Council takes proactive approach to vision for M3 junction 7 land

A proactive strategic vision for land to the north of M3 junction 7 is being drawn up by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, focusing on the delivery of infrastructure needed to support residents’ quality of life, opportunities for new jobs and better facilities.

The move comes as the pace of development, on land identified in the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan to 2029, increases around this area with Manydown and Basingstoke Golf Course getting planning approvals recently and work starting at Hounsome Fields.

The strategic vision will build upon the infrastructure planning work already undertaken to support the Local Plan. Informing the next Local Plan in its earliest stages, this work will help to ensure that there is a co-ordinated approach, guiding any further development of the area in the future.

As the next Local Plan will create the blueprint for further development across the borough for years to come, a number of landowners in the area have already put forward sites to be considered for housing and business development in the future. Developers have also flagged other possible planning applications.

Working with partners, the council will take a comprehensive look at the area and its needs, to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place at the right time and it supports the future economic prosperity of the borough.

Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Natural Environment Cllr Mark Ruffell said: “There are lots of possible future development proposals for this area that could come forward. For example, we know that there was a previous application for a hospital near junction 7 owing to its great strategic location. Public engagement is being carried out on future health services for north and mid Hampshire and we would like to see a new hospital in Basingstoke.

“It is crucial that we have a clear and joined up vision for the provision of infrastructure around the M3 junction 7 area as early as possible. We want to listen to the competing interests of residents and landowners to ensure that any further development of this area is well thought out. This will be a significant piece of work, and I look forward to discussing this in more detail with councillors at committee later this year.”

The council is already working with highway authorities to move forward the transport strategy for the borough. This includes looking at the future capacity of junction 7 and planning ahead for 21st century public ‘mass rapid’ transport to encourage people out of their cars, responding to the climate emergency. The strategic vision will look at issues such as the connectivity to the town centre along the A30 corridor, improving cycle and walking links and reducing bus journey times.

Considering wider needs such as health, education, water and sewerage, this coordinated and well thought through approach will help to highlight needs and future funding opportunities and help other local services to plan ahead in a coordinated way. It will also consider the need to retain the character and identity of villages in the area and ensure that addressing climate change is at the heart of any future proposals.

The council is in the very early stages of updating the Local Plan which will set out a strategy for meeting the borough’s needs, including homes and employment, beyond 2029. This is a lengthy and detailed process with the plan due for adoption around 2023.

For further information please contact: Communications and Marketing Manager Sara Shepherd on 01256 845493 or email

Consultation on temporary changes to planning engagement

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is consulting on temporary changes to how communities and businesses can shape local planning policies and processes.

Adopted in March 2018, the council’s current Statement of Community Involvement sets out how local residents, businesses and interest groups are able to get involved in the creation of local planning policy, neighbourhood planning and the planning application decision process.

However in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and based on government guidance, the council has proposed temporary changes to the planning document that would allow engagement to continue while protecting the health of local communities.

Documents setting out the proposed temporary changes, as well as information on how to comment on the proposals, can be viewed online at

Those unable to access the webpage can request printed copies of these documents or comment on the proposals by calling 01256 844844.

Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and the Natural Environment Cllr Mark Ruffell said: “While the pandemic has affected how we as a council and planning authority can engage with local communities, businesses and groups, it has also seen us look at alternative ways to effectively communicate with each other to deliver important information and services to our residents.

“We do not know how long social distancing measures will be necessary but we do know it is vital that people have their say on planning in the borough and that we find ways of engaging with residents that we know will work for them. This consultation sets out our temporary proposal to keep people informed on planning matters and we are very keen to hear their thoughts on our solutions.”

Comments on the proposed temporary changes can be submitted from now until 4pm on Monday 3 August. Following the consultation period, the comments will be used to inform the temporary update which is due to be agreed in the autumn.

The changes will remain in place until the social distancing measures put in place by the Government are lifted. The council will then return to engaging in the same way as prior to the introduction of the temporary measures.

For further information on the documents or the consultation email or call 01256 844844.

LifeSpring Community Church

Hello Oakley,

We’d like to introduce ourselves as LifeSpring Community Church. We were previously known as The Community Church, (West) which is one of 4 Basingstoke Community Churches, (Hope and Hub meet in the Town Centre and the fourth meets in Tadley.) We’ve been involved in the villages/towns to the west of Basingstoke for many years.

Maybe you’ve recently moved into the village or are interested in faith and looking into joining a church. It might be that you didn’t know we are here and part of the life in the village. Either way, we would love you to learn more about us.

As you would expect, all our meetings and activities have paused during lockdown, but we hope to recommence as many of them as possible during August.  The church usually gathers on Sundays in St. Luke’s Hall, Overton, from 10 am when we start with refreshments, followed by an informal service including worship through song, prayer, a talk from the Bible and children’s work. People visiting our gatherings describe us as friendly and welcoming. There are other gatherings during the week in homes for prayer, bible study and fellowship. The church is made up of people from the villages, hamlets and towns along the B3400.  In addition to Sundays, we have a monthly Saturday Club, which is a Bible based club for the whole family, Second Sunday which is for older folks in Oakley and Little Creations, a toddler/baby group that runs on a Thursday morning during term times.

During the last year, we’ve introduced some new types of gathering.  About every six weeks, our Sunday meeting now takes the form of a Church Brunch. These have been really popular, with food ranging from breakfast burritos and pancakes to continental breakfast, accompanied by discussions on various topics including Thanksgiving and Lent, and also hearing from a family from Uganda.  We’ve also begun “Relaxed Church”, which takes place at Café Pueblo in Overton High Street on a Sunday afternoon every other month. These are chilled-out gatherings for all ages and, especially for people who are busy on a Sunday morning, it’s a chance to worship together in the afternoon.

Be on the lookout for other activities, gatherings and events that LifeSpring Community Church is engaged with in the villages west of Basingstoke. We love being an integral part of what is going on, and look forward to supporting the village as it continues to grow and change. Our aim is that we are rooted in Jesus and making Him known. You can find us on the church’s page in Link and also connect with us on our new website for more details and a church programme calendar.

website –

facebook – lifespringcommunitychurch@stlukeshall

Earl Robinson, Pastor

Your chance to give a ‘Big Thank You’ to our local COVID-19 heroes

A ‘Big Thank You’ is being planned to celebrate all those in Basingstoke and Deane who volunteered to help others and the amazing acts of kindness that have taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Love Basingstoke and Basingstoke Voluntary Action are calling on residents, groups and businesses to send in their messages of thanks to local heroes who have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic to support vulnerable people in the community, either by volunteering or by carrying out thoughtful and kind deeds.

Everyone recognised will be celebrated during Basingstoke and Deane’s Big Thank You Week, from Monday 10 August to Friday 14 August. Throughout the week of celebration, there will be a spotlight on:

• Unsung heroes on 10 August
• Volunteer organisations, community hubs and community associations on 11 August
• The business community with two categories – community support and adapting operations on 12 August
• Local artists, art organisations and the heritage sector on 13 August
• Key and essential workers on 14 August.

People can take part by nominating others for their support and acts of kindness during lockdown from Wednesday 8 July until Friday 31 July. This can be done by tweeting @lovebstoke using #thebigBDthankyou, online at, by calling the council on 01256 844844 or by post to The Big Thank You, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4AH.

As well as encouraging people across the borough to share their thanks, a children’s drawing, poetry and spoken word project on the theme of kindness has also been launched.

Open to anybody under the age of 18, it aims to inspire young people to focus on the acts of kindness they may have seen or carried out during the past few months in lockdown, and to interpret it through art, a poem or spoken word. All artwork will be displayed as part of a digital art projection project that will take place later this year and will be available to view on the website as a lasting memory of this time.

Schools, youth groups and individuals are encouraged to get involved. Submissions can be made by email to or post to The Big Thank You, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4AH.

Businesses across the borough interested in supporting the event should contact

The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Diane Taylor said: “So many wonderful people in the borough have gone the extra mile to help others who may be struggling or vulnerable throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Whether it was making up and delivering food parcels, collecting medical supplies, being a friendly voice for somebody to chat with on the phone or key workers across the borough who have worked tirelessly to keep services we often take for granted running, our local heroes deserve to be recognised and thanked.

“The Big Thank You is a chance for everybody in the borough to recognise volunteers and unsung heroes in their communities and I hope you will join in this opportunity to give them our well-deserved thanks.

“And don’t forget to encourage any young budding artists, poets or public speakers to get creative, focusing on acts of kindness that have been taking place in our community during lockdown.”

Basingstoke Voluntary Action’s Chair of Trustees Carol Bode added: “On behalf of Basingstoke Voluntary Action I thank every single one of you who has stepped forward to volunteer over the past few weeks to support and help your local communities and vulnerable people. It has made such a difference and rekindled a true community spirit. I also thank the many hundreds of volunteers who have given, and continue to give, their time freely for the benefit of others for many years. Volunteering comes in many forms and can take as little or as much time as you have to give. I hope that you consider future volunteer opportunities as our local communities and groups continue to need the ongoing support of your skills, experience, expertise and kindness as they recover.”

For more information visit

Digital Engagement- Basingstoke Gateway, M3|J7

We write to inform you that our Digital Public Consultation Platform for our proposals at Basingstoke Gateway at Oakdown Farm is now live and can be accessed here:

We have been speaking with Local Councillors, Local Groups and have informed local individuals around the Basingstoke area about these forthcoming proposals.

As part of the programme of events there will be a full virtual exhibition with technical and design information from the project team setting out in details the proposals and the key planning issues which have informed the proposals.  This virtual exhibition  will go live later today, Friday the 3rd of July 2020

Message from Jo at Jolly Olly’s

Saturday (4 July) is drawing close and we have been working hard to make sure that we have policies and procedures in place in line with government guidance. However, in order to adhere to the rules, whilst providing a jolly and efficient service for you, we have obviously had to make some changes. Changes include: increasing the number of staff who will be serving you, decreasing the seating and re-organising the way in which we carry out customer orders, reducing the menu and altering some cleaning procedures and safe practices. When you arrive at Jolly Olly’s there will be a board outside to help you to know what to do. You will be asked to wait outside for a staff member to greet you and welcome you inside. Once inside the staff members will help you to follow safe practices and there will be signage in the shop to support you as well.

Now…answers to some questions we think you may have…

At this time, we will not be taking bookings or reserving tables.

We will still be carrying out Take Away Orders, these can be made over the telephone, if you prefer, but please be patient as our increased work load means that it may not be easy for us to answer the phone straight away

The maximum number of people at one table inside is 4. The maximum number of people outside is 6 (all adhering to the social contact rules)

At this time we are unable to accommodate large groups of cyclists or walkers, our Saturday Knitting Group or Friendship Club

We will not be selling or collecting donations of puzzles and books for the time being.

It is going to be different for all of us and we ask for your patience as we learn to work in new ways. As ever, we will endeavour to provide the best quality service and deliver it with a smile! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Not the village show

The show can’t go on (Ahh..) but it takes more than a virus to keep the doughty villagers of Oakley down (Hoorah!)

So, on August 15th (which would have been the day of the show) it has been suggested that  anyone who has goods to sell might like to set up a stall in their front garden.  Some of the people who booked for the Show will be taking this opportunity to sell their cakes, plants, produce, etc. That means potential stallholders/sellers won’t miss out and people can enjoy some rambling retail therapy while supporting local small enterprises and charities.

We do need to emphasise that it will be up to individual “stallholders” to comply with any hygiene/health and safety/Covid related requirements as we cannot advise on these. However, the OCA will promote and advertise details of where “stalls” are, what they are selling and when they are “open.”

If you are interested in setting up shop during the day, please let Eve Askew know by filling in the contact form on this website or ringing her on 781456.

Household Waste Recycling Centre booking system

A new system for residents to book slots at Hampshire County Council’s Hampshire Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) at Wade Road will begin on Monday 15 June 2020. Only residents who have made a booking will be able to access the sites from this date onwards. 
People will be able to book a 30 minute slot up to 48 hours in advance online. Arrangements are also being made for a telephone booking line for residents who do not have access to the internet. 
Those wishing to book a slot will need to provide their name, car registration and, for online bookings, an email address. Bookings will be limited to one slot per household per week.  
More information 

Garden waste collections to resume

Garden waste collections in Basingstoke and Deane are set to resume from Monday 15 June for existing customers as staffing levels begin to stabilise following the COVID-19 outbreak. It follows the reintroduction of the council’s bulky waste collection service and deliveries of bins and glass containers in May. 
The staggered approach has seen those services requiring the fewest staff brought back online first to ensure the existing waste, recycling and clinical waste services can be maintained for the duration of the pandemic. Read more by clicking the link below.
More information