Hart District Council has launched its consultation to seek feedback on the Draft Local Plan.
The eventual Local Plan will determine how and where new housing is built to meet the district’s housing needs through to 2032.
Whilst we are all weary of yet another consultation, this one is really important because without a Plan, housing continues to be determined in an unstructured manner using generic policy washed down from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
The consultation runs until 4pm on Friday 9 June 2017.
We are urging residents to respond to the consultation to reinforce the view that a New Settlement is the only viable option that will meet Hart’s housing need to 2032 whilst delivering essential infrastructure such as a much-needed new secondary school.
You will see that Hart Council has had to provide for an extra 1,500 houses because current development is not providing enough ‘affordable’ housing, and there is a considerable shortfall. This is partly due to office conversions not providing any affordable housing units and partly because developers claim that providing the suggested number of affordable dwellings is not financially viable (for example, the application for 1,500 homes at Hartland Park (Pyestock) has now been submitted and provides only half the number of affordable dwellings that a development of that size should). We therefore also recommend that residents respond to the consultation to say that Hartland Park must provide the full 40% affordable dwellings in line with Hart Council’s policy (so as not to add further pressure to uplift the overall numbers).
A public ‘drop-in’ exhibition about the Local Plan is being held this Wednesday (3 May) from 2pm to 8pm at The Harlington. (There are five other exhibitions being held around Hart if you can’t make this one.) We encourage everyone to go to one of these sessions as it will help to understand the 148-page Draft Local Plan we are being asked to comment on.
More details about the background, what has changed since the previous housing options consultation, and our opinion on the Draft Local Plan are available here. We are in the process of digesting the Draft Local Plan contents and we will update some sections of the website in due course.