For a number of years Alton Town Council and East Hampshire District Council have sought ways to improve the town and to address some long-standing issues.

Alton Town Partnership published Alton 2020: A Plan to Shape Alton’s Future in 2005, setting out their vision for the town for the next 15 years. Already we are 8 years into the period envisaged for realising the Town Partnership’s vision. Two of the key aspirations identified for the town in the Alton 2020 strategy were:

– a new road layout to alleviate current traffic pressure points
– a new sports and leisure facility

East Hampshire District Council adopted its Local Plan: Second Review in 2006, setting out its plans for the period 2006-2011. This document allocated the remaining land at the former Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital for 150 houses and 12,000 sq m of employment land. Neither has come forward, partly because of the need to resolve the highways issues at the Butts Bridge junction, and partly due to the poor credentials of this site as an employment location.

Land to the east of Selborne Road was included in the Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment in 2009 as a potential location for over 200 houses, and was consulted on as part of the Preferred Policies document from 12 November 2009 to 1 February 2010. The undeveloped employment land at the former Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital was included in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment in 2010 as a potential location for 132 houses.

East Hampshire District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority are progressing their draft Joint Core Strategy covering the period to 2028. Emerging Policy CP8 as set out in the latest iteration of the Plan (Further Proposed Modifications, August 2013) proposes the allocation of sites to provide 700 additional homes in Alton in order to:-

– meet future housing need, especially for affordable housing
– enable improvements to the Butts Bridge junction
– enable a replacement sports centre to be built

The plans outlined respond directly to these important policy objectives and in addition, facilitate the provision of a new country park.