1. What is the future of the Forest Shopping Centre and how will this relate to the new town?
Planning permission has been given to refurbish the centre so it’s fit for purpose. The company which manages the facility is called Orchard Grove.
2. Are transport links being improved to accommodate for the amount of housing being built?
The first phase of the relief road has already been completed and work on the second stage is well underway.
There are also plans for improved bus services which are more responsive to resident demands.
Work is also well underway to make it easier to walk and cycle round the town – via the ‘green loop’ and the ‘green grid’. These will link key features of the town (e.g. schools and shops) to be easily accessed via attractive off-road paths.
3. How is the town being improved?
The town is being regenerated to give it a whole new lease of life.
This includes much-needed new homes, new schools, new facilities, new roads, a new leisure centre, arts and cultural facilities, sports pitches and unrivalled open spaces and parks which will be easily accessible for everyone to enjoy.
As well as this there will be more businesses in the town which will enable residents to both live and work in the town without the need to commute – giving them more opportunity for a better work/life balance. The Enterprise Zone status at Louisburg Barracks will help in attracting these new employers.
The town also has ‘healthy new town’ status which sees a wide range of NHS, public sector and voluntary organisations working to ensure that it is transformed into a town where it is easy for residents to live healthy and independent lives and have better local care when they need it.
4. Where is the new high street situated? When will it be ready? What shops will it contain?
The new high street will be on the Prince Philip Barracks site. It will have a variety of shops and leisure opportunities for residents to enjoy.
5. Is Whitehill & Bordon an eco-town?
Whitehill & Bordon was awarded eco-town status in July 2009, however following a change in central government policy the initiative is no longer supported. The principles of the eco-town status still underpin the project and the phrase now used is green and healthy town.
Whitehill & Bordon is being transformed into a green and healthy town. Partners are striving for a sustainable community that encompasses the social, environmental and economic qualities of the town and to achieve the highest environmental standards possible for the new homes.
One example of this work is the development of a ‘green loop’ and ‘green grid’ which will enable residents to walk and cycle around the town on attractive paths that connect the town’s main facilities with homes and green spaces.
6. How will new and existing residents be integrated?
A group called Xchange has been set up which aims to keep residents updated throughout the regeneration, be a channel for raising any questions about the changes and improve overall access to community information.
The aims of Xchange are to:
- Enable residents to be informed and empowered during the regeneration process
- Identify and take action to address community needs, gaps, and concerns
- Identify, promote and celebrate good community news
- Help foster a real sense of community spirit by encouraging the coming together of new and existing residents.
A Community Trust (CT) is being set-up in the town. This enables an opportunity for local people to be involved and galvanise their communities as a local charity to deliver programmes which meet local need. A CT is a sustainable approach to the management of assets for the benefit of local communities. There are now hundreds of such community organisations in the country.
The aims and objectives of the Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust are to:
- Initiate, coordinate and deliver community development and cultural activities creating a thriving integrated community
- Own, maintain and effectively manage any endowed community land and buildings
- Bolster the cultural and artistic life in the town
- Promote healthy living through promotion of sporting activities
- Provide a range of activities for all ages through engagement with young people
- Foster entrepreneurship in the town especially for young people and those residents who find it difficult to access employment opportunities.
7. How is the town being marketed and promoted?
Extensive marketing and promotion are taking place to ensure that businesses are aware of the fantastic opportunities in Whitehill & Bordon. We are very keen to attract particular sectors to the town including new technology focussed businesses.
The Enterprise Zone means that the town will be promoted nationally and internationally – this is partnerships of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, Hampshire County Council, the site owners and East Hampshire District Council.
Marketing agents have also been appointed by the landowners to promote the housing and employment space and land.
We have liaised extensively with youngsters in the town and the surrounding areas to ensure that future generations are involved in plans for Whitehill & Bordon. This has included going into schools to talk to youngsters as well as being at events which they are at to discuss proposals.
8. How do people access employment and training opportunities?
There are opportunities for construction apprenticeships here:
A £4million ‘future skills centre’ is being built which will offer a variety of vocational training to post-16 students and adults – with an initial focus on construction skills.
Developers / construction companies are required to provide training and employment opportunities to local people through employment and skill plan agreements with East Hampshire District Council.
And a business and enterprise centre which will create 200 jobs and aims to attract entrepreneurs, support local start-ups and small businesses.
Areas of the town have also been designated as having ‘Enterprise Zone status’.
This means that:
Eligible businesses which move to the Enterprise Zone by 31 March 2022 will not have to pay any business rates for five years – which could be worth approximately £275,000 to a business. Businesses will need to complete an application and certain criteria will need to be met to qualify.
Business rates generated in the Enterprise Zone will also be retained in the area by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and this will provide an investment fund over the next 25 years that will support future economic growth across the Enterprise Zone and the wider LEP area.
The LEP will work in partnership with the local authorities, developers and other stakeholders to invest the retained rates, estimated to be in the region of £178million (over 25 years), in ways which will increase prosperity and create further development opportunities.
9. How are we respecting the military (and other) heritage of the town within its redevelopment?
There is a plan for ensuring that the heritage of the town is respected and where possible preserved for future generations to mark its important military history.
Two key examples of this are the retention of key military buildings including:
- The former Sergeants’ Mess, known as Broxhead House on Louisburg Barracks, which is being converted into new workspaces for small businesses
- The Centurion and Chieftain Buildings on Quebec Barrack which are being converted into flexible office spaces.
10. What affordable housing will be delivered? How do residents and first time buyers apply for affordable housing?
Affordable Rented – Social Housing
Affordable rented housing (social housing) is available either through local councils or housing associations.
To be eligible for affordable rented housing in Whitehill & Bordon and throughout East Hampshire, applicants need to be registered with Hampshire Home Choice.
Intermediate Affordable Dwellings – Shared Ownership
Shared ownership housing schemes allow applicants to buy a share of the property (between 25% and 75%) using a deposit or mortgage. Occupants then pay a low rent on the remaining share to the local housing association.
For options on shared ownership as well as Help to Buy equity loans, rent to buy and affordable rent in Hampshire and other Southern regions, please register with Help to Buy South.
11. Will there be a train station?
There are currently no plans for a train station in the town.
12. How will we reduce the reliance on the car?
By making it easier to walk and cycle around the town with the 7 mile ‘green loop’ and ‘green grid’ we will try to reduce the reliance on the car.
By providing facilities within the town so that people do not need to travel out of the area to access shops, leisure, education and employment.
13. What are the changes to the town bus?
One of Whitehill & Bordon’s most popular bus routes will be run four times more frequently following a review of bus services in the town.The Town Bus route which starts and finishes at the Forest Centre, will run every 30 minutes instead once every two hours.