Our opinion

With regard to future development in Hart, we consider that a new settlement is the only viable solution that provides sufficient critical mass to deliver a much needed secondary school, and other essential infrastructure. We are disappointed that the inclusion of Hartland Park risks a major development with a strong likelihood of under-delivering essential infrastructure whilst diluting the viability of a larger New Settlement which would be capable of delivering a strategic solution to Hart’s housing need and providing all the essential infrastructure provision that a new community settlement would bring.

The adoption of a robust Local Plan is important and urgent, as without a Plan, housing continues to be determined in an unstructured manner using generic policy washed down from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

We urged 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 recommended 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).

Whilst we encourage redevelopment of brownfield (previously developed) land, we are concerned that redevelopment such as office conversions provide no infrastructure funding, and provide little or no mix of dwellings other than 1 & 2 bedroom flats.

 

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