Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Village Hotel agree terms to deal to build new 153-room hotel in Basing View

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A CONTROVERSIAL deal to bring a multi-million-pound business class hotel to Basingstoke has been signed off by all the parties involved.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) and Village Hotels has exchanged legal paperwork to allow the American hotel chain to build a 153-room, business class hotel in Basing View, despite a judicial review on the matter still to be heard.

The move has attracted controversy but cabinet member for property and development, Councillor John Izzet, said the deal is a step in the right direction in terms of the regeneration of Basing View


Celebrations of Jane Austen providing tourism boost to Basingstoke

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IT HAS been dubbed the ‘Jane Effect’.

Throughout the summer, Basingstoke and Deane has been basking in the celebration of the life of Jane Austen, and now the town is really starting to see the impact the author has had.

Since the unveiling of the first ever, of its kind, Jane Austen sculpture, there has been a buzz around the Top of The Town, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

With the connecting exhibition at the Willis Museum about the author’s links to the town, the number of visitors to the town’s cultural heart has more than doubled.

Disabled veteran attacked in Eastrop Park

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A WAR veteran said he was left “humiliated” after being physically and verbally assaulted in Eastrop Park, pictured.

Mark Robertson, 50, was walking through the park when he was approached by a woman who instantly became aggressive towards him.

“She just came up to me and started screaming at me, calling me gay and a paedophile,” he told The Gazette.

“I had never seen this woman in my life and I didn’t know what was going on.”

Traders in the Top of The Town say they are being blighted by ‘intimidating’ behaviour

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URINATING, vomiting, drunkenness and even sexual intercourse are just some of the sights business owners at The Top of The Town are claiming to be facing on a daily basis.

As reported in last week’s GazetteBasingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) has taken a leading role in helping the rising number of rough sleepers and homeless people in the town.

However, the Top of The Town Association believes that while BDBC is doing good work to support those who want help, more needs to be done about the “hangers on”.

Charity night toast to stab victim Dean Evans

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A YEAR on from his stabbing, friends, family and loved ones have shared their memories of the “larger than life” Dean Evans.

In celebration of his life, friends gathered for a charity night to remember his spirit on the anniversary of his death.

The 31-year-old, from Kempshott, died after being stabbed on April 8, 2016.

A 20-year-old man was sentenced to 11 years for manslaughter in October.

The event, organised by his sister Sam Evans and friends Keith Longman and Eleanor Frances, was set up to raise funds for Sebastian’s Action Trust as well as creating a party atmosphere to commemorate Dean.

Brave Steve North thanks community for months of help after plunging off Worting Road bridge

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Steve North

BRAVE Steve North, who was thrown off a bridge when a car ploughed into him, has a message for the community who have rallied round to help: thank you.

With thousands of pounds raised for his rehabilitation and a huge outpouring of support, Mr North, 38, has given his first interview in which he expresses immense gratitude for the public’s response.

Mr North plunged from the Worting Road bridge on his birthday in September 2016, falling onto a small grass verge next to the busy A340 below, where the actions of a driver saved his life. Steve has been on the long road to recovery since and told The Gazette his long-term goal is to walk once again.

Community rallies to help save Fort Hill Community School from potential closure

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Fort hill

A COMMUNITY has rallied round in a bid to save a Basingstoke secondary school which is under threat of closure.

The governing body which runs Fort Hill Community School, in Winklebury, has requested an amalgamation with Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College (CBEC) due to the lack of numbers on the roll for the next academic year.

The news has been met with anger and frustration from parents whose children attend Fort Hill, stating it would leave the community without a local secondary school.

A petition has been set up to save the school arguing that “Winklebury deserves an excellent, local school”.

Plans for an ambitious retail park on land off The Harrow Way have been submitted to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

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AMBITIOUS plans to build a new retail park on a site which has been empty for more than 20 years have been submitted to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Area Estates, a joint venture between property developers Fintry Estates and Pears Property, is proposing to build the town’s first Aldi supermarket as part of a new retail outlet on land off The Harrow Way.

If given the green light, it is believed the new site could generate more than 300 new jobs.

As previously reported in The Gazette, the development team has run two public consultations to show residents and local businesses what the proposed site may look like.