Core Strategy Preferred Policies

[estimated] Ended on the 1 February 2010
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3. Spatial vision and objectives

Spatial vision

3.1 The spatial vision is a brief description of how an area, in this case East Hampshire, will change. The Core Strategy must contain a spatial vision of what the district should be like by 2026 if it succeeds in addressing all the challenges it sets out. The East Hampshire Community Partnership (EHCP), which joins up all the targets, aspirations and ideas of a number of bodies, has agreed a joint vision for both the new Sustainable Community Strategy and the Core Strategy:

By 2026, East Hampshire will be a better place where people live in safe, attractive and prosperous towns and villages. They will have good access to a range of housing, jobs, leisure and community facilities, and enjoy a high quality built, historic and natural environment. They will live and work in a way that respects resources and protects and enhances the district’s natural environment.

3.2 The research undertaken for the Sustainable Community Strategy and the Core Strategy helped to identify a list of the things that matter most to the quality of life of people in East Hampshire. Using this list and taking into account all the issues and challenges set out earlier, the Council has been able to produce a spatial vision which elaborates on the EHCP’s vision and is supported by the Council Strategy.

Detailed spatial vision for the district

3.3 By 2026, East Hampshire will provide an environment in which people with a direct interest in its future – residents, businesses, workers and visitors - can prosper. Future development will maximise the potential of all of the district’s towns and villages but will also respect and enhance the characteristics that make them unique. Economic development will continue to be linked to the quality of the district’s environment so development in any given place will maintain the character of the built-up area and the beauty of the countryside.

Settlement hierarchy

3.4 Town and village centres will have different roles depending on size, but they will all retain an important part in the life of their communities. These centres, many of which are steeped in history, will be protected and enhanced.

3.5 The Ministry of Defence (MOD) will no longer have most of its training activities at the garrison in Bordon. The eco-town status for Whitehill/Bordon will bring the longstanding Green Town Vision to fruition meeting the needs of residents, businesses and visitors. Whitehill/Bordon will be a modern, sustainable community with more homes, jobs, education and leisure opportunities but without compromising the local environment.

3.6 Whitehill/Bordon will have a bold town centre with a major retailer at its heart and other large units to attract more quality retailers. The town will also have a more sustainable community with a wide range of facilities that people want to improve their quality of life.

3.7 The housing needs of everyone will be met thanks to a wide mix of properties including a broad range of larger, detached homes and an appropriate proportion of affordable housing.

3.8 The aim is to curb commuting away from the town so that means new and improved school, sixth form and higher education facilities and investment in high quality sustainable employment. This will enable local businesses to find the skills they need locally.

3.9 Investment in public transport and improved cycle/pedestrian links will improve access to services and facilities within the town and to the wider area, including to local railway stations and regional centres.

3.10 The emphasis will be on creating a town with a distinct and attractive character through high-quality, environmentally friendly and energy efficient building design.

3.11 Protecting and incorporating green space will also be central to the overall concept. There will be large areas of existing and new open space for informal recreation, both within and on the edge of town, to minimise the impact of development on sites of ecological importance including the integrity of the European designated sites nearby.

3.12 The market towns of Alton and Petersfield will retain their current roles as main centres for facilities and services. They will continue to offer the widest range of shopping and main destination for social, leisure, entertainment, cultural, commercial and economic activity, serving wide catchment areas. Small, independent traders will continue to thrive, contributing to a strong sense of place. More high quality housing and business premises will meet local needs and those of people wishing to live and work here in the future.

3.13 The role of the large local service centres of Horndean and Liphook will be maintained to ensure they continue to serve a wider, rural hinterland with vibrant centres and a range of local services. They will complement the market towns by providing for main convenience food shopping and a reasonable range of other shops and other services.

3.14 The small local service centres of Clanfield, Four Marks/South Medstead, Grayshott, Liss and Rowlands Castle will be attractive places to live, work and visit, benefiting from the high quality of their natural and built environments. These centres will have different roles depending on their size, but they will all play an important part in the life of their communities. They will be maintained to ensure they provide basic food and grocery shopping, supported by a limited choice and range of other shops plus a range of non-retail services and community uses. Modest development to meet local needs for housing, employment, community services and infrastructure will secure their continuing vitality and ensure thriving communities.

3.15 The towns and larger villages mentioned above will be the main focus for new development. This development will help to encourage young people to stay in the district through measures including the provision of affordable housing and more flexible commercial premises to encourage business start-ups and business growth.

3.16 They will also be at the heart of a thriving, well-connected network of smaller villages and hamlets in the countryside. A strong rural economy will be more closely related to appropriate uses, such as recreation and tourism, which protect the character of the landscape and provide opportunities for its enhancement.

3.17 The relationships with the adjoining areas, including the major conurbations in South Hampshire and the Blackwater Valley, will be managed to provide opportunities for fulfilling lives while respecting the different attributes of the different areas.

Housing

3.18 A range of housing types, tenures and sizes, both open market and affordable, will be available for local people. Opportunities for local people to find affordable living accommodation will be maximised, although it has to be recognised that this is also an area where people from outside the district want to live and work. The emphasis, however, will be helping to reduce the migration of young people and families away from the district.

3.19 The provision of sheltered housing, 'extra care' housing and nursing homes will reflect the increasing number of elderly residents in the district. Existing homes will be adapted to older people’s needs enabling them to be able to retain their independence for longer.

Economy

3.20 The district’s economy will provide for the employment needs of both residents and businesses of East Hampshire. A generally wider geographical spread of employment sites and a wider base of employment types will increase the availability and choice of modern business premises, allowing new smaller businesses to set up providing opportunities for better paid jobs for local residents. There will also be improved infrastructure and local services for businesses and their employees. This should strengthen the economies of more communities, meaning more opportunities for local businesses to thrive with better employment prospects for local people. As a result fewer residents will need to work outside the district. This will be achieved in ways that complement the special qualities and attractions of the area, including the national park, and without putting unacceptable pressures on the local housing market.

3.21 Economic development will build on the strengths of the main employment centres (Alton – manufacturing, Petersfield – offices/business use) with the two main industrial areas based around Mill Road, Alton and Bedford Road, Petersfield, allowed to thrive. The small enterprise centres in these towns will meet local needs.

3.22 There will be new educational opportunities to meet the challenges faced in skills deprivation, leading to an increase in the number of qualified people. Young people interested in entering local trades or other vocational jobs will have easy access to training and apprenticeships while further learning will be offered throughout the district. Young people, women, the disadvantaged and those returning to work will be found training and employment while more part-time work will be identified for the elderly.

3.23 The main towns and villages will remain the focus for tourism facilities. In the countryside any tourism development will be small scale and done sensitively.

Built and natural environment

3.24 New development will be high quality and innovative in design and also must complement and enhance the historic environment, which will be protected to retain the distinctiveness of the towns and villages. The design and layout of new development will have a positive impact upon the character of the area and not detract from neighbouring buildings, open spaces and landscape of the locality. Unique features that contribute to the overall character of the area will be protected. New development will therefore create a distinctive identity or a sense of place while respecting or enhancing local character. This will help to create attractive places that are valued by local people.

3.25 The gaps which separate towns and villages and contribute to their character and identity will be protected.

3.26 The South Downs National Park will be protected from cumulative and small scale changes which can encroach into the countryside. Development will continue to be restricted to that required to meet local needs. Major development will only be considered if it is in the national interest and if there is no alternative. Any changes elsewhere will respect the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the park.

3.27 The landscape character assessment will be used to protect the important characteristics for each landscape type in the district. Development will not harm the landscape, conserving the unspoilt and locally distinctive character of the countryside.

3.28 New development will protect and where possible enhance biodiversity by considering the impact of any change on both the designated sites and the many other sites which are of local value for wildlife. For example, the hedgerows, road verges, river valleys and farmland which act as wildlife corridors. These habitats, as well as gardens and open spaces in built-up areas, are recognised as essential parts of the overall wildlife diversity of the district.

3.29 Wildlife sites will be extended and linked to create large, functional areas or networks. This will allow wildlife to flourish and adapt to the threat of climate change. Developers will be expected to incorporate appropriate landscaping and also enhance links between existing habitats, including the enhancement of wildlife corridors and the restoration of key lost habitats such as heathland and water meadows.

3.30 New areas for informal recreation will be provided as alternatives to the heathland which is part of the internationally designated, Special Protection Area (SPA) in the north eastern area of the district. The rare species of bird on this particularly important heathland will be protected from the recreational pressure from residents of the new housing in the Whitehill/Bordon, Liphook, Liss, Headley and Grayshott areas.

3.31 The likely effects of climate change will be assessed and widely understood. The area will be playing its full part in minimising damage to the planet. Measures to protect against climate change will be in place.

3.32 New technologies will help to reduce carbon emissions from new and existing development. These will include solar, wind, biomass (for example, biofuel), water power and combined heat and power. This development will be carefully integrated into a very sensitive landscape and will be of an appropriate scale. New buildings will perform well in energy and water efficiency and other sustainable factors, such as materials, recycling facilities, cycle spaces, home offices, waste and ecology. New housing and commercial developments will be ‘carbon neutral’. More energy efficient homes will help to minimise fuel poverty.

3.33 Development will avoid areas of flood risk and will not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere. The quality and quantity of water in rivers and other water courses will be protected. More efficient use will be made of water resources which will be provided where necessary to serve new development.

Transport and accessibility

3.34 Access to facilities in the more rural areas of East Hampshire will be improved for those without access to a car, particularly in evenings and at weekends, through better community transport, more flexible taxi-bus services and other services that respond to demand. Non-transport improvements will include increased provision of services directly to residents, for example more local outpatient/testing clinics.

3.35 Transport opportunities will realistically reflect the dispersed nature of the area’s towns and villages and the travel needs of rural residents. Transport networks will join up to encourage maximum use. Overall, congestion and pollution will be reduced.

3.36 New development will be integrated with the public transport network to provide more sustainable transport choices. Alternatives to the car such as walking and cycling will be provided wherever possible. Development which is likely to result in a lot of new journeys will be located near existing centres. This will reduce the need to travel and increase the scope for shared and multi-purpose trips. New development ‘travel plans’ will encourage the use of public transport services and provide facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

3.37 The level of parking provided with new housing will vary to reflect expected car ownership, accessibility to facilities and availability of public transport. This will avoid on-street parking problems.

3.38 People will have access to the facilities and services, such as schools, doctor and dental surgeries, hospital clinics, churches, local shops and nurseries, they need both now and as they grow older. Children will have the best possible start in life. Healthy balanced communities will encourage people to be involved in what is going on.

3.39 Different people, irrespective of age, disability or where they live, will be able to take part in regular leisure activities by having access to open space, sport, recreation and cultural activities. Links between villages and towns into the countryside will also be strengthened.

Healthy living

3.40 Low levels of crime and antisocial behaviour will make East Hampshire a very safe place and most people will feel safe going out after dark, even younger and older people.

3.41 More choices will therefore enable people to change their lifestyle, improve their health and generally improve their personal well-being. People will be able to expect a long and healthy life. There will be no significant variation in the health of residents across the district.

Core Strategy objectives

3.42 More detailed Core Strategy objectives have been developed to underpin the strategy that will enable East Hampshire to realise its spatial vision. They take into account the above vision, key issues in the district, national and regional planning guidance, the Sustainable Community Strategy, the Council Strategy and responses to the Issues and Options consultation.

Environment

CSOE refers to Core Strategy Objective Environment

CSOE1 To make best use of land in settlements to minimise the impact of development upon the countryside;

CSOE2 To conserve and enhance landscape quality, distinctiveness and character, in particular within the AONB;

CSOE3 To conserve and enhance designated sites and wider biodiversity;

CSOE4 To conserve and improve the district’s attractive built and historic environment, including heritage sites, conservation areas, listed buildings and important open areas;

CSOE5 To maintain and enhance water quality, water supply and groundwater;minimise the impact of development upon water resources, both in terms of supply and flood risk management;

CSOE6 To increase energy efficiency in new and existing developments and to maximise the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources;

CSOE7 To prevent development resulting in unacceptable levels of air, noise, land or other pollution and to ensure that new development is adequately protected against such pollution; 

CSOE8 To minimise waste;CSOE9 To address the causes of climate change and ensure that the District is able to adapt to it.

Housing

CSOH refers to Core Strategy Objective Housing

CSOH1 To meet our strategic housing requirements, 5,200 homes should be built in the District in the period 2006-2026 (4,000 in Central Hampshire and 1,200 in South Hampshire). In addition 5,500 should be built at Whitehill/Bordon subject to further studies.

CSOH2 To make the most efficient use of land and the existing housing stock

CSOH3 To seek to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live in a decent, sustainably constructed and affordable home, which is capable of being adapted to changing personal needs

CSOH4 To meet affordable housing needs as far as practicable

CSOH5 To promote safe, sustainable communities by ensuring an appropriate housing mix, taking account of the needs of identified groups in various settlements, and utilising good quality urban design

Employment

CSOEM refers to Core Strategy Objective Employment

CSOEM1 To maintain a buoyant local economy, whilst respecting the environment and the quality of life in East Hampshire.

CSOEM2 To help provide jobs in East Hampshire for its residents.

CSOEM3 To ensure that communities are happy with their town and village centres

CSOEM4 To maximise the value of tourism while minimising environmental impacts.

Transport

CSOT refers to Core Strategy Objective Transport

CSOT1 To reduce the need to travel through careful planning of development and the location of services;

CSOT2 To improve accessibility to all services, particularly for those who may need them most, but are least able to access them;

CSOT3 To increase the use of public transport, cycling and walking where travel remains necessary;

CSOT4 To seek to reduce car use while recognising that the car will remain part of the mix of transport modes, particularly for those in the rural areas.

Healthy Living

CSOHL refers to Core Strategy Objective Healthy Living

CSOHL1 To provide the opportunities for a high quality of life for everyone

CSOHL2 To enhance the well-being of people and reduce inequalities in health

CSOHL3 To improve access to all facilities and services particularly in rural areas

CSOHL4 To reduce the opportunities for crime and the fear of crime

CSOHL5 To provide and retain a range of high quality recreation facilities and open spaces

CSOHL6 To improve people’s access to formal and informal recreation facilities and open space

Whitehill/Bordon

CSOWB refers to Core Strategy Objective Whitehill Bordon

CSOWB1 To provide a strong, dynamic town centre with new improved community facilities

CSOWB2 To encourage provision of a wide mix of quality housing to rebalance the socio-economic profile of the town

CSOWB3 To improve the image and competitiveness of the town

CSOWB4 To provide new higher education facilities and improve the standards and facilities of schools throughout the community

CSOWB5 To improve access to services and facilities within the wider area and invest in public transport and improved cycle/pedestrian links

CSOWB6 To increase local jobs, reducing the need to travel outside the town to work

CSOWB7 To encourage investment by those businesses and industries which share the vision of a sustainable, environmentally-friendly community

CSOWB8 To create an attractive built environment with a distinct character

CSOWB9 To protect the landscape setting of the town including extensive areas of land with environmental designations of international, national and local importance

CSOWB10 To avoid effects on the integrity of the European designated sites nearby and enhance biodiversity.

CSOWB11 To encourage innovative, environmentally friendly design and building methods

CSOWB12 To ensure development takes place within the environmental capacity of the town.

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