Public-private partnership created to drive £1.2 billion Manydown garden community


A pioneering partnership deal has been signed to develop a £1.2 billion new homes project at Manydown in Basingstoke, Hampshire, already green lighted for planning.

Contracts signed today (Wednesday 29 July) create a joint venture bringing together both local authorities – Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council - with the UK’s leading master developer Urban&Civic and global charitable foundation the Wellcome Trust.

Together the Manydown Development Vehicle LLP will deliver 3,500 new homes, 40% of which will be affordable; a 250-acre country park; two primary schools with land reserved for a potential new secondary school; two local centres; businesses; shops and community facilities, as a sustainable garden community.

This move comes just weeks after the decision was taken to grant the two councils, as joint landowners, outline planning permission for the development.

It is the first phase of one of the largest residential-led development schemes in the South East, on 2,000 acres of land in public ownership, and is one of the major projects in the government’s garden communities programme set for delivery. The long-term scheme will be an important part of the region’s economic prosperity, creating thousands of jobs and providing up to 10,000 new homes in the longer term.

The partnership to deliver the first phase is designed to bring out the best in public and private sector working.  The long-term commitment of the two councils to building high quality homes and sustainable communities is combined with the expertise and track record of a master developer, backed by a leading global charitable foundation.

Urban&Civic has over a decade of experience turning strategic sites into vibrant new communities, underpinned by extensive community development and jobs and skills investment from the outset of projects. Its successful developments include 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. 

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Property Cllr John Izett said: “We can now move forward to develop Manydown. With a formidable public-private partnership now in place I am confident that all the comprehensive preparations, creative 21st century urban design and planning and attention to the views of our residents will be put to excellent effect in realising a new community and urban extension for Basingstoke. Our high ambition is to ensure that when Manydown is built it will be regarded as a standout development across the country in concept and execution, and, most importantly, cherished by those who make their homes and lives there."

Hampshire County Council Leader Cllr Keith Mans said: “For the county council, Manydown represents our highest ambition for the type of prosperous and sustainable communities we wish to develop in Hampshire for future generations. Residents will be able to enjoy good quality housing, schools and community facilities which have been carefully designed to promote social cohesiveness, in an environmentally conscious and modern countryside setting. This is an ambitious venture and one of the largest developments in this part of the country, and so it is appropriate that it will be led by such a unique and innovative partnership, of which we are very pleased to be a part.”

Urban&Civic Chief Executive Officer Nigel Hugill said: “The Manydown development is the most significant proposed in Basingstoke since the 1970s. The challenges are clear and priorities have been reset. There is no longer a presumption that town can only meet country by means of a petrol engine. Equally, the fundamental underlying strengths of Basingstoke have not changed.  Accessibility, connectivity and a forward-looking conviction will find new resonance in a digital age, located within the enduring magnificence of the surrounding countryside. I applaud the determination of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, in conjunction with Hampshire County Council, to create a partnership capable of keeping hold of such bold ambition. Urban&Civic will relish taking charge of operational delivery." 

Peter Pereira Gray, CEO and Managing Partner, Investment Division, Wellcome, said: “We are delighted to partner with Urban&Civic and the local councils to deliver new homes and a garden community on this Manydown site. This exciting and large-scale development aligns strongly with our long-term investment horizon and is highly complementary to our existing strategic land holdings.”

Following the resolution to grant outline planning permission on Wednesday 8 July 2020, work is now underway, through the new partnership, to enable a start on site in late 2021.