A SENIOR COUNCIL OFFICER has moved to reassure businesses and residents that vital infrastructure will keep pace with development as Basingstoke grows.
It comes after major plans were submitted to redevelop the shopping precinct at Chineham District Centre.
Tellon Capital want to demolish the current Chineham Shopping Centre and build a hotel, shops, restaurants, a boutique cinema, a gym and 955 parking spaces.
The plans are part of a raft of other development proposals that are set to significantly change the face of the town in the coming years.
These include the £300m overhaul of Basingstoke Leisure Park, which is expected to start in 2023, and potentially hundreds of new homes at Upper Cufaude Farm. Festival Place Shopping Centre has already undergone major refurbishment work with the carpark also being upgraded.
Mark Baulch, Head of Policy & Representation at the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, has welcomed development, but warned infrastructure improvements must be part of the proposals.
He said: “We welcome proposed developments and improvements in the area which have the potential to add to the economic vibrancy of the town. These must be in conjunction with improvements to infrastructure in order to ensure that growth is sustainable. They must also be of benefit to residents, visitors and businesses alike and not be detrimental to the community that already thrives here.”
Head of Planning and Infrastructure at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Matthew Evans said Council Policy and the Local Plan set out how Basingstoke should be developed.
He said: “We work with partners and service providers to ensure developments deliver the necessary infrastructure so that residents and future residents aren’t negatively impacted.
We look at what forms of infrastructure are needed to support new development, whether that’s education, transport, community infrastructure, play areas or flood protection and ensure these are secured through conditions on planning permissions and legal agreements.”
“These needs are set out in our Local Plan and, when sites are allocated, developers are required to meet these needs, through liaison with service providers. Developers are also obliged to prepare detailed Transport Assessments to consider what impact a development will have and what measures will be needed to accommodate additional journeys made by new residents. These assessments are then considered by Hampshire County Council and the Highways Authority who will advise on the measures needed to avoid unacceptable congestion.”
Meanwhile as the Chineham development application moves forward, people are being urged to have their say on all of the current proposed developments.
James Burchell, Partner at Tellon Capital, said: “After many months of engagement with the community, council and tenants, it is a real milestone to have submitted this planning application. “We welcome continued engagement with all interested parties throughout the determination process.”
For more information view 18/03417/FUL at https://planning.basingstoke.gov.uk/online-applications/
A decision is expected in the spring.