Local Plan will reflect Government drive for more homes

East Hampshire District Council is preparing to consult on a plan that will seek to create vibrant communities with the right blend of jobs, infrastructure and environmental protection.

The council’s new Local Plan will map out the future development of the area outside of the South Downs National Park.

The plan will set out what development can go where and find sites for the minimum number of homes the Government expects East Hampshire to provide.

Cllr Angela Glass, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “The Local Plan must not only meet the Government’s priority for homes and growth but also enhance the area’s character, environment and heritage.

“Our job, with the help of the people who will take part in our consultation, is to make sure the homes are allocated in the best possible locations to create strong communities with all the supporting infrastructure and amenity modern living demands.

“With an up-to-date Local Plan we can better protect our communities from piece-meal development and ensure they grow in a sustainable, controlled way.

“We must also provide open spaces and cultural facilities and protect the district’s landscapes, wildlife and historic assets.

“This is a difficult balancing act and will require some compromises to be made.

“If you are interested in the future of your area then look out for our consultation in February and make sure you get involved.”

An accepted method has been used to calculate the minimum number of homes the district must provide, and an agreement has been made with the South Downs National Park on how many are to be provided within the park.

The plan will cover parts of the A31 corridor around Alton, the areas around Whitehill & Bordon and the southern parishes.

The minimum number of homes required in the entire East Hampshire district from 2017 to 2036 is 11,556, or around 608 homes a year.

Of these, the South Downs National Park will provide around 1,100, while about 6,500 have either been built since the plan began in 2017 or have already been granted planning permission. It is expected that small-scale developments, delivered during the life of the plan, will provide another 1,000 homes.

As a result, this leaves a minimum of about 3,500 more homes to be allocated in the parts of the district covered by the Local Plan up until 2036.

These homes should be of the right types and varieties to meet shortages in the area, such as smaller homes, homes for older people and sites for gypsies and travellers.

New laws say councils are legally obliged to review their Local Plan every five years. The current Local Plan, drawn up in co-operation with the South Downs National Park was adopted in 2014. Since that time some national policies have changed and the new plan must change to meet them.

The Local Plan will be scrutinised by councillors for the first time at EHDC’s Development Policy and Affordable Housing Panel on Monday 17 December before it goes to Cabinet and Full Council in the New Year.

Public consultation on the Local Plan is set to run from 5 February – 19 March. Event dates will be on our webpage: www.easthants.gov.uk/localplan