Over 380 residents and 60 community representatives came along to give their thoughts to the design team drawing up a masterplan for the development of northern Manydown at a four-day event.

PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON www.stphotos.co.uk 07778 334771

The Shaping Manydown: The Place and its Community event was held in a marquee in Basingstoke’s War Memorial Park from Thursday 12 November to Sunday 15 November.

The northern part of Manydown is proposed for around 3,400 new homes in the draft Local Plan up to 2029. Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, who are joint owners of a 999-year lease on Manydown land, have appointed an experienced team of specialists to draw up detailed plans in advance of submitting a planning application this time next year.

On Thursday and Friday, during two days of workshops and discussions with community representatives, a number of possible masterplan scenarios were drawn up showing where things might go within the development. Lots of ideas, opportunities and concerns on many aspects of the development and its relationship to surrounding areas were captured.

Then over the weekend hundreds of people came along to talk over the ideas with representatives from the council’s project team, including urban designers, architects, planners, civil engineers landscape architects, ecologists and transport planners. Even the youngest visitors to the event got the chance to get involved, drawing up plans and creating models of their perfect homes.

Those who weren’t able to come along will shortly be able to see ideas that evolved from group discussions on the project website at www.manydownbasingstoke.co.uk and add their thoughts.

The design team will take away all of the comments made and use them to come up with options capturing the best elements for ways development could take shape and the other ideas that came out of workshops. They will also help refine the vision and principles for the development following hearing views on priorities and what is most important.

The borough council’s Cabinet member leading on Manydown, Cllr John Izett, said: “The level of public interest shown in this community event was brilliant and shows how much local residents care and want to contribute to the future of Manydown. It was great so see so many people taking the time not only to come along but to stay and talk over their thoughts, concerns and ideas in detail. In talking to some of those who attended I was left in no doubt that they want the Manydown development to be done very well and also recognise the need we have as a borough to provide new homes for today’s residents and future generations.”

The community design event is the first opportunity to invite the local community to give feedback and to help shape the plans. At the end of February the team will be engaging with residents on the emerging masterplan options to refine them further. This will include a full public consultation programme with public exhibitions in the communities surrounding Manydown. There will be further consultation during the summer prior to a planning application being submitted in late 2016.