Last year the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) awarded £850,000 capacity funding to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council working in partnership with Hampshire County Council and Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. This was for technical studies focusing on ensuring that the right infrastructure is in place to enable affordable homes, new transport improvements, good schools, jobs and community amenities on the western side of Basingstoke.
Now the Department of Communities and Local Government has announced a further £375,000 in funding to develop these initial studies with a specific focus on transport, education and skills. This money comes as part of £1.5million announced by DCLG on Friday (11 November) to be divided between Basingstoke, Bicester, Didcot, North Essex and North Northamptonshire from the government’s Garden Town’s initiative.
It will enable the councils and Enterprise M3 to properly scope and plan longer term infrastructure so that it can effectively support affordable homes, new transport improvements, good schools, jobs and community amenities on the western side of Basingstoke.
Council Leader Cllr Clive Sanders said: “This additional funding supports the development of new communities well into the 21st century, especially on the land at Manydown. This is government backing for the work we are doing with partners to ensure that there is well planned development for future generations of borough residents.
“We want to ensure new homes are well planned, designed and constructed with the right infrastructure in place and respect and contribute to existing adjoining communities. Basingstoke was planned in the 1960s and 1970s and that planning has created the good road and transport links and excellent facilities that we have today. We have an approved Local Plan that takes this forward to 2029 but we need to look beyond that planning again for the next 30 to 50 years with all our partners. This forward-thinking – like that of our predecessors - will ensure that the right infrastructure is in place to support a thriving borough for decades to come.”
Leader of Hampshire County Council Councillor Roy Perry said: “This extra funding is an indication of the importance of Manydown not only to Hampshire but to the wider region. The Government has clear confidence in the success of the scheme, to build further on our good work planning for the long-term future of this community. As the strategic authority with responsibility for transport, education and economic development for Hampshire, we have the experience and expertise to ensure long-term planning for Manydown complements wider developments across the county, and that Manydown will reflect the great character of Hampshire as a place to live, work and thrive.”
Chair of the Enterprise M3 Geoff French said: “We are delighted to see Government recognising the importance of one of our Growth Towns, Basingstoke, by awarding funding to plan for future growth. We are already supporting the town through investments of £25m in transport to support growth as well as encouraging business to locate within the developing enterprise zone at Basing View which is expected to create over 4,000 new jobs, 60 new businesses and 73,600 square metres of new commercial space.”
The stand promoting Basingstoke for inward investment at the UK’s largest property show, MIPIM UK, at Olympia in October was visited by Minister of State for Housing and Planning Gavin Barwell MP. The minister came up to speed with plans for new communities at Manydown and other major projects, including Basing View and proposals to revitalise Basingstoke Leisure Park. This followed a visit by his predecessor Brandon Lewis to the borough last year when the initial DCLG funding was announced.