North Hampshire Downs Valued Landscape

24th February 2021

An area of land of 296 hectares to the south east of Basingstoke and to the southward of the village of Cliddesden is proposed to contain a Garden Village of at least 2,500 dwellings. CPRE Hampshire considers that the area is a Valued Landscape in its own right and an essential part of a tract of Valued Landscape extending north-eastwards from Farleigh Wallop to Hackwood Park, which requires it to be protected.

The area sits within a larger tract of downland landscape stretching from the M3 to Farnham – the North Hampshire Downs. CPRE Hampshire has made an assessment of the area in the context of an NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) Valued Landscape which should be protected according to national planning guidance. This assessment has regard to:

  • Hampshire Integrated Character Assessment (“HICA”)
  • Basingstoke and Deane Landscape Assessment (“BDLA”)
  • A study of criteria used by Inspectors on appeal in deciding whether appeal sites are NPPF Valued Landscapes
  • Our own observations

Conclusion – Accordingly, taking account of the:

  • Attractive and distinctive chalk downland landscape with high quality views from many points to a clearly defined ridgeline, and long-distance views over Basingstoke
  • Lack of development and overall sense of tranquillity despite noise from the adjoining M3
  • High quality public experience of this landscape from public and permissive rights of way
  • Contribution this landscape makes to the landscape setting of Basingstoke and views from the built up area
  • Important contribution of this tract of landscape to the characteristics identified in HICA CCA 8B – Basingstoke Open Downs and BDLA LCA 16 – Basingstoke Down

CPRE Hampshire considers that the area has demonstrable attributes which raises it above the ordinary, such that it is both an NPPF Valued Landscape in its own right and as an essential part of a tract of NPPF Valued Landscape extending north-eastwards from Farleigh Wallop to Hackwood Park. Accordingly, NPPF paragraph 170(a) applies and requires it to be protected.

CPRE Hampshire report on tract of land to the south east of Basingstoke, NPPF Valued Landscape, January 2021.

Volunteers from CPRE Hampshire carrying out their landscape assessment with a member of Cliddesden Parish Council showing them around Dee Haas

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The legacy of Ethel’s vision and determination lives on thanks to the continued efforts of the Friends of the Peak District, and she remains an inspiration to everyone within CPRE

Children climbing in the New Forest