Newlands Developments plans to ensure construction traffic avoids historic oak trees


THE DEVELOPER of a proposed distribution center said it would adjust its construction management plan for the site to ensure lorries do not drive down an alley of much-loved oak trees.

Newlands Developments has submitted a revised planning application to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for the new distribution center on the land near Junction 7 of the M3, including plans to build a Lidl supermarket.

In October, members of Basingstoke’s Development Control Committee and Deane Borough Council refused Newlands’ previous application – believed to be for Amazon.

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The application has not yet been determined, but the developer has submitted a construction management plan to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council setting out the rules for managing the site during its construction, including routes for construction vehicles.

Revisions to this plan will see building access moved so that vehicles do not use the old farm track, where the historic oak trees are.

John Barker, Director of Development at Newlands Developments, said: “Given the significant changes we have made, which will include maintaining the avenue of oak trees, we want to ensure these trees are fully protected.

“Rather than construction vehicles accessing the site via the existing farm road where the oak trees are, we thought it would be better to separate the trees and the vehicles.

“When we revisited the original program, it was clear how important protecting these trees was to local people. So we kept them in the revised app and made some other big changes, including reducing the scale of buildings and traffic levels, and adding more green space and planting. »

Despite this, the Clean Air Green Environment (CAGE) which campaigned to save the oaks continues to say the plans are a “dishwasher safe” version.

Group member Christine Northam added: “All of the Newlands amendments, we look at them and we talk about them and we review them but this site is still as big as the original Amazon plan.

‘Despite any window dressing Newlands might do, it does not change the massing and size of the development, which council said they objected to on landscaping issues.’

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Late last year, Newlands Developments announced Lidl as the key new occupant of its revised scheme.

The development is still a distribution center to be serviced by HGVs, but the changes would also result in a significant reduction in the number of HGV and car movements due to the reduced footprint.

A proposed landscaping ‘bund’ to be located on the south side of the M3 has been removed.

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