Local MP Maria Miller has welcomed Basingstoke Council’s decision to rethink their approval to build a giant warehouse at Junction 7 of the M3 but has written to the Chief Executive to ask that Councillors are fully briefed on the full impact of the development on the preferred site for a new Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.
Maria said, “Nothing can be more important than the health of our community and no new commercial building should take preference over the preferred site for a brand new NHS Hospital for Basingstoke. At the meeting in April Councillors asked for more information on the impact of this giant warehouse on road congestion. Any large distribution warehouse will bring hundreds of extra vans, lorries and cars onto local roads and the warehouse would be built virtually next door to the preferred site for our new Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. This could effect the viability of the new Hospital site. But there was no evidence presented to Councillors so they couldn’t take this into account. That is why I along with other Members of Parliament wrote to the Secretary of State for Communities to ask him to intervene in the initial decision through a ‘call-in’. It would be difficult to understand how this council meeting could be re-run without providing extra evidence on road congestion to address this point directly. Councillors deserve the facts so that they can make their decision based on all of the evidence and judge for themselves whether this new giant commercial distribution centre could undermine the site of a major new community hospital.”
Maria also asked the Chief Executive to ensure Councillors were completely clear on the ‘call-in’ process following comments in the April meeting which suggested the Secretary of State’s role was to review their decision to build a giant warehouse rather than its potential impact on the NHS new Hospital programme national infrastructure project.