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Masterplan is formally approved and highly praised
On May 15, 2012
The masterplan for Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town has been formally approved by East Hampshire District Council and will now guide the regeneration of the town over the next 25 years.
The masterplan, which sets out how the town will get the facilities and infrastructure that it so desperately needs while protecting and enhancing the environment, was highly praised and unanimously agreed at the full council meeting on Wednesday night.
This formal sign-off by the district council was the final stage in a rigorous approval process which included taking on board comments from: EHDC’s Development Policy Panel, Whitehill Town Council, specialist groups (which are groups of residents and other interested parties that want to help guide the regeneration of the town), the Standing Conference (which is a forum made up of local councillors and representatives from the community) and the Delivery Board.
This is in addition to all the community views given through the neighbourhood consultation last autumn.
The masterplan will now be taken into consideration when planning applications are decided – so it is a guide to development rather than stipulating exactly how it will take place. The masterplan safeguards the town from piecemeal development.
Cllr Glynis Watts, EHDC’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “The masterplan will ensure that future development in the town is in line with our Eco-town vision which puts the environment at the heart of everything we do.
“The Eco-town team has pulled out all the stops and produced the masterplan two months ahead of the original schedule.
“I think that this masterplan is a credit to Whitehill & Bordon councillors, the Eco-town team, the Council and all those involved.
“But most importantly it is something that the town can be really proud of.”
Cllr Adam Carew, Mayor of Whitehill, said: “The masterplan is a major milestone in the regeneration of our town and offers a robust blueprint for our next chapter, to transform Whitehill & Bordon into a green town fit for the 21st century.
“It puts the flesh on the bones of our green vision to provide us with the shops and facilities we so desperately need whilst protecting our green spaces for people and wildlife.
“Local councillors and residents have worked hard (with our partners) to secure major and lasting changes to the masterplan.
“These include a reduction from 5300 to 4000 houses, no housing on VikingPark, new sports and leisure facilities, a new education hub, enhanced public transport, protection of our green spaces and safeguarding of Army buildings including the much loved Phoenix Theatre, BOSC and the Garrison Church.
“We have ensured new homes will be built to the very highest eco standards, with larger family homes and a balanced split of social housing tenures to suit all sections of our community.
“It’s been hard work but the resulting changes have been worth it. It means that the town now has a robust guide for its future that will ensure it goes from strength to strength.”
Changes to the masterplan have been informed by 10 technical studies that have tested the proposals – as well as widespread consultation which ran from October to December last year and involved 10 workshops and numerous drop-in events.
The masterplan sets out where the town centre, facilities, homes and employment areas will go.
In addition it also shows a safeguarded location for a possible rail station on the edge of Hogmoor Inclosure and a public transport hub in the centre of the town.
It also proposes two locations where a new sports hub could go. This could be at either Budds Lane or Mill Chase Road.
The sports hub will include a new six lane swimming pool (with a learner pool as well), a sports hall, up to 100 gym stations (which may be split across a range of local sites), an outdoor synthetic turf pitch, four tennis courts, four squash courts, two outdoor bowls rinks and around seven hectares of sports pitches/outdoor courts.
Buffer zones have also been introduced to ensure that no development can take place within 400metres of European protected green spaces.
Changes to the revised version include:
- A reduction from 5,300 to 4,000 homes (with homes being built to the highest environmental standards that are available at the time)
- No housing onViking Park
- A site for a new learning campus (which could provide education for 11-19-year-olds and other learning facilities for wider groups)
- Reduced housing density at Bordon and Oakhanger Sports Club (BOSC)
- A new water feature (Oxney Stream integrated within the new residential areas as a natural landscape feature)
- Additional protection for green spaces (this means including other parks and open spaces within the town in the potential Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace network offering a connected network of green spaces across the town. This would ensure their long term maintenance and management.)
- A new public space opposite the High Street and Chalet Hill junction
- A new town park within easy reach of the new town centre
- Smaller energy centres rather than one energy centre to power the town
- Traffic management along the A325
- Two routes for the inner relief road have been proposed (these are throughVikingParkand using the southern part of the disused rail corridor)
- Allotments near to the area where new homes will be built – rather than on Hogmoor Inclosure
- Because of the reduced housing numbers the education provision has been reassessed and now two new primary schools are proposed – rather than three
The masterplan will be available at the end of May.
Copies of it will be available to read in Whitehill Town Council offices at the Forest Community Centre during opening hours.
It will also be available in the following locations: Bordon Library, Liphook Library, Alton Library, Petersfield Library and Mill Chase Community Technology College.
Copies will be given to Kingsley Parish Council, Lindford Parish Council, Headley Parish Council, Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council, Greatham Parish Council and Selborne Parish Council.
There will also be copies of the executive summary which residents can keep.
It is also available to read online at www.whitehillbordon.com
The next major consultation will take place when a planning application is prepared for the whole site – this is expected to be next year.
There will also be consultation on individual sites for example Quebec Barracks.