Policy SPS5.5: Popham Garden Village

Open22 Jan, 2024, 10:00am - 4 Mar, 2024, 11:59pm

Policy SPS5.5: Popham Garden Village

Vision for Popham Garden Village

Popham Garden Village will be a healthy and sustainable place with a strong, clearly defined and coherent village character, which maximises the opportunities presented by its attractive rural setting in a sensitive and positive manner. It will create:

  • A place with a strong and clearly defined rural character, utilising high quality characterful architecture, which will create an uplifting environment for residents.
  • High quality facilities and services, providing a supportive and sustainable environment to live, work and play, creating a strong sense of community spirit.
  • An exemplar community that is aspirational and sustainable, combats climate change and supports healthy lifestyles.
  • A place which is inextricably linked with the natural environment, with natural features forming a prominent part of the development and creating a positive relationship with the surrounding landscape. There will be a series of countryside and ecology corridors which contribute to the important wider green infrastructure and biodiversity networks.
  • A place which is highly walkable, with convenient access to local facilities and services within the development to meet the majority of people’s day to day needs, creating a healthy and tranquil living environment for residents.
6.73 The Vision has been used to inform the policy approach for Popham Garden Village.

Policy SPS5.5: Popham Garden Village

The site, as shown on the Policies Map, is allocated for a well-designed and sustainable development that will:

Amount and Type of Development

  1. Make provision for:
  1. Approximately 3,000 homes;
  2. Specialist accommodation for older persons;
  3. 5% as serviced plots for custom and self-build homes;
  4. Education facilities;
  5. Employment land (comprising uses falling within Classes E(g), B2, B8) and an 18 hectare solar farm;
  6. A village centre providing a range of retail, leisure, cultural, community, health and service facilities;
  7. Permanent Gypsy and Traveller pitches, proportionate to the size of the site when considered in relation to the overall need for pitches as set out in the latest version of the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment.

Development Principles


  1. Be in accordance with the principles set out in:
  1. The Concept Plan;
  2. The Masterplan included in Appendix XX (to be produced prior to the Regulation 19 edition of the Local Plan). This Masterplan will include a Vision for a Garden Village with its own identity and character, strongly informed by its rural Hampshire location;
  3. A Strategic Design Code which will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document prior to the grant of a full planning permission or the first reserved matters within a phase;
  1. The development will make provision for employment uses in the southern part of the site near the boundary with the A303. The village centre will be located in the centre of the site within easy walking distance to all residents;

Design and Landscape

  1. The siting, density, scale, layout, character and hard and soft landscaping of the development must respond positively to, and take opportunities to enhance: the landscape qualities of the site and wider area; the vision for the Garden Village; and the local distinctiveness of the area. The siting and scale of development should pay particular regard to the topography of the site, to existing areas of woodland (within and next to the site) and to the impact on the North Wessex Downs National Landscape. The design and layout of the development on its outward facing edges will enable a suitable transition to the adjacent countryside. Buildings, layouts and spaces will be created which promote a sense of place and which weave green infrastructure into the fabric of the built environment;


  1. Protect and enhance key species and habitats, prevent detrimental impacts and, where unavoidable, mitigate the impact on protected species and habitats, and secure the creation and management of linkages that provide high levels of habitat connectivity within the site and to the wider green infrastructure network. Achieve a minimum 10% biodiversity net gain secured by a site management plan;
  2. Demonstrate, via a nutrient neutrality mitigation strategy, that nutrient neutrality can be achieved in perpetuity in order to protect the Solent nature conservation sites. This should be via on-site mitigation measures unless it can be robustly demonstrated that this is not achievable, in which case off-site mitigation would be required;


  1. Ensure that the layout responds positively to archaeological assets and successfully mitigates any impacts, via analysis by specialist consultants;

Flooding and Pollution

  1. Ensure that appropriate flood risk management measures are provided including sustainable drainage systems (SuDS);
  2. Ensure that noise impacts arising from traffic on the A303 are successfully mitigated through suitable measures.


  1. Provide an Infrastructure Delivery Strategy with each full or outline planning application to demonstrate that infrastructure requirements across the Local Plan Period has been comprehensively planned and phased. The Infrastructure Delivery Strategy should also have regard to the infrastructure requirements of the site in its totality;


  1. Ensure that a solar farm is delivered in line with a detailed method statement, setting out how it will be connected with the residential and employment development;

Social and Community facilities

  1. Make on-site provision for two 2-forms of entry primary schools;
  1. Make on-site provision for a community centre which will meet the needs of the new development, informed by the requirements set out in the council’s Leisure and Recreational Needs Assessment; and provide on-site sports pitches which will meet the needs of the new development as required by the council’s Infrastructure Delivery Plan;

Green Infrastructure

  1. Make on-site provision for suitable amounts of open/green space including allotments in accordance with the council’s Green Space Standards, in a manner which is well related to the overall layout and character of the development, and how it relates to its surroundings. This provision needs to incorporate an effective green infrastructure network within the development (utilising appropriate planting in order to support their biodiversity and landscape function), and which connects with the surrounding countryside, habitats and Public Rights of Way. The delivery of green space and play will need to be provided alongside development parcels in order that there are facilities for residents to use by the time housing is occupied;


  • Safe, suitable and convenient access, including from Overton Road to the west of the site and the C226 to the south of the site, must be provided for all users, prioritising active modes (walking and cycling), and access to high quality public transport services that offer a genuine choice of transport modes;
  • Ensure no severe adverse impact on the local and strategic highway networks nor have an unacceptable impact on highway safety with the inclusion of suitable measures to mitigate the impact, including for users accessing and egressing the A303 Trunk Road and the connecting routes;
  • Be subject to the submission of a comprehensive and robust Transport Assessment and a supporting site wide Travel Plan which prioritises and promotes active travel and public transport use within and beyond the site. This will include:
  1. Provision of suitable new and improved facilities for active modes (walking and cycling) in order to establish safe, suitable and convenient access both within the site and to the railway station at Micheldever Station;
  2. Provision of high quality public transport infrastructure including Mobility Hubs which are sensitive to their setting, accessible and convenient waiting and boarding facilities, and new developer supported public transport services to access higher order services and facilities, including to/from the railway station at Micheldever Station, and Basingstoke town centre (including Basingstoke Railway and Bus Stations), which will be available to serve the residents and users of the first phase of the development and subsequent phases thereafter;
  3. Ways to reduce the need to travel (including access to digital services), and to prioritise and maximise movement by active modes and public transport services, including layouts, street designs and associated measures that give priority to active travel and convenient access to high-quality public transport services, to minimise the transport impacts arising from the development;


  1. Provide or contribute towards suitable infrastructure for sewerage (on and off-site), foul water and other utilities.
6.74 The site, which will be developed as a Garden Village, will make provision for approximately 3,000 dwellings, to be provided via a range of dwelling types. Approximately 1,400 homes are expected on site within the Plan period to 2040.  A village centre is to be provided, with a sufficient range of facilities and services to ensure that the community’s day to day needs can be met. An employment area offering a range of business opportunities will play a key role in encouraging the Garden Village to be as self-contained and sustainable as possible.
6.75 The scale and complexity of planning the future of the site requires that a Masterplan and Strategic Design Code are produced to ensure a coordinated approach to development. This will ensure that the site and its individual phases are developed comprehensively and delivered to a consistently high standard. It is essential that the Garden Village has its own identity and character which is strongly informed by its rural location within the Hampshire countryside. 
6.76 In advance of the Regulation 19 consultation on the Local Plan, the council will work with the site promoter to produce a Masterplan for the site informed by the site promoter's emerging Sustainable Transport Strategy and including a site wide Framework Plan, Parameter Plans, Overarching Principles Document, Phasing Strategy and details of the infrastructure required (including on and off-site transport improvements), including its timing, funding and the responsibilities for its delivery. This document will be adopted as an appendix to the Local Plan, and will provide a more detailed framework to guide future planning applications. The Masterplan will be supported by a Strategic Design Code to ensure that the development of individual phases is planned in a comprehensive manner. The Strategic Design Code will be produced either by the Local Planning Authority (LPA), or the developer in agreement with the LPA, and adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document prior to the submission of the first full or reserved matters planning application within that phase.
6.77 The proposal needs to ensure safe, suitable and convenient access for all users, and that the transport impacts can be effectively mitigated in agreement with the highway and transport authorities. As part of this process, it will be important to demonstrate that the proposal will not have a severe residual impact nor have an unacceptable impact on highway safety in relation to the operation of the strategic and the local highway networks (including the A303 and the Micheldever to Overton Road).
6.78 The proposal also needs to demonstrate suitable transport accessibility and connectivity, including limiting the need to travel and offering a genuine choice of transport modes. The proposal as a whole must prioritise and maximise active travel and public transport use, including safe, suitable and convenient access for all users to Micheldever Railway Station and for cyclists and public transport users to Basingstoke town centre (including Basingstoke Railway and Bus Stations). In addition, the development will need to be accessible via high quality and frequent public transport options including Mobility Hubs and other accessible and convenient boarding and waiting facilities. The Mobility Hubs need to provide high quality and accessible facilities, including access to public transport services and associated facilities (e.g. car club parking, EV charging facilities for visitors, secure cycle parking, delivery lockers, etc.) to provide focal points for public and shared transport, and access to attractive public transport services for travel within and beyond the site. The hubs should be sensitive to their setting in terms of design and layout, and incorporate green features to minimise hard standing.
6.79 The A303 is a significant noise source, and successfully mitigating the noise impacts will be vital for the quality of life of the future occupants and also ensuring that the character of the development achieves the garden village aspirations. In this regard it is likely that a roadside barrier running the length of the site and a significant buffer between the road and the edge of the built form would be required. This noise buffer should include as much mature tree planting as is practical in order to reduce the visual impact of the road on the development and provide a verdant character to the edge of the development, reflective of the garden village ethos for the site. The location of employment uses near the boundary with the A303 and close to one of the site’s access points, will help the creation of residential areas with a high quality of amenity.
6.80 The development involves the provision of a solar farm. This is a positive aspect of the proposal in terms of ensuring that the development is sustainable and responds to the council’s declared climate emergency. It will be vital to ensure that this is successfully delivered and done so in a manner which ensures an effective connection between the power generated and the new development. At outline stage, information is to be submitted setting out the timescales for the provision of the solar farm along with a detailed method statement clarifying the technical aspects in terms of how the solar farm will be connected to the new development.
6.81 Ensuring the achievement of 10% biodiversity net gain on site is a key requirement. This will need to be achieved in a manner which reflects the mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimise, remediate, compensate). The main ecological constraint pertaining to the site is the ancient woodland within and adjacent to the site and consideration of these features should include the indirect impacts. Protected species are also known to the located on or around the site, such as dormice and bats and there is the potential for reptiles on the site. Considerations of the impacts of these species must be addressed in detailed as part of the ecological surveys and mitigation measures.
6.82 The site layout will need to ensure the protection of the SINCs located in the southern part of the site. Buffers will also need to be provided around the key biodiversity features, and buffer distances in excess of the minimum may be required.
6.83 Water quality is an extremely important issue in relation to this site, and this entails consideration of two key, interrelated issues. The site drains to the River Test catchment, and therefore it will be necessary to ensure that the site achieves nitrate neutrality. This will need to be achieved via on-site mitigation measures. Off-site measures would only be acceptable if it can be robustly demonstrated that on-site measures are not appropriate. In addition, the nearest wastewater treatment plant is at Whitchurch, and it has been established that this has capacity constraints. Therefore, development will not be consented until it has been demonstrated that acceptable arrangements have been put in place for ensuring appropriate disposal of wastewater.
6.84 A Flood Risk Assessment will be required, which will need to accord with the requirements set out in Policy ENV10 and the stipulations set out in national guidance. The site is not affected by significant flood constraints, though there is evidence of some potential groundwater flooding issues. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems should be incorporated in a manner which is well related to the rest of the development and takes the opportunity to provide other benefits such as biodiversity enhancements.
6.85 Landscape sensitivity is known to vary across the site, as has been set out in the council’s Landscape Sensitivity Assessment. Any future application will need to be supported by a Landscape and Visual Impact Appraisal. This will need to consider the landscape issues associated with the site in more detail, as per the relevant institute guidelines, and the design and layout will need to respond to its findings. In particular it will be important to consider the topography of the site and how that impacts on the design, layout and scale of development, and how the development would appear in longer views, particularly from the National Landscape. It will be important to ensure that the design and layout of the development responds appropriately to the landscape constraints. Example of this include the need to avoid development on the higher parts of the site and also ensuring that housing on the edges of the site provide a suitable transition to the countryside beyond such as by being of a lower density and scale and incorporate suitable levels of planting (including trees and hedging.
6.86 In order to ensure there is an appropriate transition to adjacent countryside and to avoid a hard edge to development, the layout along the countryside edges of the site should generally be of a lower density and scale with a greater separation between buildings. Open spaces along the edge should incorporate suitable levels of planting (including trees and hedging) to help give a soft transition to the countryside. Development will need to face out to the countryside to provide active frontages, with no rear gardens facing outwards and also avoid prominent parking areas on the edge of the site.
6.87 In terms of infrastructure provision, the schools will need to be integrated in a manner which ensures that they will not result in unacceptable highways impacts (for example owing to vehicles stopping on main routes at drop off and pick up times) and in a manner which supports parents and children being able to reach the school on foot and/or via cycles in a safe and convenient manner. The schools will need to be of sufficient size to accommodate 2 forms of entry, and the full details of the mechanisms for delivering the new school will need to be agreed with HCC Children’s Services.
6.88 The development will include affordable housing, older persons’ accommodation, plots for custom and self-build housing, and gypsy and traveller pitches to create a diverse and sustainable new community. It is expected that older persons’ accommodation will be provided in or near the centres where there is the best access to facilities and services. The plots for custom and self-build housing should be brought forward in groups to create distinct custom and self-build areas.
6.89 The large, and mainly, greenfield site is in two ownerships, and is likely to be developed out by a number of developers in phases. Provided that an acceptable scheme can be negotiated, and the provision of infrastructure in a timely manner, it is estimated that homes could start to be completed by 2031/2. Depending on market conditions and other factors, it is estimated that the development could take approximately 20 years to complete.

Figure 6.6: Policy SPS5.5: Popham Garden Village Concept Plan

Map - Popham Garden Village Concept Plan

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