Development of 3,520-home Manydown is set to take a leap forward next week when  councillors are asked to complete the acquisition of the northern section of the land.

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council’s cabinet will decide on Monday, November 13 whether to complete the purchase of the 321-hectare site which will allow the consented first phase of the 8,000-home scheme to begin.

It is currently held under a long lease by the borough and Hampshire County councils which now seek to jointly buy it. Monday’s special meeting will consider a proposed agreement to acquire it from the Manydown Company following the county council’s decision to go ahead with the acquisition in October.

The borough council’s cabinet member for major projects and regeneration, Cllr Onnalee Cubitt, said: “Getting the Manydown deal done has been a key priority for us as a cabinet since we took control in May.

“We are really pleased to have made such positive progress over the last five months, as we’ve focused on these negotiations. Manydown is a significant opportunity to bring much-needed homes through a well-planned approach, delivering infrastructure and facilities that meet our communities’ needs.

“We are on the home straight to finally closing this complex deal, after extensive and long-running negotiations. Decades after the lease on the land was bought, this will mean planning for construction can start in earnest.”

Leader of the county council Cllr Rob Humby said: “The borough council’s proposal to move forward with the purchase of the land at Manydown north reflects the decision made by the county council’s cabinet in October and is a welcome next step towards development in the Manydown area.

“There is still further work needed before any purchase can be finalised, including the completion of legal and financial due diligence activity. However, we are committed to working with the borough council to take forward negotiations to that end.”

Once the terms of the purchase, which are commercially sensitive, have been agreed by both councils the legal and financial documents can be drawn up to complete the deal.

The councils are in a partnership with Urban&Civic, part of global charitable foundation the Wellcome Trust, to develop the scheme.

The site has outline planning permission for up to 3,520 new homes, a 250-acre countryside park, two primary schools with land reserved for a potential secondary school, two local centres, businesses, shops and community facilities.

Preliminary survey work started on the Manydown site in March 2021 as part of a series of early investigations. Detailed designs are currently being worked on.

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