Council takes proactive approach to vision for M3 junction 7 land

A proactive strategic vision for land to the north of M3 junction 7 is being drawn up by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, focusing on the delivery of infrastructure needed to support residents’ quality of life, opportunities for new jobs and better facilities.

The move comes as the pace of development, on land identified in the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan to 2029, increases around this area with Manydown and Basingstoke Golf Course getting planning approvals recently and work starting at Hounsome Fields.

The strategic vision will build upon the infrastructure planning work already undertaken to support the Local Plan. Informing the next Local Plan in its earliest stages, this work will help to ensure that there is a co-ordinated approach, guiding any further development of the area in the future.

As the next Local Plan will create the blueprint for further development across the borough for years to come, a number of landowners in the area have already put forward sites to be considered for housing and business development in the future. Developers have also flagged other possible planning applications.

Working with partners, the council will take a comprehensive look at the area and its needs, to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place at the right time and it supports the future economic prosperity of the borough.

Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Natural Environment Cllr Mark Ruffell said: “There are lots of possible future development proposals for this area that could come forward. For example, we know that there was a previous application for a hospital near junction 7 owing to its great strategic location. Public engagement is being carried out on future health services for north and mid Hampshire and we would like to see a new hospital in Basingstoke.

“It is crucial that we have a clear and joined up vision for the provision of infrastructure around the M3 junction 7 area as early as possible. We want to listen to the competing interests of residents and landowners to ensure that any further development of this area is well thought out. This will be a significant piece of work, and I look forward to discussing this in more detail with councillors at committee later this year.”

The council is already working with highway authorities to move forward the transport strategy for the borough. This includes looking at the future capacity of junction 7 and planning ahead for 21st century public ‘mass rapid’ transport to encourage people out of their cars, responding to the climate emergency. The strategic vision will look at issues such as the connectivity to the town centre along the A30 corridor, improving cycle and walking links and reducing bus journey times.

Considering wider needs such as health, education, water and sewerage, this coordinated and well thought through approach will help to highlight needs and future funding opportunities and help other local services to plan ahead in a coordinated way. It will also consider the need to retain the character and identity of villages in the area and ensure that addressing climate change is at the heart of any future proposals.

The council is in the very early stages of updating the Local Plan which will set out a strategy for meeting the borough’s needs, including homes and employment, beyond 2029. This is a lengthy and detailed process with the plan due for adoption around 2023.

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