Local MP, Maria Miller, has written to all Parish, Borough, and County Councillors within the Basingstoke constituency to gather their support for her recently launched ‘Slow It Down’ petition.
Maria said: “In only a week my petition to slow down the excessive rates of housebuilding in Basingstoke has gathered more than nine hundred signatures. It is clear that many people across the Borough agree that enough is enough.
"Therefore, I am writing to all elected representatives in the Basingstoke constituency, at Parish, Borough and County level, on a cross party basis, to make sure they are fully aware of the strength of constituents’ feelings. I want to encourage their support and participation in this process. I hope together we can unite as a whole Borough to seize this opportunity and push back on decades of overdevelopment.”
You can add your name to the ‘Slow It Down’ petition by visiting Maria’s website:
The full text of Maria’s letter to elected representatives is as follows:
Petition to slow down house building in Basingstoke and Deane
Last week I launched a public petition calling on Basingstoke and Deane to halve the level of house building in the next Local Plan. I am writing to ask you to consider supporting the petition yourself and to forward it to your ward residents, to demonstrate the widespread support for house building numbers to be significantly reduced. Attached is an electronic version of the petition leaflet for social media.
I welcome the fact that Councillors have rejected continuing to build new homes at the current rate. This petition calls for house building to be cut to a level that better reflects the needs of our own community.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough has more than played its part in housing the nation, building new homes for an extra 150,000 people in the past five decades, double the rate of the rest of the country and putting Basingstoke in a unique situation. I am pleased that the Council is now looking at how it can use existing ‘exceptional circumstances’ and ‘strong reasons’ provisions as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework Paragraphs 61 and 11b, to legally justify a significant reduction in house building numbers in our new Local Plan, rather than simply continuing to apply the national formula when Basingstoke and Deane are a statistical outlier.
I strongly believe that development plans should include a costed scheme of essential infrastructure improvements to catch up with the decades of increase in demand, particularly local NHS Primary Care (GP), dental services and the new Hospital, due for completion in 2030.
Housebuilding needs to be at levels that reflects the growth of Basingstoke’s own population, not turn us into a dormitory town for other local authorities that have not delivered the new homes their residents need.
The growth in Basingstoke’s population requires around 300 new homes a year to be built, yet the current local plan includes over 800 new houses a year, with the actual build rate currently at 1,200 houses a year. Basingstoke and Deane has for more than 5 decades built double the number of new homes compared with the rest of the country. We badly need to slow down the rate of building to let essential local services, particularly the NHS, catch up. I hope that you are able to support this
Petition and can vociferously raise these concerns in the upcoming Local Plan Update process.
Residents want a sustainable approach to future house building, which recognises the need to:
- Protect the natural environment with a comprehensive, long-term Borough-wide plan to protect our green infrastructure.
- Restrict housebuilding in line with our status as a highly water stressed area, in the upper reaches of the River Loddon, making water supply and waste water disposal a significant limit on house building.
- Accompany new house building with increased high-quality jobs for Basingstoke residents.
- Prioritise housing development and regeneration that meets carbon-neutral housing standards, particularly for social housing.
I do hope that you are able you to support this campaign, and to make residents in your ward aware of it too.
With best wishes,
Rt Hon Dame Maria Miller DBE MP