Shapley Heath
Garden Community

Help us explore the potential of a new community in Hart

We are exploring the opportunity to create a new Garden Community in Hart. We want to hear your views and ideas. It’s your chance to help us consider what a well-planned, sustainable place for people to live in the district could be like.

Shapley Heath Garden Community

We would like your help to create a vision for a new garden community in Hart. Garden communities are places with beautifully designed homes that meet the needs of everyone living there. A distinctive place that respects local history and heritage. A community that is future proofed for generations to come, with plenty of green spaces for people to enjoy.

We are exploring the opportunity to create a new garden community in Hart after joining the Government’s Garden Communities Programme in 2019. We want to work with local people to design a special place that, if developed, everyone will be proud to call home. A place where residents could enjoy living, working, and playing. Help us by completing this survey.

The area we are investigating is located within the middle of the district. The area reaches north to the A30, west to the River Whitewater (adjacent to Hook) and to the south/east the Basingstoke Canal. The M3 and the mainline railway cross the area (east/west). All or part of Odiham Road, Bagwell Lane, Totters Lane, Station Road and Winchfield Railway station are located within the area.

The map shows the broad area within which we are looking to see if we can provide a suitable space for a new community with up to 5,000 homes. It is a wide area of search, and it is not intended to suggest that the new community will fill the entire area.

What is a garden community?

Garden Communities have their origins in the British Garden City movement, created by Ebenezer Howard at the start of the 20th century.

Howard believed green spaces should surround new towns and cities – places where people could live, work, raise families and enjoy green spaces. They were a response to the overcrowded, dirty towns and cities that grew rapidly during the industrial revolution. The first Garden Town was built in Letchworth, Hertfordshire in 1903.

The grim industrial Britain that Howard was responding to is largely a thing of the past, but there is still a need for great places to live, as the population of the UK continues to grow.

The Garden Communities Programme, launched in 2019, is one way in which the Government is tackling the need to deliver new homes. Building upon Howard’s vision of beautiful places in green spaces, the Government’s Garden Community Programme aims to build over 200,000 homes by the middle of the century. Homes that are well-planned, well-designed, with local communities helping to shape them.

Garden community principles

By following the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) Garden Community principles, we intend to create a clear vision and objectives for this project. If built, this will ensure the Garden Community reflects the ambitions and changing lifestyles of local people. To respect local character and heritage, whilst being fit for purpose for generations to come.



Scroll through principles

Future proofed

designed to be resilient places that allow for changing demographics, future growth, and the impacts of climate change. This includes flood risk and water availability, with durable landscape and building design planned for generations to come. It should include anticipation of the opportunities presented by technological change such as driverless cars and renewable energy measures.

Legacy and stewardship arrangements

should be in place for the care of community assets, infrastructure and public realm, for the benefit of the whole community.

Green space

generous, accessible, quality green and blue infrastructure that promotes health, wellbeing, and quality of life. Considering opportunities to deliver environmental gains such as biodiversity net gain and enhancements to natural capital.

Land Value Capture

to ensure that an appropriate portion of the enhanced land value arising from the development is made available to fund the delivery of:

  • Infrastructure
  • Facilities
  • Legacy arrangements
  • Other measures needed to support development of a sustainable garden community

Healthy places

designed to provide the choices and chances for all to live a healthy life, through taking a whole systems approach to key local health and wellbeing priorities and strategies.

Strong local vision and engagement

designed and executed with the engagement and involvement of the existing local community, and future residents and businesses. This should include consideration of how the natural and historic environment of the local area is reflected and respected.

Great homes

offer a wide range of high quality, distinctive homes. This includes affordable housing and a mix of tenures for all stages of life.


integrated, forward looking and accessible transport options that support economic prosperity and wellbeing for residents. This should include promotion of public transport, walking, and cycling so that settlements are easy to navigate, and facilitate simple and sustainable access to jobs, education, and services.

Sustainable scale

built at a scale which supports the infrastructure to allow the community to function self-sufficiently on a day-to-day basis. With the capacity for future growth to meet the evolving housing and economic needs of the local area.

Well-designed places

with vibrant mixed-use communities that support a range of local employment types and premises, retail opportunities, recreational and community facilities.

Clear identity

a distinctive local identity as a new garden community, including at its heart an attractive and functioning centre and public realm.

What defines a garden community?

The main characteristics are:

  • A purpose-built new settlement
  • A community with a clear identity and attractive environment
  • A mix of homes, including affordable and self-build
  • Planned by local authorities or private sector in consultation with the local community

As well as building new homes, garden communities develop:

  • Job opportunities
  • Attractive green space and public areas
  • Transport infrastructure, including roads, buses and cycle routes
  • Community infrastructure, including schools and health centres
  • A plan for long-term stewardship of community assets

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why do we need a Garden Community?

    A new Garden Community could offer the district a long-term growth option. As well as building new homes, including a sizeable proportion of affordable homes, the Garden Community could also develop job opportunities, attractive green space and public realm areas, transport infrastructure, (including roads, buses, and cycle routes), community infrastructure, schools, community and health centres, and a plan for long-term stewardship of community assets.

    Why are you exploring developing on green fields?

    Whether we build a Garden Community or not, we will need to build on green fields as there simply isn’t enough previously used/brownfield sites to deliver the homes that are needed in Hart.

    This is reflected in that many of Hart’s current developments are on green fields at the edge of our existing towns and villages, and several were built after the Council’s objections were overturned by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.

    Please watch the video where Lord Taylor of Goss Moor explains this in more detail.

    Watch the Video

    How do we know if the Garden Community will be viable?

    The viability of the Garden Community will be explored as we work through the project, which is split into two phases. The first phase runs from January 2021 to February 2022. It includes:

    • Technical studies
    • Viability appraisal
    • Public consultation (including a communities’ survey)
    • Creating a communication & engagement strategy
    • Creating a vision and objectives for the project
    • A Phase One Masterplan (Concept)

    If, after evaluation, the project can progress to Phase Two, Phase Two would run from March 2022 to June 2023. In this phase, the prospectus documents are created that cover critical aspects of the Garden Community such as:

    • Vision
    • Masterplan
    • Design coding
    • Infrastructure
    • Future proofing
    • Long-term management structure
    • Health
    • Choice

    How can residents have their say?

    Through the communities’ survey. It is the first of several consultation opportunities available over the project period.

    Take Our Survey

    Does a Garden Community in Hart have to be 5,000 homes?

    As part of this process, we are testing what a community with up to 5,000 homes could look like. Exploring this, we could conclude a smaller community could work just as well or even better.
    Typically, at 4,500-5,000 homes, a local secondary school becomes viable, which is one of the reasons why Hart is exploring an opportunity at around 5,000 homes.

    What is the timetable for deciding on whether the Shapley Heath Community Garden will go forward?

    There are stage gates in the project that determine whether we will continue exploring the possibility of a Garden Community. As you can see on the ‘Our Story’ page, if we proceed to Phase 2 of the project, this is likely to be in March 2022.

    How can we voice objection to a Garden Community?

    We will be consulting through surveys, online feedback, events (including events with schools and young people), focus groups, and workshops. We want to make sure that everyone has the chance to share their concerns, thoughts and ideas.
    In addition, we receive invaluable feedback from our Stakeholder Forum thematic groups which are inclusive and have people representing organisations with reservations about the project and its potential impact on the district. A wide range of organisations are represented on these Stakeholder Forum thematic groups, and we expect them to be representative of our wider community, to give it a voice. We are pleased that the Stakeholder Forum has a wide range of skills, expertise and knowledge, which will be vital to help us fully explore the opportunity.

    Contact Us

    We want to hear from you. Please send us your thoughts and ideas. We also have a dedicated FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. If your question hasn’t been answered there, let us know.

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