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Public has its first say on £300m Leisure Park revamp project

More than 1,500 people have voiced their opinions on what they would like to see as part of the redevelopment of the Basingstoke Leisure Park.

NewRiver REIT Plc, which was awarded the contract to deliver the £300 million redevelopment, held three consultation events last weekend to gauge public opinion on proposals.

The idea of these events was to allow people in Basingstoke and Deane to have a say on what features could go into the final draft for the plan. At the consultation events, there was a rough timeline of when NewRiver aims to have things moving as well as what it hopes to deliver.

A banner featuring images of the aquadrome, ice rink, adventure park and more was set out and people were asked to vote on what aspects they would want to see on the park.

Director of commercial development at NewRiver, Jamie Whitfield, said: “We have met thousands of people across this week, who have all come to the table with different ideas. It is wonderful to see how passionate people are about this project and see this as a fantastic opportunity.

“We have now seen the importance of the ice rink to this town, but I want to assure people there will be something for everyone as part of the redevelopment.”

NewRiver said it is looking to introduce elements to the Leisure Park that have not been seen in the UK and is looking to utilise the latest in virtual reality technology and extreme sports in the final product.

Karen Campbell, from Tidworth, attended Sunday’s event, and said: “For me a big part is making sure that we have a modernised ice rink. I have two young children who use the rink, because it is an Olympic-sized rink. If we didn’t have the one in Basingstoke we would have to travel a long way.”

Sally Cashman, chair of the Rink Users Forum said: “I was impressed with how many people came out and said they wanted an ice rink, and how NewRiver took all the feedback on board. “It is impressive what NewRiver want to set out, but it is still a long way away. It is a very positive step forward, but it’s a small step.”

At the consultation, the draft timeline states that NewRiver, which is working in partnership with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on the refurbishment project, aims to have the redevelopment complete by 2026. The developers said that it will continue to engage with the public at every stage of the proposal, with a first draft plan expected to be complete by winter 2019.

If residents were unable to attend any of the consultation events and still wish to have their views put forward they can go to futurebasingstokeleisurepark.info and submit their feedback online.

Dates for more consultation events are expected in December.

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