As Test Valley Borough Council approaches a decision on proposals for development at the former Andover Airport site, I've invited the applicants to provide a short statement saying why the proposed development should go ahead, and those campaigning against it to say why it shouldn't.

When you've considered their views you may wish to express your own by voting in my online poll - when you can also add your own comments .

The case for the development:

I invited the applicants, Messrs Goodman, to provide a statement of their case for the deveopment but they declined to provide one. These are extracts from what they have said to local councillors:

Andover Airfield is a 46 hectare site located immediately adjacent to the Monxton Road / Hundred Acre Corner Interchange of the A303(T) on the western edge of Andover. The airfield is identified for redevelopment as a business park in the adopted Test Valley Borough Local Plan (June 2006). The Local Plan promotes all forms of employment generating uses on the site (B1 business, B2 general industry, B8 storage and distribution) and refers specifically to companies requiring large areas of land.

Andover Business Park is intended to provide for the long-term employment needs of the town and its delivery is identified as a priority project for the first four years (2006-2009) of the Andover Vision. It is also identified as one of the boroughís main employment locations in the Councilís emerging LDF Core Strategy.

Goodmans' planning application to Test Valley Borough Council seeks to deliver these objectives. The proposed development would deliver a direct investment of around £120 million into the local economy and help Andover to increase its competitiveness as a location for national, regional and local businesses. The proposal would create around 2,000 new jobs for local people across a range of sectors and skill levels, including senior and junior management, administration, manufacturing, distribution, hospitality and servicing. These new jobs would help to meet the demand for new employment in the area which will increase significantly over the next few years with the construction of over 3,500 new homes in Andover.

Goodman is committed to ensuring that as many local people as possible have the skills to benefit from all of the new jobs created at Andover Business Park and would contribute funding towards a Training and Development Coordinator as part of any planning consent to ensure that this happens.

Should the applicants decide to provide different or additional information I will put that online.

The case against:


From RoADAC - Residents of Andover and District Awareness Committee

Say NO! to the giant Tesco warehouse development

After months of confidential discussions with TVBC a planning application for what would be one ofEuropeís largest warehouses to be built on the old Andover Airfield has formally been made. It will lead to a decision that could have one of the biggest impacts on the town since the great expansion of the 1960s.

The developer, Goodman, may have recently stopped saying its for Tesco to service all their shops and supermarkets as far away as the South West of England and Essex, but an earlier presentation in February made it clear who it was for and, incredibly, construction job adverts mentioning Tesco Andover were on internet sites weeks before any planning application was even submitted!

Environment: It is hard to imagine the sheer scale of the proposed development, but the length will be nearly 2000ft long, 60ft high and 600ft wide. It will dwarf the already significant and currently expanding MoD establishment next door.

Of course the developers will promise to tack on favourable landscaping, road improvements and a so-called community building, but take these away and the fundamental problem with such a large development still remains.

Traffic & Noise: Even with the proposed huge expansion of the Hundred Acre roundabout complex, the sheer scale of such a mammoth operation so close to the town and with large HGV movements every thirty seconds makes the scheme entirely inappropriate for Andover. The environmental impact of traffic, air, light and noise, as well as the visual impact of such a large building, will be huge and affect more than those living in the immediate area.

Employment: The development of the Airfield is already part of the town plan, but such a move was always sold with the objective to increase the number of higher wage, higher tech jobs in Andover, a far cry from what will be offered by a single dominant employer like Tesco. The chief of education on Hampshire County Council, Cllr David Kirk, has already made this important point in an article in the Andover Advertiser 8 June 2007.

Alternatives: And there can be alternatives. Anyone who visits Basingstoke will have seen how the similar sized Chineham business park has developed gradually in only seven or eight years to be pleasantly designed and full of blue chip, high tech companies .

Housing: Andover has very low unemployment meaning that the estimated immediate 1,200 Tesco jobs will inevitably be filled by people travelling from elsewhere or moving here temporarily, increasing the proportion of multiple occupancy housing in Andover and diluting the proportion of people living and working here who have a long-term stake in the future of the town. The wage structure of the majority of these jobs mean it is flawed to match them to the new housing already planned on the other side of the town near Picket Piece.

The timing of the planning application has meant that a full debate as part of the local elections five weeks ago has been missed and voters are solely reliant on the judgement of TVBC councillors. Their priority should not be the interests of developers, large corporations or an attempt to quickly fulfil the objectives of the town plan with the first option that comes along. The best interests of Andover people should come first and that means not approving this application.

Please support the campaign against this development by registering your vote on Sir George Youngís website. If you would like more information from RoADAC please email roadac@googlemail.com .

Having read the cases for and against, don't miss your opportunity to vote in my online poll!

Copyright Sir George Young Bt. 2015