Daniel Park where a road could still go!

When Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council agreed to reserve part of the Queen Elizabeth Field in Daniel Road for a future access to 200 houses behind The Knowlings, Council leaders promised that the houses will never be developed unless local people want them on that site.  Another promise was that it wouldn’t happen for a very long time, fifteen years or more in the future.

Now Council Officers have written that:
“any of the Whitchurch sites could potentially deliver completed housing two years after the Local Plan is adopted”
That means that houses could be built by 2016, implying that the road across the QE2 field could be started in 2014!

Council Officers wrote “that the previous position referred to reflects the position with the Core Strategy at that time (prior to  the Manydown judicial review) and that time has now moved on”.  There is no indication that this change is endorsed by the political leadership of the Council. 

Whitchurch Councillor Keith Watts has written to the new Cabinet Member responsible for the Council’s role as a landowner, John Izett, saying “the previous position explicitly did not reflect the position with the Core Strategy at that time” and that, at a Cabinet meeting on 20th March the Deputy Leader of the Council “went over the top in his assurances that this site would not be developed for a long time and that it wouldn’t happen unless the local people want it”.

Councillor Watts added “I have no doubt of his sincerity.  I expect the Administration to stand by what he said.  I promise you a strong and bitter campaign if you do not.”

Comments (4)

  • Winchester Road Resident

    Whilst I think it is admirable that Councillor Watts has promised a “strong & bitter” campaign to fight the Knowlings Development unless “local people want it”, I do think it is a shame that both him and Councillor Dunlop do not take the same view of other sites in Whitchurch that have been proposed for 200+ houses.

    I am sure that they must both be aware that the owner of the “Winchester Road” site recently made amendments to his core plan submission and that this is now proposed as a larger development. Hopefully, now that they are aware of local people’s option (following the public meeting in June), they will be prepared to launch an equally “strong campaign” against this site as well!!

  • Keith Watts

    I know that the area of the site has been increased in the latest submission for development east of Winchester Road but the number of homes proposed on the site is still 200.

    I will not campaign against homes being built in Whitchurch at an average rate of 25 a year. It will be difficult to control the phasing in the new circumstance of the previous proposed plan having been quashed by the High Court but I will fight for that.

    The bitter fight that I have promised is against the road being built across the newly dedicated Queen Elizabeth Field before there has been time for alternative access to the Council’s own land behind The Knowlings.

  • climo

    Are you saying that ALL the Whitchurch sites for new housing are now to be reconsidered even though they have been rejected by BDBC prior to the judicial review. If so they’re in for a fight

  • Keith Watts

    Steve, not all the sites promoted in the SHLAA, in fact that situation has improved, the Conservation Area site near The Gables is now categorised as Unsuitable, and the reasons given for rejecting the allotment site off Bloswood Drive are stated more clearly.

    The statement about “any of the sites” refers only to those categorised as Available, Suitable and Deliverable in the new version of the SHLAA, that is, two sites in Bloswood Drive, the Council owned land behind the Knowlings and the land east of Winchester Road and south of Testbourne School. I will continue to work for sensible phasing to provide an average of 25 new homes each year (from March 2010). The delay in completing the Local Plan means that it will extend to 2029-30.

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