Some groups in Hart have criticised Hart District Council Housing for undertaking the current Housing Consultation at a time when these groups felt the new numbers that influence housing needs (Strategic Housing Market Assessment – SHMA) were about to be published. The same groups also criticise Hart DC for delays in preparing the Local Plan and suggest that Central Government may step in to install a Local Plan if Hart DC has not got one in place by 2017.
Rushmoor Borough Council told its residents on Friday that the updated SHMA will be published in June 2016, meaning that Hart Council was entirely correct not to delay the Housing Consultation.
The reality is that Central Government are very unlikely to step in to project manage a Local Plan if Hart DC are progressing at an acceptable pace. Hart DC is aware that it is in Hart’s best interest to implement a local plan at the earliest opportunity, and there is no reason we can see why they would not wish it to progress as quickly as possible. We hope very much that Hart DC are able to progress the Local Plan without hindrance.
Just like the stockmarket, the population projections that feed into the SHMA can go up and down. Certainly, by the time that the Local Plan can be adopted, the numbers will have been updated at least twice more.