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Manydown: Deal closer on long-delayed housing site, councils say

A plan to build thousands of homes on land acquired for housing in 1996 has moved closer, two councils have said.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council paid £10m for a lease on farmland at Manydown.

The site is earmarked for up to 3,520 new homes, two primary schools and shops.

The borough council said an agreement to buy the freehold of the site, enabling building work to start, was nearing the final stages.

Onnalee Cubitt
Councillor Onnalee Cubitt said her work on the project had involved "blood, toil, sweat and tears"

Councillor Onnalee Cubitt, in charge of major projects, said: "We are on the home straight to finally closing this complex deal, after extensive and long-running negotiations."

In a report to the authority's cabinet, she wrote: "Many of us... have personally expended 'blood, toil, sweat and tears' to get to this place over many, many years. It should never have been this way.

"This council has spent so much money, time, and political capital on this strategic site for far too long."

In 2012, the borough council lost a judicial review claim brought by landowner The Manydown Company.

The firm successfully challenged council decisions which put the housing plan on hold.

In 2020, the authority granted outline planning permission for the new community, despite 344 letters of objection to its size, increased traffic and building work disruption.

It said the development would create "high-quality new and affordable homes in an attractive, well-designed environment".

The site has the potential for 8,000 homes over the next 20 years, the council said.

A council cabinet meeting on 13 November will consider the structure of a proposed deal on the freehold purchase.

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