The regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon is setting the national agenda as members of ambitious local authorities and development corporations plan to follow in its footsteps.
Members of the Town and Country Planning Association’s (TCPA) New Communities Group (NCG) visited Whitehill & Bordon on Thursday 26 April to see for themselves the success of the major regeneration of the town and how it is transforming at such a rapid rate.
The NCG is a group of 20 councils from across the country which are all providing innovative local leadership to deliver large-scale new communities, with plans for at least 178,000 new homes between them.
The group collectively helps to develop plans, provide political support and encourage a sharing of knowledge and best practice through seminars, workshops, study visits, parliamentary briefings, ministerial meetings and newsletters.
East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) is a member of the NCG and is leading the way with the regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon as one of the most innovative and fastest-growing new communities within the group.
After such a successful 2017, the town’s transformation has surpassed all the council’s targets; with more than 220 new homes built, more employment opportunities, more facilities for the community to enjoy, new major relief road near completion as well as plans for a brand new leisure centre and town centre with a cinema, restaurants, a supermarket, shops, businesses and homes.
EHDC is particularly leading the way in terms of being one of 10 NHS England Healthy New Towns to create the healthiest possible environment for residents of the town.
On Thursday, members of the council’s regeneration team also attended a TCPA workshop with Healthy New Town partners to decide what should go in the NHS England Healthy New Town Built Environment guidance publication – a document which outlines what it takes to become a Healthy New Town.
Cllr Ferris Cowper, Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said: “We are extremely proud to be able to show off the development of Whitehill & Bordon to other councils from across the country.
“It is so rewarding to see that all the hard work and innovative ideas are coming to fruition and not only benefitting the residents of the town but also benefitting the whole country as other councils take notes and use the ideas in other areas.
“We owe a huge amount of our success to the New Communities Group as we have also learnt a lot from them and it is extremely useful to be in the same group as other ambitious and like-minded councils which are in the same boat as us and delivering a large-scale project to improve the people’s lives who live in their areas.”