SIX storey buildings, a rejuvenated Cambridge Military Hospital, a new community centre, and more publicly accessible open space were among the plans revealed for the Aldershot extension at the weekend.
Development company Grainger unveiled its latest plans to the public for the huge Aldershot urban extension, which currently has the working title of Wellesley.
The early plans, publically displayed for the first time at the Wellington Centre last Friday and Saturday, gave people the first glimpse of what they can expect from a development that will increase Aldershot’s population by a quarter over the next 20 years.
Around 700 people attended the exhibition, with many offering opinions and concerns.
Organisers said it helped to get the message across that after all the delays the development really was happening.
Alan Chitson, development manager, said Grainger’s main aim was to provide high-quality buildings and a well-planned development for everyone in Aldershot.
“We expect to see jobs come from it in the short and long term. Hopefully, it will be reflected in thing like house prices and things like that, for the benefit of all people in Alder-shot,” he said.
Concerns raised included support for retaining historically important buildings, such as the Louise Margaret hospital, which unlike the Cambridge Military Hospital, is not listed.
Mr Chitson said developers were hopeful the former maternity hospital, where the majority of Aldershot people were born before it closed in 1995, would largely be saved.
He said many people raised concerns about public services and about roads being overwhelmed by the increase in the town’s population.
But he argued that the development was being carefully planned to invest in adequate public services and infrastructure, such as two new primary schools, before any new arrivals move in.
More detailed plans are currently being prepared, with the intention of holding a major public exhibition in the coming months, ahead of an outline planning application to be considered in the early summer next year.
This is likely to be for around 200 houses and flats around Hospital Road, with work likely to begin in 2013.
The next phase of the project would be the redevelopment of the Cambridge Military Hos-pital, to prevent it falling into further disrepair.
However, the plans showed that many of the big choices about the development are yet to be made.
The plans indicate that density of housing could in places be just 35 per hectare, half the maximum of 70 required to build the maximum 4,250 homes.
If developers decide to fix on a much lower density figure, it would mean less than the maximum number of homes would be built, with more executive-style houses and fewer affordable starter homes and flats.
Rushmoor Borough Coun-cil’s main town strategy means at least a third of all the homes built must be classified as affordable.