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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 proposing a number of changes to outline planning application, which can be viewed here.

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 in early 2018, before the application comes to the council’s Development Control Committee for determination.

Under national government policy, the identified need for accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers has to be met in the borough. The Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan states that some of these pitches should be provided on major housing sites in the borough. Therefore, the outline application has to commit to providing pitches.

The pitches will be provided within one permanent residential site for Gypsy and Traveller families and will not include temporary transit sites for Travellers passing through the area. The aim would be for the permanent site to be well landscaped to create a residential feel and an attractive environment.

The planning authority has carried out a review of the demand for pitches across the borough to meet identified need and the number required at Manydown has now reduced to five from nine.

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.

Following comments received from Hampshire County Council, as highways authority, and members of the public who were concerned that it could lead to Rooksdown being used as a cut through for traffic, the proposals have now changed from one large roundabout to two medium-sized roundabouts, both with traffic lights. This is designed to improve capacity and the resilience of the junction to cope with rush hour traffic and encourage through traffic to use the A339 rather than cut through Rooksdown. You can read more about the changes proposed to the access arrangements for the site on the Highways and Access fact sheet, here.

Further work has also been undertaken on the transport modelling and analysis of the key corridors to and from the site from the perspective of both new trips and the impacts on existing travellers on the local transport network. This has resulted in the development of a Movement Strategy for Manydown. You can read more about this strategy here.

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.

Concerns were raised as part of the initial consultation in relation to the large roundabout option potentially leading to the removal of hedges and trees at Rooksdown. This has been considered as part of the revised design of the junction at Rooksdown, which largely replicates the existing roundabout, with some changes to improve capacity and access.

This will lead to the loss of some low quality trees and shrubs on the eastern corner of the roundabout but will allow more of the higher quality trees to the north of the A339 to be kept, in response to the comments received.

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 location of the site is being carefully considered to ensure it works for both the existing and new residents and the Gypsy and Traveller communities. It will form part of the new Manydown community, on a suitable plot of land, likely to be within the outline application area, to the west or south of it. The exact location depends on the final detailed layout and phases of building being agreed, as part of future more detailed planning applications.

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 includes a commitment to monitor these issues and, if necessary, to investigate and subsequently fund measures to discourage ‘rat running’ through local areas. This 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. As the project progresses, the team will continue to work with residents to understand the concerns raised and identify appropriate measures.

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.

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.

Advice has been sought from the Clinical Commissioning Group for North Hampshire as to the scale and type of facility required at Manydown. The CCG has now confirmed its preference would be for a new health centre to be located in the south part of the Manydown development in the western local centre.

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 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.

A similar process was undertaken when changes were submitted to the outline planning application. A drop-in event was held in January 2018, providing an opportunity for residents to view the changes being considered. This was advertised via a newsletter which was sent to nearly 50,000 homes, and over 600 people attended.

A further newsletter was sent to 50,000 homes when the changes were submitted to the planning authority in July 2018, and an additional set of fact sheets were produced to explain the changes. These can be viewed on the project website here.

Following the changes made in January 2019, an additional fact sheet was produced, which can be viewed here. An email was sent to everyone who has registered to receive updates to inform them that changes had been submitted and provide a link to the fact sheet.

The outline planning application proposed Manydown’s eastern centre as a potential location for a new health centre, aiming to provide a highly accessible location served by public transport and maximising the number of residents within walking or cycling distance.

However, as noted above, the Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for the planning and funding of health facilities in Basingstoke, has subsequently confirmed its preference for a health facility in the south part of the Manydown development, in the western centre.

It is acknowledged that this would mean the health facility may not be delivered in the early stages of the Manydown development. However, the decision has been made based on meeting the needs of the communities in the east of Manydown as part of the Winklebury regeneration project. The application has, therefore, been updated to reflect the preferred location for a health facility in the western centre.

The project team will continue to work with the CCG to understand its position and the timescales for provision of health facilities as part of the Winklebury regeneration project. The option will be retained to provide health facilities at alternative locations on Manydown should this be necessary in the future to serve both the new and existing communities.