Vision for land north of the M3 at junction seven
A strategic vision for land to the north of junction seven of the M3 (opens in a new window) (PDF) [2mb] has been approved by the council.
The council's Cabinet approved the final version of the vision at a meeting on Tuesday 9 March 2021 following consultation from November 2020 to January 2021.
What is the vision about?
The aim of the vision is to guide early discussions, helping to set the direction for future planning policy which will emerge as the new Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan is developed. Considering wider needs such as health, education, water and sewerage, the vision highlights areas where investment or more detailed work would be needed, especially to improve infrastructure and help other local services to plan ahead in a coordinated way.
Focusing on the joined-up planning and delivery of infrastructure needed to support residents’ quality of life, opportunities for new jobs and better facilities, the vision aims to draw together a number of different projects and opportunities in the area, ensuring that addressing climate change is at the heart of future proposals:
- The document responds to work underway by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who are in the process of considering potential sites for a new hospital to serve the North and Mid-Hants area.
- An outline planning application has been considered in early summer 2021 for land at Oakdown Farm adjacent to M3 junction seven for a 271,000 sqm distribution centre. An appeal by the applicant was dismissed in December 2022.
- The council is already working with highway authorities to move forward the transport strategy for the borough. This includes planning ahead for a 21st century public mass rapid transport system connecting the area to the town centre and bus and railway stations.
- 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. A number of developers and landowners have already put forward sites in the surrounding area for consideration for possible development in the earliest stages of drawing up this plan.
The vision recognises that this area is an important gateway to the town from the south west with nearby historic villages with their own distinctive identities. It sets out the need to reflect the characteristics of the local environment and the potential concerns of nearby communities in any future development. This includes proposing new strategic gaps around villages such as North Waltham and Dummer.
It also focuses on the protection and enhancement of key features in the historic environment, such as nearby conservation areas and a scheduled monument, as well as the potential for linked green corridors between key habitats, benefiting the natural environment and providing recreational opportunities for nearby communities.