Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Development Control Committee has taken the decision to grant outline planning permission for a new garden community, with a 250-acre country park, at Manydown, in a development that will help shape the future growth of Basingstoke.
At this afternoon’s (Wednesday 8 July) online meeting of the council’s Development Control Committee, councillors voted to approve the application for up to 3,520 new homes, two primary schools with land reserved for a potential new secondary school, two local centres, businesses, shops and community facilities.
The outline application was submitted by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council as landowners, following the purchase of a long lease on the Manydown land in 1996 and its allocation in the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan in 2016.
Providing a variety of homes to suit different needs and life stages, with 40% affordable housing, the development is the largest housing site allocated in the Local Plan to 2029, and will play a vital role in meeting the borough’s housing needs.
The new 250-acre country park will be an asset for the whole of the borough as a place for leisure and learning for years to come, with mature and historic woodlands, meadows and farmland. Other open spaces at Manydown include neighbourhood parks, squares and other public areas, as well as sports pitches and playing fields.
Responding to the climate emergency, Manydown will be designed on the principles of walkable neighbourhoods, with a network of safe cycle paths and footpaths linking the new homes and neighbouring communities with two new local centres. A ‘Manydown Standard’ will ensure that the new homes are well-built and designed to achieve high environmental standards including energy and water saving.
Shaped by 18 months of extensive community engagement before its submission, local residents and other groups and organisations were able to input their views over four further periods of planning consultation since it was submitted in 2017. The development will be guided by ‘garden town’ principles.
The development is set to be delivered through a unique partnership between the two councils and master developer Urban&Civic with co-investment from the Wellcome Trust. The contract to create this first of its kind partnership is due to be signed by the end of July, combining the two councils’ long term commitment to building high quality homes in sustainable communities with a master developer’s expertise in creating great places to live and investment from a leading global charitable foundation.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member leading on Manydown Cllr John Izett said: “It is brilliant news for the people of Basingstoke that planning permission for the new community at Manydown has finally been secured. The process to get us to this point has taken too long but I am confident that the result will be a better designed, more sustainable and successful place to live. It is essential that lessons are learned and we work together with our soon-to-be development partners, Urban&Civic and the Wellcome Trust as well as with central government, to ensure that the new high quality homes at Manydown are built as soon as possible to meet the needs of our growing population for a great place to live and work.
“This is a key milestone in Basingstoke’s future, providing much-needed homes in sustainable and green communities where people will want to live, as well as benefits for the whole borough. It will combine the best of 21st century design with features of much loved older places and be built on garden town principles that respect its environment. This is a nationally significant project and it will be an important part of the economic recovery creating hundreds of jobs.”
Leader of Hampshire County Council Cllr Keith Mans said: “The county council is committed to ensuring that families in Hampshire have access to good quality and sustainable housing, schools and community facilities to enable them and future generations to live well and thrive. We believe that Manydown will set the standard in this regard, and we are very pleased to be working alongside Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to make these plans a reality.”
The decision to approve the outline planning application means the overall principles of developing the site, such as the type and size of development and the infrastructure to be provided, specifically the three vehicular access points onto the B3400, A339 and Roman Road, are agreed. But the detailed layout of the development or the designs of buildings and spaces will follow in future planning documents and detailed applications. Local residents, community groups and parish councils will have the opportunity to shape these detailed proposals as future planning applications are developed.
The masterplan for Manydown was developed by a multi-disciplinary team led by Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, appointed by the two councils.
Over 24,000 native trees and shrubs have already been planted to create a new wildlife corridor on the western part of the land under another earlier planning application approved in advance to allow it to mature before development begins.