Master developer Urban&Civic, partnered with the Wellcome Trust, has been chosen by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council to deliver their ambitious plans for the first phase of Manydown, a new garden town west of Basingstoke.
Urban&Civic, the nationally renowned master developer with an impressive track record of creating great places to live, supported by global charitable foundation the Wellcome Trust, was chosen through a comprehensive 18 month procurement process by the two councils, as joint leasehold owners of the land.
Following the selection of the successful bidder, work will now move forward to finalising contracts with Urban&Civic to join the councils in a joint venture partnership to deliver the exciting vision for Manydown, embracing Garden Town principles.
Urban&Civic, as the UK’s leading master developer, has over 25 years’ experience of turning strategic sites into vibrant new communities. Urban&Civic recognises the importance of delivering quality and placemaking from the outset with early investment in infrastructure and amenities that make a difference, such as community facilities, bicycle lanes, roads, parks and schools. It actively supports local small and medium-sized house builders, as well as building homes itself, and ensures that jobs and skills are created through the investment made. Urban&Civic’s successful developments include the highly-regarded Alconbury Weald, creating 5,000 new homes on a former Cambridgeshire cold war airfield, and Houlton in Rugby, a new community of 6,200 homes.
The Wellcome Trust is an independent global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health, whose investment portfolio provides the income for its funding. It holds a diversified investment portfolio valued in excess of £23 billion as of 30 September 2017, and spends over £1 billion a year on its charitable activities.
Cabinet member for Manydown at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Cllr John Izett said: “I am delighted to welcome Urban&Civic as our selected partner, working with the Wellcome Trust, after a rigorous, demanding competitive tender. They share our ambitions for Manydown and I am confident they will contribute hugely to meeting the challenges ahead to create Manydown as a great place to live, which is so important to the borough and our residents. Urban&Civic’s record of working with and listening to local communities and bringing forward early delivery of infrastructure and amenities is especially positive. We look forward to building a strong and productive relationship with our new partner. The two councils will remain actively involved, working with Urban&Civic and the Wellcome Trust for years to come.”
Leader of Hampshire County Council Cllr Roy Perry said: “This announcement marks the next exciting step in the Manydown project. Urban&Civic’s wealth of expertise and experience will ensure that our vision for creating a development at Manydown with robust infrastructure, including high quality schools, housing and amenities, is the best it can be. Manydown will be a flourishing community, in which people can step onto the housing ladder, grow their families and thrive in all aspects of their lives.”
Chief Executive of Urban&Civic plc Nigel Hugill said: “Manydown will reinforce Basingstoke by building on existing strengths. Our selection against really tough competition demonstrates the increasing scalability of the master developer approach in meeting housing numbers on strategic projects across South East England. Wellcome are a wonderful addition to our list of allies. There is much to be done but people should soon come to see the differences.”
Peter Pereira Gray, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Division at Wellcome Trust, said: “We are delighted to partner with Urban&Civic and the councils to deliver the highest quality development on this Manydown site. It is an exciting opportunity which is consistent with our long-term investment horizon, our philosophy of partnering with best-in-class operators, and the scale of other assets in our portfolio.”
The search started in May 2016 for a partner with the necessary vision, expertise and financial resources to deliver the exceptional new communities the two councils are determined to achieve at Manydown, with the formal stages of procurement starting in July 2016.
Since then detailed proposals have been put forward by bidders through four stages of procurement.
An outline planning application for the northern part of Manydown was submitted by the two councils in March 2017, following extensive public involvement in drawing up a masterplan, and is now under consideration. This sets out the main principles for developing a thriving new community of up to 3,500 new homes, businesses, shops and community facilities, two new primary schools and land for a new secondary school, and a 250 acre country park.