A pioneering new partnership has been formed committed to developing a well-designed, sustainable new garden community at Manydown in Basingstoke, which will provide much-needed homes and create hundreds of new jobs.
Following the signing of contracts today (Wednesday 29 July), Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council have entered into a long-term partnership with the UK’s leading master developer Urban&Civic and global charitable foundation the Wellcome Trust.
The move comes just weeks after the decision to grant outline planning permission for the development of up to 3,520 new homes, a 250-acre country park, two primary schools with land reserved for a potential new secondary school, two local centres, businesses, shops and community facilities, as a sustainable garden community.
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. Providing a variety of homes to suit different needs and life stages, with 40% affordable housing, the development will play a vital role in meeting the borough’s housing needs.
Now the creation of the joint venture cements the two councils’ long term commitment to staying involved in building high quality, sustainable homes with the expertise and track record of a master developer, backed by a leading global charitable foundation.
Urban&Civic has over a decade of experience turning strategic sites into vibrant new communities, underpinned by extensive community development and jobs and skills investment from the outset of projects. Its successful developments include Alconbury Weald and Houlton in Rugby.
Responding to the climate emergency declared by both councils, streets and green spaces will be well connected whether walking or cycling and the ‘Manydown Standard’ will ensure that the new homes are well-built and designed to achieve high environmental standards including energy and water saving.
Continuing to involve local communities in shaping the Manydown development, the partnership will start engagement with residents, local groups and businesses in coming months as it starts to draw up the detailed plans for Manydown. This will be ahead of submitting the first planning applications for early infrastructure and the layouts and designs for the initial phase of new homes.
Early estimations are that Manydown could be welcoming its first residents within three years. This allows time for the next stages of the planning process, including community engagement and further consultation. This would be followed by infrastructure work on site, including access roads and utilities, paving the way for building homes, alongside wider community facilities.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Property Cllr John Izett said: “We can now move forward to develop Manydown. With a formidable public-private partnership now in place I am confident that all the comprehensive preparations, creative 21st century urban design and planning and attention to the views of our residents will be put to excellent effect in realising a new community and urban extension for Basingstoke. Our high ambition is to ensure that when Manydown is built it will be regarded as a standout development across the country in concept and execution, and, most importantly, cherished by those who make their homes and lives there.”
Hampshire County Council Leader Cllr Keith Mans said: “For the county council, Manydown represents our highest ambition for the type of prosperous and sustainable communities we want to develop in Hampshire for future generations. Residents will be able to enjoy good quality housing, schools and community facilities which have been carefully designed to promote social cohesiveness in an environmentally conscious and modern countryside setting. This is an ambitious venture and one of the largest developments in this part of the country, and so it is appropriate that it will be led by such a unique and innovative partnership, which we are very pleased to be a part of.”
Urban&Civic Chief Executive Officer Nigel Hugill said: “The Manydown development is the most significant proposed in Basingstoke since the 1970s. The challenges are clear and priorities have been reset. There is no longer a presumption that town can only meet country by means of a petrol engine. Equally, the fundamental underlying strengths of Basingstoke have not changed. Accessibility, connectivity and a forward-looking conviction will find new resonance in a digital age, located within the enduring magnificence of the surrounding countryside. I applaud the determination of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, in conjunction with Hampshire County Council, to create a partnership capable of keeping hold of such bold ambition. Urban&Civic will relish taking charge of operational delivery.”
Peter Pereira Gray, CEO and Managing Partner, Investment Division, Wellcome, said: “We are delighted to partner with Urban & Civic and the local councils to deliver new homes and a garden community on this Manydown site. This exciting and large-scale development aligns strongly with our long-term investment horizon and is highly complementary to our existing strategic land holdings.”
Urban&Civic, supported by the Wellcome Trust, was chosen as the councils’ preferred private sector partner in February 2018 after a comprehensive procurement process, with the extensive contracts to formalise the partnership developed over the following 18 months.