Public to have say on 3,850 Aldershot homesBy Amy Taylor
January 14, 2013
CONSULTATION on the Aldershot Urban Extension, or Project Wellesley, is expected to begin this week once the planning application has been validated.
Plans for the long-awaited development, which will create 3,850 new homes north of the town centre, were submitted to Rushmoor Borough Council before Christmas by the developers Grainger, and will go out for an extended public consultation on Friday (January 18).
The gap between the application being submitted and the consultation beginning is due to the detail of the plans, with each one needing to be checked and approved by the council before the project as a whole can be considered.
A spokesman for Rushmoor said: “As you can imagine, for an application like this there are lots of documents and drawings to be checked and uploaded onto our planning system so that we can consult on them.
“The vast majority of the documents are fine but we are just waiting for a couple of technical drawings. We anticipate that we will have received, validated and uploaded everything by early this week so that we can start consultation.
“At the moment, we are hoping this will start on January 18 when the application will be available for the public to see and comment on.”
A 10-week consultation has been earmarked for the Wellesley plans – named after the Duke of Wellington – due to the scale of the development, after which the proposal will go through the formal planning process for consideration by Rushmoor’s development control and executive committees.
The increased number of homes in Aldershot will need improved infrastructure, and as part of the Wellesley plan, extra school places will be created, both at existing schools in the borough and at new, purpose-built ones.
Rushmoor chief executive, Andrew Lloyd, said last month that once the consultation had started in the new year, he was confident work could start on site by autumn, depending on the consultation outcome.
However, Labour councillor Mike Roberts said he did not think anything would be ready much before 2015.
“The first phase of 227 units won’t be ready next year even if they start on site before the end of the year.
“We are talking about 10 weeks for consultation, which takes us to March, then three months of planning, which takes us to June or July. 2015 might be much more reflective.”
He said the plans were important to get right because they were the only "major development area" Aldershot would likely be consulted on.
“We need to make a statement both for now and also in the future. I would like to see the plans in much more detail – such as how many people are going to be working from home in the area, cutting out the need to travel,” he added.
“Everything must be carbon neutral.”
He said he was pleased with the work Grainger had been doing so far and looked forward to seeing the plans once they had been validated.