The number of new houses to be built around Whitchurch through the year 2026 on so-called ‘green fields’ – vacant land – is to be decided later this month by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council (B&DBC).
350 NEW HOUSES
Now, two areas along Bloswood Lane are being recommended in a report (HERE) for more housing: the field leading up to Park View for 100 houses; and the field at Manor Farm next to the A34 for 50 houses. These two areas were identified as WHIT006 and WHIT007 during last year’s SHLAA consultation. Together, they would bring 150 new houses to Whitchurch over the next 15 years.
The field behind The Knowlings (WHIT10a) for 200 houses and a new site that has just been made known to the Council will be discussed at a later date.
The report says that 350 houses in total should be built in Whitchurch – with 150 coming from the current recommendation of development along Bloswood Lane.
Additionally, the report claims that the Whitchurch Town Council are “actively seeking” to have a further site built upon with an unknown number of houses. This is needed to fill-the-gap to provide urgently needed affordable housing.
Cllr Keith Watts said in May, “As with any green field, it will be a shame to build on the land between Bloswood Lane and Park View, but some new homes are needed soon. Bloswood Lane has some traffic problems but less severe than the other entries to the town.”
OAKLEY JUST 150
For comparison, the report proposes the town of Oakley should have just 150 new homes: The town has about the same population as Whitchurch but 4 times as many people needing affordable housing. Unlike Whitchurch, it has had just 86 new homes built in the past 10 years; and just 13 more that are committed for development.
The report also does not consider Oakley as a “larger settlement” but it does say the smaller Whitchurch (and Bramley, Overton, and Tadley) are. Instead, it groups Oakley with the smaller Old Basing and Kingsclere as “other settlements”.
Oakley is the home of Cllr Rob Golding, a Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure at the Council.
Recently, Cllr Golding refused to stop the demolition of the Harvest Home, a locally listed building in Whitchurch. The demolition of the Railway Inn last year along with the approved demolition of the Harvest Home presumably reduces the number of houses in our town by 2 (there is a residence often associated with the business).
A majority of Whitchurch people who participated in the B&DBC ‘New Homes’ consultation said they “felt development should be in small / medium sites on the outskirts of Basingstoke”.
The report is to be presented at the 20 September 2011 Planning and Infrastructure Overview and Scrutiny meeting at B&DBC offices (open to the public); and the housing numbers approved by the full cabinet at their meeting on the 27th.
|Town||Population||Built + Committed in Last 10 Years||People on the Housing Need Register||Recommended No. of Houses to Build|
|Basingstoke||105,000||?+? = ?||?||3,130*|
|Oakley||5,269||86+13 = 99||370||150|
|Tadley||11,325||77+115 = 192||200||0 (due to H&S near AWE)|
|Whitchurch||4,783||123+20-1 = 142||85||350+|
|Overton||4,411||242+6 = 248||64||120|
|Kingsclere||3,424||123+0 = 123||64||50 (town wanted 80)|
|Bramley||4,427||389+10 = 399||41||200|
|Old Basing||?||?+? = ?||?||0|
*Note that a further 700 homes on two ‘reserve sites’ in Basingstoke could be added if B&DBC so desire.