The Hart Local Plan Proposed Submission Version (Regulation 19) closed for consultation in late March 2018. Next steps are reported to be as follows:
The draft Local Plan consulted upon included a new settlement in the Winchfield/Murrell Green area, and obtained cross-party council support in January 2018 with 27 councillors in favour and only 5 against.
This decision is benefitting Fleet residents as it has already halted further urban extensions around Fleet including that of 700 dwellings proposed at Elvetham Chase (Pale Lane, west of Fleet). The refusal quotes that the proposal, “would compromise the effective operation of the plan-led system in Hart District Council’s area and undermine the spatial vision for the area and wider policy objectives contained within the emerging Local Plan Strategy and Sites document.” We consider that this means that the Elvetham Chase proposal would restrict options to provide a new settlement in the area of Winchfield and Murrell Green.
The Society supports the inclusion of a new settlement in the Local Plan as a means of providing appropriate levels of affordable housing, a site for new secondary school, and allowing infrastructure-led planning for the numbers of houses Hart is projected to need. These are not provided by bolt-on urban extensions which provide little improvements to roads, school places, medical provision and rail station parking, to name but a few of many components that new houses need.