Maria Miller has been following up on her welcome for the plans outlined by the Borough Council for the redevelopment of the Leisure Park to include the designation of Saunders Field as an ecology zone.

The Council has entered into a six month exclusivity agreement with New River Retail, for them to establish detailed scheme proposals. Maria has asked the Council to ensure that New River Retail is fully aware of the importance of Saunders Field, both for the local community and the local environment, and understands the need for it to be treated with the utmost sensitivity.

Maria said: “Saunders Field is an important green space in Basingstoke, very close to the source of the River Loddon. It is good news that the area is to be designated as an ecology zone, but the next challenge will be to examine carefully the detailed plans when they have been worked up.”

She added: “I have been campaigning for some time for Saunders Field to be protected, along with members of the Sustainable Basingstoke Forum, and I will continue to press for this.”