Local MP, Maria Miller, has launched a petition calling for the Borough Council to put an end to unsustainable development in Basingstoke in the forthcoming Local Plan Update.
Maria said: “Our community wants this rapid housing growth to slow down, to give local services like our Hospital and GPs time to catch up with the increase in demand, and to help meet the Council’s Climate Emergency declaration. The Local Plan Update should cut new house building levels in half, so we meet the needs of our own local residents, not act as a dormitory town to cover for under-delivery by other Local Authorities.
“Basingstoke is an exception: we have consistently overbuilt in comparison to other communities in the South-East. There are provisions in law that the Borough Council can use to justify change, including establishing new policies on migration levels, and using ‘exceptional circumstances’, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.
“I urge all residents to get involved with my ‘Slow It Down’ campaign, and together help push for a more sustainable future for our community.”
Basingstoke and Deane have built homes for an extra 150,000 people in the past five decades, double the rate of the rest of the country. Current construction in the Borough has ballooned to an unsustainable 1,200 new homes a year. This exceeds levels in the existing Local Plan, and is well beyond the needs of the community, stretching the capacity of local services like the NHS, and damaging the safety of the natural environment.
The campaign is supported by elected representatives and local community organisations.
County Councillor, Stephen Reid: “We need to achieve the right plan for Basingstoke and Deane. I encourage all residents to get involved with the ‘Slow It Down’ campaign and urge the Borough Council to seize this opportunity to proactively push for the best interests of our community.”
Clean Air, Green Environment (CAGE): “CAGE are supporting action to slow down the rate of housebuilding in Basingstoke. Many developments are piecemeal, unplanned and 'one field at a time’. For too long our infrastructure of roads, water supply, schools and other key services have been unable to keep up with this rapid expansion"
Save Our Loddon Valley Environment (SOLVE): “"SOLVE believes it's time to significantly reduce the excessive levels of housebuilding in Basingstoke. Basingstoke & Deane Borough must balance the needs of the natural environment and our chalk streams with the needs of our community and stop unsustainable growth."
Basingstoke South West Action Group (SWAG): “SWAG has consistently argued for more sustainable levels of housebuilding in Basingstoke as well as a better balanced distribution of development. Residents regularly voice the view that infrastructure lags far behind the development already committed in the existing Local Plan let alone any higher levels of new building.”
You can back this call for change now by adding your name to the ‘Slow It Down’ petition being presented to Basingstoke and Deane Council, as well as share the campaign and sign up to Maria’s newsletter to keep up to date with the campaign’s progress, at the address below: