Planning permission has been approved for a new garden community, featuring up to 3,520 new homes, two primary schools, two local centres, businesses and shops in Basingstoke.
The plans would see the new development built on a 250-acre country park at Manydown, with the council confident it'll provide much-needed homes in a "sustainable and green" new community.
The application was submitted by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council following the purchase of a long lease on the Manydown land in 1996 and its subsequent allocation to the council's Local Plan in 2016.
It's now been approved, as of yesterday (Wednesday 8 July) following a virtual council meeting of their Development Control Committee.
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 that it will be an important part of the economic recovery creating hundreds of jobs.”
The site is seen as a green and eco-friendly area that'll feature a number of open spaces, such as neighbourhood parks, sports pitches, historic woodlands, meadows and farmland.
It's also seen as possessing 40% affordable housing and is the largest housing site development allocated in the Local Plan up until 2029.
Footpaths and cycleways are planned to link homes and neighbouring communities to encourage greater active travel.
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.”
Approval for the sites meets the infrastructure needs required, such as providing access points onto the B3400, A339 and Roman Road routes.
Detailed layouts of the development or building designs and spaces are to follow in due course, and local residents, community groups and parish council will be able to shape further developments.
The environment already appears to be right at the forefront of plans, with over 24,000 native trees and shrubs being planted to create a new wildlife corridor on the western part of the land.