Proposed Submission Housing and Employment Allocations

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1. Introduction

What is this about?

1.1 This is a consultation on the Proposed Submission version of the Local Plan: Housing and Employment Allocations for East Hampshire District (areas outside the South Downs National Park (SDNP)).

1.2 Proposed Submission means that this is the version of the Local Plan: Housing and Employment Allocations that the Council would like to submit to the Secretary of State for examination. The purpose of the consultation is to obtain views on the “soundness” of the plan.

1.3 Throughout the process of preparing the Local Plan: Housing and Employment Allocations, a significant level of public consultation has been undertaken. In order to inform communities of the ongoing planning situation in East Hampshire District, the Council undertook preliminary community engagement on the housing and employment site options covering the whole area outside the SDNP as part of the draft Plan. A commentary of the events has been produced into Local Interim Planning Statements (LIPS). The LIPS events kicked off the plan process and stimulated significant community interest. Consultation on the draft Plan took place between December 2014 and February 2015, comments received during this time have also helped to develop the Plan.

1.4 This process has ensured that the community, partners and stakeholders have had the opportunity to influence key aspects of the Plan. This has been guided by the adopted Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and a summary of the steps undertaken is set out in the Statement of Consultation which is published alongside the Plan.

1.5 The purpose of this stage of consultation is to provide an opportunity for you to comment on the matters that will be considered by an Inspector who conducts the examination, i.e. whether the plan:

  1. has been prepared in accordance with the Duty to Cooperate, legal and procedural requirements, and
  2. is “sound‟. Soundness means:
    • Positively prepared – the plan should be prepared based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development;
    • Justified – the plan should allocate the most appropriate sites, when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence;
    • Effective – the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities; and
    • Consistent with national policy – the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework (Framework).

(Source: paragraph 182 National Planning Policy Framework, DCLG 2012).

1.6 In preparing the Plan, the Council believes it has complied with all the necessary legal requirements. In terms of the Duty to Cooperate, the Council has worked with neighbouring authorities and has produced a statement of compliance. The statement provides evidence of how the council has co-operated with neighbouring authorities and “bodies‟ on potential cross-boundary issues. The council also believes that the Plan meets the tests of soundness set out above.

What is the Housing and Employment Allocations Plan?

1.7 The East Hampshire District Local Plan: Housing and Employment Allocations will form part of the Statutory Development Plan for East Hampshire District. Its primary purpose is to identify specific sites to meet the individual housing and employment targets set out in policies CP3 and CP10 of the Joint Core Strategy (JCS), and to set out guidance for the development of these sites. It should be noted that Whitehill & Bordon and areas covered be emerging Neighbourhood Plans do not form part of this Plan. Further information is set out in later sections.

1.8 Upon adoption it will form part of the Development Plan which will comprise the following:

  • Saved Policies of the East Hampshire District Local Plan: Second Review (March 2006)
  • East Hampshire District Local Plan: Joint Core Strategy (adopted by East Hampshire District Council (May 2014) and South Downs National Park Authority (June 2014))
  • East Hampshire District Local Plan: Housing and Employment Allocations
  • Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan (October 2013)
  • Adopted Neighbourhood Plans

1.9 Housing and employment site allocations are currently the main priority in the planning system and that is why this Plan focuses on these issues. In the future another part of the Local Plan that updates the Saved Policies of the East Hampshire District Local Plan: Second Review will be created and form part of the Statutory Development Plan. This will consider further revisions to Settlement Policy Boundaries, Gaps between settlements, Special Character Areas and other Development Management Policies.

1.10 For the remainder of this document this version of the East Hampshire District Local Plan: Housing and Employment Allocations will be called the Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan.

1.11 It must be noted that the Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan only covers the area of East Hampshire outside the South Downs National Park (SDNP) as shown in Map 1. Within the SDNP the Park Authority is the Local Planning Authority and will be producing a separate Local Plan for the whole of the South Downs National Park. For all information about planning in the National Park please see their website www.southdowns.gov.uk/planning.

1.12 East Hampshire District Council is however, to have regard to the statutory purposes of the National Park under Section 62 of the Environment Act 1995.

Map 1

How is this linked to Neighbourhood Planning

1.13 Neighbourhood planning is a new element of the planning system introduced in 2012 through the Localism Act. A fundamental principle of neighbourhood planning is that it is community-led, with the community establishing local planning policies for development and use of land within its neighbourhood. Neighbourhood Plans enable local people to play a leading role in responding to the needs and priorities of the local community.

1.14 In East Hampshire District, the appropriate bodies for producing Neighbourhood Plans are the Town and Parish Councils. A Neighbourhood Plan must generally conform to the East Hampshire District Local Plan and can promote more but not less development than the Local Plan. Once a Neighbourhood Plan is adopted it will become part of the Development Plan for the district and will be used to assess and determine planning applications within the Neighbourhood Plan’s designated area.

1.15 In East Hampshire; Alton, Bentley, and Medstead and Four Marks are the three areas currently designated as Neighbourhood Plan areas. Where a community is developing a Neighbourhood Plan that includes housing and employment allocations and has progressed to consultation stage, the District Council is not proposing to allocate sites.

1.16 However, if these Neighbourhood Plans do not become adopted the Council will assess the need for it to identify sites through a subsequent Development Plan Document (DPD).

1.17 If further Neighbourhood Plans are prepared in the future and include site allocations for housing and/or employment and/or alterations to the Settlement Policy Boundaries, these neighbourhood plans will supersede this Plan for their respective designated areas.

What should I look at?

1.18 This document includes detailed site allocations and policies to guide and manage development, deliver infrastructure and create sustainable communities. These also set out how the plan will be implemented and monitored.

1.19 A Policies Map accompanies the Plan which sets out on an Ordnance Survey map base, where development is proposed and changes to existing Settlement Policy Boundaries.

1.20 Alongside the Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan there is a Sustainability Appraisal report which explains the alternatives that were considered for the sites, and the reasons for the choices made. There is also a Habitats Regulations Assessment, which looks at the impacts of the Plan on sites of European nature conservation importance.

1.21 The Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan also reflects the comprehensive evidence base which has been prepared and updated to justify the Plan. This covers issues such as housing land, employment land, flooding, transport, infrastructure and viability and has been compiled primarily either by the council or on behalf of the council by specialist consultants, in conjunction with our partners and statutory bodies.

1.22 You can see the Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan and all related documents on our web site at: www.easthants.gov.uk/draftsiteallocations

How can I get involved?

1.23 You can contact us directly as an individual, through being part of a group such as a residents association or other community or special interest group, or through your parish council.

1.24 This can be done by:

  1. using the on-line version of this document and linked response form OR
  2. by picking up, filling in and returning one of the response forms, available from the Council’s website, the Council offices and deposit locations.

Please return:

By e-mail at localplan@easthants.gov.uk

OR

By post:
Planning Policy Team
East Hampshire District Council
Penns Place
Petersfield
Hampshire
GU31 4EX

Alternative formats of this document, summaries or extracts can be made available in other languages, large print, in Braille or on audio cassette. Please contact the Planning Policy Team.

THE CONSULTATION PERIOD WILL COMMENCE ON 10 APRIL 2015 AND ALL COMMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5PM 22 MAY 2015.

What happens next?

1.25 Figure 1 sets out the stages to the Plan. This current consultation is highlighted. Following consultation the Council cannot make major changes to the Plan if it intends to submit it for examination. We will therefore endeavour to resolve objections through minor changes if necessary, but will then submit the Plan, the schedule of changes and any outstanding representations to the Secretary of State (SoS). The SoS appoints an independent Inspector to conduct an examination into the soundness of the plan and the Inspector determines what will be discussed at the examination, and who should attend.

Figure 1: Illustrates the formal stages the plan is taken through to adoption in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (England) Regulations 2012.

Figure 1

The East Hampshire Context

1.26 The JCS sets out the Council's overall approach towards the local application of sustainable development through its objectives and core policies. The JCS was jointly prepared by East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) and the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA). The National Park covers 57% of the district and splits the area managed by East Hampshire District Council into two halves, one south of the National Park known as the southern parishes and an area to the north of the National Park. The splitting of the district into two separate Local Planning Authorities creates some added complexity for place shaping for example the main settlements of Petersfield and Liss are both part of East Hampshire as a place but in planning terms are dealt with independently by the SDNPA.

1.27 The JCS is the overarching planning policy document for the district. It sets out the strategy for the future development of the district over the period to 2028 and was prepared and examined as complying with the requirements of the Framework. The JCS identifies the overall spatial vision and economic, social and environmental objectives for the district and the amount, type and broad location of development needed to fulfil those objectives. The Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan identifies and allocates specific sites suitable for development in order to meet the JCS's requirements for housing and employment and in so doing makes a major contribution to delivering the objectives within the JCS. The Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan covers the same plan period as the JCS for the 43% of the district outside the South Downs National Park.

1.28 The Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan sets out what type and level of development will be promoted throughout East Hampshire District Council’s planning area. The Plan will provide more certainty for local communities, landowners, developers and infrastructure providers about the future pattern of development. Specific development proposals for the sites identified in the Plan will, however, need to gain planning permission before development can take place.

1.29 Within the area to the north of the National Park is Whitehill & Bordon, the second largest town in the district and currently a base for the military who are in the process of relocating. It is identified in the JCS as a strategic allocation for 2,725 dwellings over the Plan period to 2028. The strategic allocation does not form part of this Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan and is proceeding on the basis of policy guidance provided in the JCS and through a masterplan and a series of planning applications.

1.30 Other significant settlements to the north of the National Park identified in the JCS include Alton, Liphook, Four Marks/South Medstead and Grayshott, each providing a range of facilities for their local populations.

1.31 The area to the south of the National Park has three significant settlements, Horndean, Clanfield and Rowlands Castle.

1.32 The Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan directly takes forward Policy CP3: New Employment Provision and Policy CP10: Spatial Strategy for Housing in the Local Plan: Joint Core Strategy (JCS). Policy CP10 of the JCS sets an overall target of 10,060 new homes to be built over the plan period (up to 2028). The majority of that target is accounted for in completions, existing planning permissions, existing undeveloped allocations from previous plans, the strategic allocation at Whitehill & Bordon, and from estimates of development on small sites (windfalls). The Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan is focused on identifying specific greenfield sites to meet the residual housing requirement and takes into consideration sites that have been granted planning permission since the adoption of the JCS.

1.33 Policy CP10 of the JCS requires allocations to be made to meet the following levels of housing in East Hampshire District (outside the National Park):

  • a minimum of 700 dwellings at Alton
  • a minimum of 700 dwellings at Horndean;
  • a minimum of 200 dwellings at Clanfield;
  • a minimum of 175 dwellings at both Liphook and Four Marks/South Medstead;
  • a minimum of 150 dwellings at Rowlands Castle;
  • a minimum of 150 dwellings at other villages north of the National Park.

1.34 The use of ‘minimum’ targets does not mean that there is no ceiling to the housing targets. The Inspector’s report into the JCS was clear that, whilst the 10,060 new homes target for the whole of the district over the plan period was the minimum needed to meet the objectively assessed need, the figure of 10,370 would meet all the need. Therefore a relatively small degree of flexibility is needed around the housing targets and is provided for within this Plan.

1.35 The housing land supply for the district as a whole is made up of a minimum of 8,366 dwellings outside the SDNP and a minimum of 1,694 dwellings within the SDNP making a total of 10,060. Chapter 10 sets out more information about the implementation and monitoring

1.36 The table below shows the number of dwellings being provided (outside the SDNP) in relation to the targets established in the JCS. The provision consists of planning permissions granted outside of the Settlement Policy Boundaries since 1st April 2013, allocated sites within this document, as well as sites allocated through emerging Neighbourhood Plans. Details on the complete housing land supply position (1st October 2014) can be found within Appendix 2.

Table 1: Residual Requirements

Settlement Target Allocations / Commitments Difference %
Alton
700
876
176
25.1%
Horndean
700
740
40
5.7%
Clanfield
200
236
36
18.0%
Rowlands Castle
150
157
7
4.7%
Four Marks/South Medstead
175
241
66
37.7%
Liphook
175
175
0
0.0%
Bentley
150
47
21
14.0%
Villages
124
Total
2250
2596
346
15.38%

1.37 Employment provision and distribution in the district is set out in Policy CP3 of the JCS which requires the provision of land for employment use in East Hampshire district (outside the National Park) for:

  • about 7ha of employment land in Alton;
  • about 2ha of land in Horndean for industrial (B2) and business use (B1).

1.38 The Proposed Submission Site Allocations Plan contains specific site policies to meet these requirements.

1.39 It should be noted that some of the site allocations have already been granted planning permission. Further detail is set out in appendix 1.

1.40 Relevant national policies, JCS policies and the saved policies of the Local Plan Second Review (2006) will apply where relevant to all of the proposals set out in this Plan.

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