The Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company has agreed to invest £54 million in the local community during its regeneration of a former military site in the town. The package, a requirement of the developers’ planning permission to regenerate Prince Philip Barracks, was agreed with the East Hampshire District Council this week.
The contribution will allow for the creation of various public amenities. To support local education, £11m will go towards the development of a new primary school, with an additional £10m contribution going towards the proposed relocation of the town’s existing secondary school, the Mill Chase Academy, to a new and improved facility. The developers will also invest £2.5m into the management of specially-designed green spaces across the new town centre, while £5.7m will be set aside for the creation of sports pitches and new sports facilities, including a new swimming pool and indoor leisure centre.
Some of the funds will be allocated to transport and infrastructure. A total of £4.5m will be spent to enhance the existing bus service, as well as the creation of bus stops and shelters to the new development and local area, while £2m will fund traffic management measures for surrounding villages. A further £2.2m is being set aside for various improvements to the A325.
Existing facilities in the town will also benefit from the agreement, with over £1.5m set aside for upgrades to pedestrian and cycle routes, health facilities and the local household waste recycling centre.
The Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, which is a joint venture between Dorchester Regeneration and Taylor Wimpey on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, received a resolution to grant outline planning permission in April to regenerate and improve the built environment of Whitehill & Bordon.
Detailed plans are currently being developed for the first phase of housing and the transformation of the historic Prince Philip Barracks into a new town centre when the Bordon Garrison closes later this year. Initial building work could start as early as 2016.
James Child, Project Lead at Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, comments: “This project is about more than the provision of new housing, it is about the complete regeneration of an area. As such, we are committed to providing benefits to the entire Whitehill & Bordon community, existing and new, through the regeneration of the Prince Philip Barracks.
“We have worked with the both East Hampshire District and Hampshire County Councils to ensure that, as well as creating housing, important wider infrastructure measures are also provided for. This investment will go a long way in establishing Whitehill & Bordon as a thriving town centre for future generations, that offers everyone the opportunity to live, work and play.”
Wendy Ivess-Mash, of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, which owns the site, said: “The completion of the planning agreement with East Hampshire District Council represents a key milestone in this most inclusive and comprehensive regeneration scheme which is within DIO’s portfolio of major land sale development sites.
“The level of investment demonstrates the approach being taken by our development partners to ensure the former MOD land at Whitehill & Bordon is on target to meet the high quality objectives they set out during their appointment process. DIO is also very grateful to the significant amount of work undertaken by both the Hampshire County Council and East Hampshire District Council to ensure this milestone was achieved.”
Councillor Ferris Cowper, Leader of the EHDC, said: “This announcement makes clear the huge benefits the regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon will bring to the community.
“An investment of £54m will make huge difference to the town and we should celebrate the commitment shown by the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company and all the partners dedicated to making the town a modern, attractive, vibrant place to live and work.”
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment for Hampshire County Council commented: “I welcome the signing of this planning agreement, which together with the other contributions committed towards the local provision of improved infrastructure and facilities, will provide the basis for the transformation of the town. I look forward to the realisation of the plans on the ground, following the preparations by the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company working with the County and District Councils and the Enterprise M3 LEP.
Adam Carew, Leader of Whitehill Town Council, said: “This is fantastic news and a first class example of how the work we are doing here will result in direct, tangible benefits for the residents of Whitehill & Bordon.
“With massive investment and a commitment to develop wonderful new community facilities we are beginning to see the future of the town taking shape before us – this is a very exciting time for Whitehill & Bordon.”