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Concern over new plans for industrial site
REVISED plans to develop a landmark industrial site in Basingstoke met with concern from residents at a public exhibition.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council rejected as too cramped the original application to build 489 homes, offices, shops, a hotel and a new home for Basingstoke College of Technology (BCOT) on the former Eli Lilly site and Victoria lot in Kingsclere Road.
However, developer Lemon Land now intends to submit a new outline planning application to establish the principle of development, with all details except access to be decided later.
Illustrative plans on display at the exhibition held at the former Eli Lilly factory indicated the number of residential units would be reduced by 17 to 472.
Two office blocks close to Chapel Hill have been removed and replaced with shops which have flats above them.
An office block north of the historic White Building had been deleted to create more open space and a row of houses had been sacrificed to allow more garden space in the remaining homes, while other houses had been moved further away from the railway line.
With funding issues leaving BCOT’s proposed move in doubt, the illustrative drawings showed the college’s one large building replaced with several separate buildings which could be used for either educational or office space.
Kingsclere Road resident Mick Lacy, 50, said he was concerned about the height of the buildings in the new plans, as there was no indication how tall they would be.
He added: “We don’t know what we are going to be looking at. They won’t know until after outline planning permission is granted.”
His neighbour Victor Cherrett, 62, said: “I strongly believe that we should have no housing on this whatsoever.
“I’m concerned that we are going to lose our industrial business close to town.
“We have lost Lilly’s and the Victoria site and there’s another one up for rent.
“There’s nothing to stop it going all the way through to Winklebury.”
Norden borough Councillor Laura James said there was an over-supply of offices in the borough and questioned the suitability of creating open space beside the hotel.
She said: “I don’t know anywhere in the country where we have play areas for a kick-about in front of a four or five star hotel. It’s almost an insult to the community and it’s incredibly disrespectful.”
Lancaster Road resident Andy Cullem, 42, said he would be happy if BCOT did not relocate to the site because college students would park in the streets.
Lemon Land declined to comment.