The Park View estate built in 2009 added 61 new homes to Whitchurch.

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).

There has been 123 new houses built in Whitchurch over the past 10 years (the new Park View estate accounts for half of them). Another 20 homes are already committed for development.

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.

Two sites next to A34 were accepted in the final report - and an extra 200+ were also recommended elsewhere.

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.”

Councillor Rob Golding of Oakley who is a Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure

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.

Below is a table of figures per town (taken from the report and mini-profile at B&DBC); recommended sites for development in each town are shown on maps HERE.

New housing recommended for B&DBC towns to 2026
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.

Comments (6)

  • kate muff

    Everyone knows someone who is in need of affordable housing, either to buy or to rent, and most people would prefer it not to be built on their back yard,( so to speak) BUT, housing is needed, and in this affluent part of the country, where most of us have a job, rented accomodation would be a great help to many young people who want a helping hand to get started in creating a home for themselves, and why not Whitchurch? It’s a fantastic place with a great community spirit, close to lots of places that are reachable within an hour by car, good public houses and shops, so lets welcome them instead of pushing them away.

  • Kevin Raven

    People have to live somewhere.
    The country has an expanding population , birth rates, people living longer and open door immigration policies.
    I agree with Kate, let’s welcome more people and the trade it will bring to Whitchurch.

  • Nick

    Kevin/Kate,

    But where are the extra shops, school places, doctor and dentist, and increased transport facilities to support the extra houses going to come from?

    B&DBC does not believe such facilities are necessary (what!?!?)as evidenced by the Sherfield Park development along the A33.

    Nick.

  • Keith Watts

    The Whitchurch numbers (350 over 15 years) are not large. The reason is that we, the Borough Councillors for Whitchurch, are realists and we really want to see people in need of housing here (social or private) in decent homes.

    Your table is not comparing like with like, e.g. for housing list purposes Oakley is considered part of “the urban area of Basingstoke”. But you are onto something. I will write a longer response when we have got past next week’s meeting.
    Keith

  • Mike Stead

    Unless the development is by a housing association, with a large % (like 75% or more) of overall new builds being administered by them, this will not make housing any more affordable for the less well-off.

    We are very fortunate to have a lovely town 55 minutes from Waterloo, the New Forest, Oxford, the South downs etc etc, bounded on 3 sides by an AONB.

    *Any* new houses built by private developers will attract a premium sale or rental price. 85 families are on the register now. Do we honestly expect developers to put aside 25% of their stock for low-cost housing? Where does it end? And unless you apply some sort of unpleasant ‘born here=live here’ rule, there will always be people wanting to move and live here. Two outstanding schools, excellent transport, lovely surrounds – Whitchurch is never going to ‘solve’ the problem of low-cost housing because it will always attract a premium and newcomers will always be arriving. I think all we can hope is that in trying to do so, B&DBC don’t further damage the town’s lovely environment / liveability by allowing developments that stress our infrastructure and clog our streets with commuter vehicles.

    Mike

  • Sue

    If they sorted out the old houses that are in no fit state to live in first, in either pull down and rebuild then they won’t need extra houses to put up and ruin our country side. If which they are doing.

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