The largest ever planning application submitted to East Hampshire District Council is now being determined by the planning authority.
The application proposes to transform the Army site at Whitehill & Bordon with 2,400 new homes and a new town centre.
The planning application, submitted by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) which is the property arm of the Ministry of Defence, outlines how the area could be transformed with new shops, offices, cafes, restaurants, a food store, a swimming pool in a new leisure centre, new schools and sports pitches.
Plans also include proposals for new a new cycling route, footpaths, public open space, car parking, children’s play areas, multi-use games areas, a BMX or skate park, allotments and landscaping. In addition there are also proposals for the southern section of the new relief road which will link to the A325.
The barracks will become vacant when personnel move to a new training college at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, with the loss of 1500 jobs.
“Too many houses in the wrong place”
However the plans have drawn strong criticism from local campaigners who say that proposals for Whitehill Bordon were “too many houses in the wrong place.”
Ferris Cowper, leader of East Hampshire District Council, has expressed enthusiasm for the project. He said: “I’m massively excited. It’s very rare that you get the chance to build a new community literally from the brown earth upwards, and that’s what we’re doing.
“I think in years to come it will become a rival to the great community-integrated towns of this country, like Poundbury in Dorset for instance.”
But the campaigners have argued existing properties should be refurbished instead.
Mr Parkinson, from Bordon Area Action Group, said: “2,500 houses… would virtually double the town.
“I think doubling anywhere – doubling London – isn’t a good idea. Doubling Bordon isn’t a good idea.”
Regenerating brownfield military sites
The land is currently used for training by the Bordon Garrison and about 1,500 jobs will be lost when the MoD relocates.
Whitehill Bordon was one of six areas selected in 2009 for the government’s zero-carbon project intended to meet housing needs and tackle climate change.
The Taylor Wimpey and Dorchester Regeneration joint venture has been chosen by The DIO to manage the redevelopment of the barracks.
Gary Silver, Head of Acquisitions, Dorchester Regeneration, commented: “The redevelopment of the Prince Philip Barracks is the perfect example of disused MoD land being put to good use, as the project is of paramount importance to the regeneration of Bordon and the prosperity of the wider region. More than ever, there is a responsibility on developers to maximise brownfield space for homes, particularly military assets.”
Subject to final planning permission, work is expected to start in early 2016.