Final deadline for comments on Manydown development is Thursday 13th October 2016. http://manydownbasingstoke.co.uk/get-involved/next-consultation/ is the website to visit, which has links to the materials shown at the open sessions in September (pdf file) and to the feedback form.
BTN is interested in the low-carbon sustainability of the entire estate, and notes that this is given little mention in the document, e.g.:
- there is no commitment to make some or all of the houses be at the highest energy-efficiency standard (passivhaus);
- it is not clear that cycling provision has been planned following best practice (the “planned” cycling provision in recent developments around the town is generally abysmal);
- there is no true ambition in the plan to make public transport the preferred way of getting around so that fewer cars will be needed;
- The sewage plan is to link to the existing works – where is the ambition to make a world exemplary system to extract energy from sewage?
- and there is no evidence that Manydown will cater for the very bottom end of the housing market, e.g. planned houses-in-multiple-occupation for low-income single people. Surely a well-planned, well-built and well-maintained HMO could actually be a DESIRABLE place to live, as well as one that minimises an individual’s carbon footprint?
Manydown represents a wonderful opportunity, but it will be missed unless there is a big change in direction. Many small decisions could make a difference, e.g. a requirement that there be a preponderance of south-facing roofs to encourage the fitting of solar panels; but some large commitments need to be made at this stage, in particular provision for a sewage processing facility for the creation of methane gas by anaerobic digestion.