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Responses to frequently asked questions

These answers aim to give more information or explanation in response to questions raised in the public responses to the statutory consultation on the outline planning application. They are not intended to provide a response to all the concerns raised, to justify the proposals or to address every objection that has been raised.

After considering the public and statutory responses, the Manydown project team is in further discussions with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, as the local planning authority, and other statutory consultees. Updated documentation and further information will then be submitted to the local planning authority in support of the application.

It is expected that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council as local planning authority will carry out another consultation with the public and statutory consultees on this additional information during autumn 2017, before the application comes to the council’s Development Control Committee for determination.

The Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan states that some of the borough’s identified need for accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers, under national government policy, should be met through the provision of pitches on strategic development sites including Manydown.

The decision made in relation to the Hounsome Fields outline planning application – another strategic site – indicated that provision should be on-site in order to meet this policy requirement.

Therefore the outline planning application for Manydown makes provision for some Gypsy and Traveller pitches on-site, while also reserving the ability to discuss with the Gypsy and Traveller communities how and where these might be provided when we get to the detailed ‘reserved matters’ stages, when the exact location will be identified.

It is proposed that the pitches would be more permanent residential sites, located in one or two smaller areas, and not temporary sites for Travellers passing through the area.

The aim would be for these smaller residential sites to be in locations that are best for the main development at Manydown and for the existing communities.  Locations would be subject to further consultation when detailed planning submissions are made at the ‘reserved matters’ stage.

In their landowner capacity, the councils are awaiting final confirmation from the local planning authority of the specific number of pitches that will need to be provided at Manydown.

In its role as local planning authority, the borough council commissioned specialist consultants to update the 2015 Gypsy and Traveller Needs Assessment following new government guidance. Although this revised assessment is not reflected in planning policy at this stage, the study suggests nine pitches are required across the borough to meet the identified needs of travellers meeting the national definition for Gypsies and Travellers. This could mean a figure as low as five pitches at Manydown.

Given the size and scale of the site, it is normal practice to submit an outline planning application rather than a detailed planning application. This allows the applicant, the borough council as the local planning authority and statutory consultees to focus on the principles and parameters of developing the site, while the detailed matters of design and layout are dealt with through future, smaller planning applications.

During the last of four stages of engagement and consultation, in September and October 2016, two options were displayed for this junction. One option was an expanded roundabout and the other option was a double T-junction.

Both options required additional land on the exit from Rooksdown to provide adequate capacity. It is also understood that the current junction will need to be expanded, irrespective of the Manydown project, due to the general growth in traffic as a result of the proposed developments in the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan.

After the last sequence of public consultation and before the submission of the outline planning application, further transport modelling and the decision that Catern Cross is not an archaeological site of national significance suggested some longer-term advantages of pursuing the expanded roundabout option. These include less queueing, compared with the T-junction design. As such, the decision was made to pursue the expanded roundabout option rather than the T-junction.

Comments received about the highways proposals will continue to be considered, alongside further work and discussions about the detailed junction designs taking place with Hampshire County Council, as the body responsible for highways.

Further information will be provided as part of a second statutory consultation period in autumn 2017. This will be undertaken by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council as local planning authority.

As this is an outline planning application, all matters of detail – except for vehicular access to the site – will be considered in more detailed planning applications, known as ‘reserved matters’.  Therefore, the planning process does not require detailed information to be submitted at this stage.

Outline planning permission only establishes the principle of developing the site, such as the type and size of development and the infrastructure to be provided. It does not provide a detailed layout of the development for the designs of buildings and spaces.

The illustrative masterplan submitted as part of the outline planning application is only provided to demonstrate how the principles established in the outline application could be interpreted and is, therefore, not considered to be the final layout.

Building work cannot start until approval of the ‘reserved matters’ planning applications. The community will have more opportunities to comment on the detailed proposals when the ‘reserved matters’ planning applications are considered.

 

The decision by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council acting in their landowner capacity, to include Gypsy and Traveller pitches on site as part of the outline planning application was made following the last sequence of public consultation. This came after the local planning authority decision to require another site at Hounsome Fields to include similar provision on site as part of that outline planning application. This clarified the requirement for Manydown.

No specific information on the approach to Gypsy and Traveller provision could be provided as part of the public consultations in 2016. However, all comments received during the recent statutory consultation will be considered by the local planning authority as part of the determination of the outline planning application. There will also be further opportunities for members of the public to comment on the proposals for Gypsy and Traveller provision as part of future more detailed planning applications.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, as landowners, prepared the outline planning application for Manydown, working with a professional consultant team.

The local planning authority is Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, as a separate function of the council with its own decision-making committee. Central government allows local planning authorities to determine their own planning applications, in accordance with national planning policies and the approved Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan, in certain circumstances, with safeguards in place to ensure that the system is fair and transparent.

The process to consider the application will be the same as it would be for any other developer, and the final decision on the outline planning application will be a matter for the Basingstoke and Deane borough councillors who sit on the Development Control Committee.

We are aware of the concerns that have been raised about the additional land take and potential removal of hedges and trees.

This will form part of our discussions on the detailed design of the junction with Hampshire County Council, as the body responsible for highways.

Existing hedges and trees will be maintained, wherever possible, as part of the final design. However, this needs to be balanced against the need to create a layout which complies with relevant design standards.

The final design will be subject to a road safety audit.

The local plan requirement is for Gypsy and Traveller sites to form part of larger strategic development sites and be close to local facilities.  The former site at Dummer does not fulfil this requirement.

The Environmental Statement submitted as part of the planning application included detailed assessments of the predicted changes in air quality and noise associated with predicted road traffic movements.

These assessments used best practice computer modelling. They were based on the predicted road traffic flows assuming the full development of the site, plus background traffic growth over time and the additional traffic flows on roads surrounding the site from other known committed developments. This was agreed with Hampshire County Council, as the body responsible for highways.

The assessments demonstrated that there would not be significant adverse effects on noise and air quality.

It is proposed that Roman Road will have a link in to the main street at the northern end of Manydown and traffic will be diverted through the site, rather than Roman Road directly accessing Kingsclere Road (A339).

Although this would mean a slight detour for some residents, the modelling work carried out suggests that this would improve traffic flows as well as dealing with a pre-existing safety issue at Wellington Terrace.

The modelling undertaken to support the outline planning application suggests that around one third of the existing traffic on Roman Road could be diverted to the main street on Manydown, which would be designed to have greater capacity to cope with the traffic, helping to ease the flow of traffic on Roman Road.

The outline planning application makes provision for Gypsy and Traveller pitches on site, while also reserving the ability to discuss with the Gypsy and Traveller communities how and where that provision might be made when we get to the detailed ‘reserved matters’ stages when the exact locations will be identified.

We will take some time to work out the types of accommodation for Gypsies and the best possible locations (including off-site options) and present those proposals in detailed planning applications to be considered and commented on at a later stage. This approach is consistent with the way all outline planning applications are structured to enable this process to happen in a responsible way.

Transport modelling has included an assessment of the likely impact on main residential roads in Winklebury. The Hampshire County Council strategic transport model has been used to examine how traffic would re-route in response to the new infrastructure to be provided by the Manydown project.

As a result, the package of transport improvements will include measures to discourage rat-running through Winklebury – these may take the form of direct traffic calming (where this would not have a negative effect on actual local traffic) or improvements at other locations.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Local Plan and Hampshire County Council, as education authority, require Manydown to provide two primary schools and a site for a secondary school.  As such, as landowners, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council are required to include provision for a secondary school on the site.

The decision to close Fort Hill was made by Hampshire County Council as  education authority, following a consultation earlier this year. The decision notice records the reasons for that decision, and the full report can be accessed here.

The proposal to develop phase one of Manydown on the northern part of the site generates a need to provide school places for five forms in each academic year, when typically new schools are only built when there is demand for more than eight forms for each academic year.

Therefore the requirement for the secondary school is to safeguard land – the decision as to the need and timing for the full development of the school will be a matter for Hampshire County Council as the body responsible for education in the borough.

Design quality has been a priority for the Manydown team from the outset of the project.

We remain committed to making sure Manydown is a well-planned and designed new community with homes that are built to last. This is why we are insisting that the quality of place making and the quality of build for Manydown are of the highest standard in the criteria we are using to select our development partner.

In relation to the planning process, we are proposing that we get approval for an overall design code from the local planning authority during the ‘reserved matters’ planning application process at a later stage. There will be further opportunities for the public to provide feedback on design proposals as part of this and other more detailed planning applications.

Thames Water has confirmed that, with suitable modifications, it can accommodate the number of houses proposed in the outline planning application for the first phase of development at Manydown through connections to its existing sewerage plant at Whitmarsh Lane. Therefore the outline planning application does not include proposals for a waste water treatment facility.

However, the ability to accommodate an on-site sewerage plant at Manydown will continue to be considered with Thames Water should it be necessary in the longer term. Such a proposal would be subject to a further planning application.

Advice has been sought from the Clinical Commissioning Group for North Hampshire as to the scale and type of facility required at Manydown.  No clear answer has been provided at this stage.

As landowners, the councils recognise the importance of new healthcare facilities for both new and existing communities.  The proposed development presents an opportunity to provide new facilities that will be available to the general public, enabling use by the existing community, as well as providing facilities for new residents.

Discussions will continue with the Clinical Commissioning Group for North Hampshire, which is responsible for the planning and funding of health facilities in Basingstoke, about what form this might take.

There are no proposals for a truck stop on Newbury Road or anywhere else on site. This is not something that has ever been considered as part of the development at Manydown.

A range of options for temporary access arrangements at the northern end of the site (from the A339) could be put in place for use during the construction of the development. These options will be explored with planning officers at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council at a later stage as part of the detailed ‘reserved matters’ planning applications.

When the outline planning application was submitted, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, in their landownership capacity, issued a newsletter to nearly 50,000 homes in Basingstoke, giving an overview of the outline planning application and where details about it could be viewed.

Information was also included about the application in Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s newspaper for residents, Basingstoke & Deane Today, which goes out to homes across the borough.

To help people to understand the key elements of the outline planning application, 11 factsheets were produced covering each of the main elements of the application. The factsheets can be viewed on the Manydown project website here.

The proposed eastern centre located on the eastern side of the site has capacity to include a new health centre. We are seeking to discuss with the Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for the planning and funding of health facilities in Basingstoke, what form this might take.