Plans to demolish an unused community hall and build affordable homes in its place could help spark a greater regeneration of Winklebury.
That is the hope of Basingstoke and Deane’s deputy leader Terri Reid after the borough council’s cabinet voted to hand over Harlech Hall to housing association Vivid for redevelopment.
The move was approved last Tuesday and dependent on planning permission being granted, would see seven new homes built on the site of the hall in Harlech Close.
Cllr Reid, along with cabinet member for property John Izett, recommended to cabinet that the site be gifted to Vivid.
She said: “I think it’s extremely good news, it’s a good example of joint working with our partners at Vivid.
“It delivers much needed affordable housing, but also it’s hopefully the first step towards greater regeneration in Winklebury as well, which is really needed.”
Harlech Hall has been vacant for the past two years and is boarded up, after former users the Basingstoke and Deane Sea Cadets relocated to the nearby Sycamore Centre.
The council said in the pre-meeting report that no other community use for the hall had been identified.
Four one-bedroom maisonettes and three two-bedroom houses, all two storeys in height, are proposed to be built.
Regeneration of Winklebury is listed as part of the development priorities in the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Plan 2016 to 2020.
Cllr Izett said: “It’s important that we as a council don’t sit on surplus land, and this site in Winklebury has not been used for the last two years.
“It’s right that we look to gift the site in accordance with regulations to Vivid, who can go forward, assuming they get planning permission, and develop seven new affordable homes.
“It’s got widespread support I understand from ward members and the community, and it’s going to meet head-on the need there is for one and two-bedroom units in Winklebury, so it has my full support.”
If planning permission is granted, building work is expected to begin in 2019.