Local Plan Watch: Hart adopts local plan after boosting housing target

A Hampshire council has adopted its local plan after making a series of changes recommended by a planning inspector, including a nine per cent increase to its housing target and dropping a policy supporting a 5,000-home new settlement.

Fleet, Hampshire (pic: Robin Webster via Geograph)
Fleet, Hampshire (pic: Robin Webster via Geograph)

Hart District Council will now seek to deliver 423 homes a year, equating to a total of 7,614 dwellings over the plan period from 2014 to 2032.

The local authority's draft plan, submitted for examination in June 2018, proposed a housing requirement of 388 homes a year, based on the government's standard method for assessing housing need plus a 25 per cent uplift.

However, inspector Jonathan Manning said there was no justification for such an approach and said the requirement should instead be based on a 2016 Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), conducted with Rushmoor Borough Council, plus unmet need from neighbouring Surrey Heath Borough Council.

The plan period was amended to start in 2014, rather than 2016 as originally proposed, to correspond with base date of the SHMA.

Further changes to the adopted plan include the removal of a policy supporting the development of a 5,000-home new settlement at Murrell Green/Winchfield. Manning had advised the policy required a "significant level of further supporting work" and was not required for the plan to be found sound.

Hart planning officers advised councillors that the plan could either be adopted in line with the inspector's recommended modifications or not adopted at all.

"To not adopt the plan would leave the council without an up to date local plan, and vulnerable to planning by appeal," they said. "There is also the risk that the government may seek to intervene in the plan making process."

The plan was adopted on 30 April.



Devon: Teignbridge District Council is seeking views on its local plan until 15 June after extending the consultation period from six to 12 weeks.

East Sussex: Brighton and Hove City Council has postponed consultation on a submission draft of its City Plan Part Two until after coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.


Hertfordshire: Planning inspectors have told St Albans City and District Council that its local plan should be withdrawn from examination over its failure to meet the duty to cooperate.


Merseyside: Wirral District Council has said it intends to proceed towards submission of its local plan after a consultation that closed on 23 March.

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