The site

National planning policy confirms that any logistics sites brought forward must be in the right locations. The key attributes of an optimal logistics location are as follows

Motorway / A-road access
Ability to serve markets within 2h drive
Access to a good workforce with a range of skills
Proximity to amenities
Intermodal facilities
Good availability of utilities, services, broadband
Ability to operate 24/7 without impediments
Good, level developable site

Basingstoke Gateway meets all of these criteria. It is located on the southwest edge of Basingstoke, adjacent to Junction 7 of the M3 and has excellent connectivity to significant infrastructure hubs such as Heathrow Airport, with major ports at Southampton within a 45-minute drive.

Red line boundary of Basingstoke Gateway site
Major infrastructure accessible within 2 hours’ drive of Basingstoke Gateway

The site is ideally placed to support new jobs due to its ease of access from Basingstoke and the surrounding areas. Indeed, Savills, on behalf of Newlands, have calculated that there are 493,000 working age people within a 30-minute drive from the site. Furthermore, Newlands is encouraging more sustainable modes of travel by delivering new bus, cycle and pedestrian links to and from Basingstoke town centre.

The suitability of the site’s location is acknowledged in the Council’s evidence base, by the Appeal Inspector and through its proposed draft allocation in the emerging Local Plan Update.

We are aware of at least two possible sites to meet this need with sites proposed at Newlands / Oakdown, and also nearby at the Southern Manydown/Society of Merchant Venturers site.

Both sites are well located with developers confirming that development is viable, these sites are in strong demand and they can be available early in the new plan period…but both, from our assessment, would be credible candidates to meet the Borough’s warehouse need.

(Basingstoke & Deane Council, Economic Needs Assessment, June 2022)

The site provides an opportunity to deliver storage and distribution floorspace in a suitable location for this type of development, being next to Junction 7 on the M3, and with good access to the local and strategic road networks. Previous applications on the site have demonstrated that the site is well suited to meeting the commercial needs of logistics operators and would be attractive to a range of businesses.

(Basingstoke & Deane Council, Local Plan Update, June 2022)

The Council accept in principle the proposed use for this site. The local plan requires a supply of 122,000sm of storage and distribution floorspace for the whole of the plan period, which the Council acknowledges at current rates of supply, focussed entirely on the Strategic Employment Sites (SEL), will not be met. The Council recognise the importance of Junctions 6 and 7 of the M3 as important strategic locations outside the SELs for warehousing and distribution.

(Oakdown Farm Appeal Inspector, December 2022)