The new Manydown development has cleared the first hurdle to being awarded multi-million pound infrastructure funding by the Government to support the delivery of much-needed new homes.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid announced yesterday (Wednesday 21 March) that Manydown is being shortlisted for the next stage of Housing Infrastructure Fund bidding. Manydown’s importance as a strategic housing site has been recognised already under the Government’s Garden Town programme.

Manydown will join 44 projects from across the country going through to the next round seeking support from the £4.1 billion Forward Funding pot for the large-scale vital infrastructure needed for new communities.

The bid led by Hampshire County Council and supported by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, as joint leasehold owners of the Manydown land, covers the initial phase of ‘upfront’ infrastructure needed for the development, including the spine road, drainage and utilities.

The next move will be the co-development stage, where Government officials will work with the Manydown Project Team to further develop the funding proposals, with successful bids set to be announced from autumn 2018 onwards.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This Government is committed to working with communities to build the homes this country needs and ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support them. We will now be working closely with 45 areas shortlisted to apply for government investment, including Hampshire. These key projects will help unlock more much needed homes by delivering the roads, schools and doctor’s surgeries that communities need.”

An outline planning application for the northern part of Manydown was submitted by the two councils in March 2017, following extensive public involvement in drawing up a masterplan. This sets out the main principles for developing a thriving new community of up to 3,500 new homes, businesses, shops and community facilities, two new primary schools and land for a new secondary school, and a 250 acre country park. The application is now under consideration.

Leader of Hampshire County Council Cllr Roy Perry said: “We welcome the Government’s shortlisting of Manydown, and look forward to the next stage of work with Government officials, alongside our Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council colleagues, in setting out in further detail, Manydown’s robust infrastructure, including roads and drainage. Manydown will be an important and prosperous community, in which people will be able to enjoy a high standard of living, with quality housing, schooling and recreation.”

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet lead on Manydown Cllr John Izett said: “Basingstoke is very clearly seen by the Government as a key, reliable partner in the South East able to provide the new houses the borough, and the country as a whole, needs urgently. This funding would make a significant difference to helping to pay for the substantial upfront infrastructure costs of the development.

“Working together, the two councils, alongside our accomplished development partner Urban&Civic and backed substantially by the government, will be able to deliver a new well-designed and built community at Manydown that will benefit both existing and new residents.”

The announcement comes shortly after Manydown was awarded £10.3 million in the first wave of smaller scale support from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund in February. This was to support the main site entrance junctions onto the A339 and B3400, as part of a larger package of enabling infrastructure work by 2020/1.

A master developer with a track record of creating great places, Urban&Civic, partnered by the Wellcome Trust, was announced last month as the private sector development partner who will work with the councils to deliver their ambitious plans for an exemplar development of new homes on the northern part of Manydown.