Hart District Council has been granted £150,000 from the Government to create a new Garden Community called Shapley Heath.
The council is among 19 successful bids to join the Government’s Garden Communities programme and one of two in the Enterprise M3 region. The other is Dunsfold Park.
The programme has been set up by the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) to help meet demand for new homes in England. Garden communities are intended to create new housing, infrastructure, jobs and services within sustainable communities.
The Council submitted the bid back in November 2018 based on the area of Winchfield and Murrell Green, and given the operational name of Shapley Heath Garden Village.
The proposal clearly outlined the aim to create a vibrant and active community in the district which would accommodate up to 5,000 new homes, a secondary school, as well as a range of other school, health care, employment and retail opportunities. Fundamental to the bid was that the site would also enhance community facilities by including a new country park, sports facilities and play parks.
Speaking about the funding, Cllr David Neighbour, Leader of the Council, said: “We welcome this announcement as it is an encouraging step forward to work with our local communities to create a new village in Hart that addresses future needs.
“This programme is about more than building new homes, it’s about delivering appropriate infrastructure, such as schools, transport, and health and community facilities. The funding and support that we’ll receive as a designated Garden Community will allow a truly locally led approach, developing plans for a new community that is sustainable, beautiful and benefits from the right infrastructure – provided at the right time – together with spaces that promote wellbeing and enhances biodiversity. We still have some way to go with the programme, but this announcement gives us the green light to pursue the creation of a garden community.”
Following a competitive bidding process, MHCLG announced that Shapley Heath Garden Village is one of 19 successful bids to the Garden Communities programme and will receive a proportion of £3million grant funding to help develop design and layout proposals.
This programme will work separately to the Council’s Local Plan, which is due to go to the final round of consultation shortly.