PLANS for a new railway station car park, along with 60 new homes, have taken a step forward.

Outline proposals to build a new car park for Whitchurch railway station and 60 homes, including 24 affordable dwellings, in land off Evingar Road, Whitchurch, were approved by the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s (BDBC) development committee at a meeting on Wednesday last week.

The design and access statement for the application outlines a combination of flats and houses to be built on the site, with mostly two-storey buildings though some could be three-storey.

Meanwhile, the proposed station car park, currently planned to be located to the north-east of the site, could provide space for 70 cars.

Concerns have been raised about car parking at the railway station since May, after it was announced a temporary car park at the station would close at the start of June to be re-developed in to five homes.

Ward councillor Keith Watts opposed the application over concerns over ‘inadequate’ vehicular access to the site, calling it in to be heard by the committee for a decision.

The concerns were noted by the panel, particularly with heavy-goods vehicles leaving the site up a notable gradient.

Cllr Andrew McCormick, who represents Brighton Hill South, was concerned about the issue, but also added: “I do however welcome the housing provision, and especially the 40 per cent affordable aspect of it. We often hear about how, especially in rural communities, locals are finding it increasingly difficult to buy their own properties, or places to rent, being priced out by people in London effectively.”

Despite the concerns, the committee voted to pass the application.

Whitchurch Town Council raised no objection to the proposal. Speaking at the meeting, councillor Andrew Klemz, from Whitchurch Town Council, said: “It provides much-needed social, affordable housing and land development which we understand to be deliverable.

“The station car park is seen as an important for the community benefit for the town, particularly as the local temporary car park has recently closed.”

An outline application to build 70 homes on the site, along with the car park, was refused in February last year.