• Jo Appleford-Cook

Manydown development planning application due for virtual committee.

The Manydown outline planning application is to be considered at a virtual meeting of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Development Control Committee in July.

Outlining the main principles for a new community of up to 3,520 new homes, businesses, shops and community facilities, schools and a 250 acre country park, the application will be the only one considered at the committee’s virtual meeting on Wednesday 8 July at 2pm.

The application was originally scheduled to come to a Development Control Committee meeting on 24 March. However, based on government advice on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, the decision was taken to postpone all scheduled meetings at that time to protect the safety of councillors, officers and members of the public who would have wanted to attend.

At that point councillors had to attend meetings in person, but the government has since removed these requirements in response to COVID-19. Following this, the council trialled the best way of holding meetings virtually as closely to their normal format as possible, especially around public participation. Two virtual meetings of the Development Control Committee were held successfully on Wednesday 20 May and Wednesday 27 May 2020.

The meeting on 8th July will be live streamed through You Tube so it can be watched through the website at www.basingstoke.gov.uk in the same way as it would normally be webcast. Those registered to speak at the original meeting will be provided with details as to how to participate ahead of the meeting.

Chair of the borough council’s Development Control Committee Cllr Paul Miller said: “Manydown is the largest site allocated for housing in the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan and, as it was ready for the committee to consider in March, we were keen for it to be scheduled for a meeting as soon as possible. The virtual meetings that we have held so far with smaller applications have gone well so we now feel in a position that we can reschedule this as a virtual meeting. Given the size and complexity of the development and the amount of information councillors will need to consider, the meeting on Wednesday 8 July will only consider this outline planning application.”

The outline planning application seeks permission for the overall principles of developing the site, including the type and size of development and the infrastructure to be provided, specifically the three vehicular access points onto the B3400, A339 and Roman Road. It does not provide a detailed layout of the development or the designs of buildings and spaces. This would follow in future planning documents and detailed applications.

The applicants are Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, acting as landowners, who acquired a lease on the land to help to meet the borough's future housing needs.

The application was first submitted in 2017, with updates and amendments made in 2018 and 2019. Throughout the process there has been extensive work by the planning and highway authorities, together with the landowners, to respond to feedback during several stages of consultation.

For more information about the application visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/manydownplanning.

Sara Sheperd