BUILDING work will finally begin on Waterlooville’s new 2,550-home estate.
After more than a decade of debate, consultations, promises and setbacks, the builders will move in on Monday to begin the huge task of transforming the former Plant Farm. And there’s a new name.
For years developer Grainger was calling the estate Newlands.
But it has decided upon Berewood – inspired by the Forest of Bere which once covered the town.
As previously reported, Grainger won planning permission in March last year.
Officials have spent the past 12 months finalising a legal agreement with Havant and Winchester councils, which jointly control the 500-acre site.
This will see it pump around £20m into extra facilities, including two primary schools, sport pitches, a new pub, leisure centre, community centre, cemetery, park, as well as road and drainage improvements.
Work begins next week on building new roads and laying water pipes.
Development director John Beresford said: ‘We will start work next week and by September hope to have the main infrastructure in place ready for the first housebuilders to start work in the autumn.
‘That being the case, we would anticipate that the first dwelling will be ready to be marketed by the beginning of next year. This is good news for Waterlooville where there is demand for housing of all levels.’
The development will be built in phases, with the first one comprising 194 homes, next to the new roundabout on Maurepas Way.
Waterlooville councillor Paul Buckley said: ‘Having accepted the fact it’s going to be built, it will be good to see it actually starting.
‘In many ways they are not our homes, they are Winchester homes.
‘Obviously the people who are going to live in them are going to become part of Waterlooville.
‘I’m very keen in the long-term that we try to get the boundary so it becomes part of Waterlooville.
‘In terms of the economy of Waterlooville, from a commercial shopkeepers’ point of view, the town can only benefit.’
Councillors have also approved the final stage of development at Old Park Farm, the northern section of the Major Development Area.
Once completed this site, built by Taylor Wimpey, will have 450 homes and a new recycling centre.