops.

The drop-in sessions were held by two summer youth groups at the Ridgeway Centre in Buckskin last Thursday (22 August) and Bishops Green Village Hall on Wednesday (28 August) as part of very early work planning for the 250-acre park as part of the Manydown development in Basingstoke.

The seven to 18 year-olds coming along to the drop-in sessions had the opportunity to give their views on the borough’s first country park while thinking about topics such as ecology and landscape, health and wellbeing, sustainability and connectivity.

Activities included identifying the features of other country parks they liked or didn’t like and designing a new feature for the country park at Manydown.

The youth drop-in sessions are a very early first step in a wider series of engagement activities to involve the community and people of all ages in helping to plan for the proposed country park that will benefit the entire borough. The sessions also build on engagement with young people in the planning of the Manydown development over the last few years.

An outline planning application on land at north Manydown for up to 3,520 new homes, plus businesses, community facilities, schools and a 250-acre country park, is under consideration.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, as joint leasehold owners of the Manydown land, are set to work alongside the UK’s leading master developer Urban&Civic in a partnership to deliver the Manydown development, embracing garden town principles.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet member leading on Manydown Cllr John Izett said: “The Manydown development will create the borough’s first county park and we want to make sure that the community is actively involved in the proposals for this from the very start. Through the many stages of consultation to achieve our ambition of Manydown being one of the best designed new housing developments in Britain, local residents of all ages have given their views. We are already getting some interesting ideas from young people participating in these sessions on how we can make the country park a wonderful and much visited new recreational and educational venue for everyone.”

Leader of Hampshire County Council Cllr Keith Mans said: “When designing and building an entire new community, it is vitally important that the future residents have opportunities to get involved and help to shape their new environment. I am pleased to see that young people in the area are enthusiastic about participating and having their say, and I look forward to seeing the country park take shape, following their input.”

For more information see the Manydown project website at www.manydownbasingstoke.co.uk.