Havant Draft Housing Statement – December 2016 update
Thank you to those of you who replied to our survey about Havant Council’s draft Housing Statement. Based on your feedback we wrote to Havant about the numerous issues you raised. Havant had 825 responses to the Statement consultation – more than the last local Plan consultation. They have produced a revised statement which still proposes largely the same sites and numbers with some small changes affecting Emsworth: you can see the revised document and cabinet papers here
The HBC Cabinet considered this at its meeting on 16th November and it is now going to Full council on 7th December at 5pm – a meeting that the public can attend. Havant Council are now planning to hold a public consultation on the large strategic site via a process called a ‘Charrette’ with the help of external consultants in about March time.
Those of you who attended our AGM will recall that we discussed the idea of extending the Neighbourhood Forum area to include the strategic site. We were told at a meeting with HBC officers recently that Councillors were not supportive of this idea and it was unlikely to be approved by the Planning Authority. There is therefore no point pursuing it and whilst it could perhaps have given Warblington and Denville residents (as well as Emsworth residents) another channel of influence and some reassurance over a major development for the area, it does at least make the Forum’s task simpler and less onerous. The Forum Committee will now therefore resume its work on the draft Plan as it stands.
2000 Homes proposed for the greater Emsworth area
HBC’s proposed plan will have a huge impact on the character, shape and population of Emsworth: it adds a minimum of 2000 homes to the outskirts of Emsworth – nearly a 50% increase – and this is a ‘minima’ – so the numbers could be higher. In particular, the proposed Plan includes a new 1600 home development in the gap between Denvilles and Emsworth on Southleigh Farm (see in pink on the map below)
There are reasons for and against this proposal:
1. It is government policy to build many more new homes (especially in the South East of England) because young families need them.
2. Havant Council are therefore under pressure from government to identify sites to meet housing need in this area and have been given a target of over 11,000 extra homes across the borough by PUSH (Partnership for Urban South Hampshire) the sub-regional body responsible for these matters. These new housing numbers exceed the existing Havant Local Plan that was approved by government’s Planning Inspector two years ago.
3. The existing Local Plan (Core strategy) was approved prior to the current National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) being introduced by government. The Havant Local Plan is therefore non-compliant with current planning guidance.
4. HBC believe that by proposing a large strategic new settlement on the Southleigh Farm site, they will be able to access government funding to upgrade local infrastructure. Their plan refers to a new junction of the A27, a new school and other infrastructure. Without this, they argue, a piecemeal small scale development approach to achieving their 11,000+ target will result in ad hoc developments being approved adding further pressure to our existing infrastructure without adequate resources to deal with them.
5. Havant Council also argue that this is an opportunity for local people to shape a potentially exciting new development for Emsworth for the future and have said they are keen to work with local residents and community organisations to do this. They have obtained £60,000 government funding to conduct a consultation exercise, called a ‘Charette’, on the Southleigh Farm Strategic Site – they were awarded this funding in part because there is a Neighbourhood Forum in Emsworth.
Havant Council believe they need to revise the Local Plan as quickly as possible to prevent piecemeal applications by developers that they will have little control over and to comply with government policy. If they don’t they are concerned the government will appoint someone else to decide where these homes go instead. In other words, a new Local Plan gives local people, through the Council, some say about where and how development happens.
Suffice to say, the number of new homes proposed for Emsworth far exceed the Emsworth Forum Committee’s expectations (and no doubt yours too) of housing growth in Emsworth and its environs in the years ahead.
When the Forum consulted local people at the start of our work on the Neighbourhood Plan, we had conflicting feedback about housing need from our survey of local residents. On the one hand people said that they wanted more affordable housing for young people to get on the housing ladder but people also said they want the Emsworth gaps and greenfield sites to be protected.
How we propose to respond
The Emsworth Forum Officers recently met to discuss how we should respond to Havant Council’s proposal. We discussed three options:
1. To object to the proposals on your behalf. We could explore if there are any legal means and planning grounds for preventing the strategic site in particular being included in the Housing Statement. However, this would be expensive and, at the present time, the Emsworth Forum does not have the financial or legal resources to do this. Furthermore we are doubtful that such an approach would ultimately succeed.
2. Accept the HBC proposal and help shape the new development. HBC are keen to work with the local community and have received DCLG funding to develop a masterplan for the strategic site with local people.
3. Take a neutral stance and work to get the best outcome for local residents and businesses. The Forum is not responsible for these targets and does not have the powers legally to decide on Strategic sites such as the one on Southleigh Farm. However the Neighbourhood Plan can help improve the design and infrastructure of the development. Local opinion matters to both Havant Council and the government’s Planning Inspector who will approve the re-drafted Havant Local Plan. By making representations on genuine planning grounds we can influence the issues that we know will arise from these proposals.
We would like to ask you – our members and the residents and businesses of Emsworth – what do you think of Havant Council’s proposals? What do approach do you think the Forum should take? What questions or issues do you think we should raise with Havant Council?
HBC Draft Local Plan Housing Statement and Local Plan Consultation
Havant Borough Council have sent the Forum the following information relating to the review of the Local Plan discussed above which we share with you in full. We urge you to read their information and tell the Council what you think. Note that there is an exhibition on 10th August at the ECA on the proposals.
Consultation on Draft Local Plan Housing Statement and Local Plan 2036
Havant Borough Council is consulting local residents and businesses on a Draft Local Plan Housing Statement, which will also form the framework for the emerging Havant Borough Local Plan 2036.
The need to significantly boost the supply of new housing by meeting the objectively assessed need for new and affordable homes, infrastructure, shops and other facilities is a requirement under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and becoming increasingly important locally.
The Draft Local Plan Housing Statement explains the Council’s intended approach to managing this pressing issue over the next 20 years by identifying specific sites for strategic, planned development. This approach will ensure that the necessary infrastructure is provided alongside new homes and avoid running the risk of inappropriate schemes being granted planning permission on appeal. The document, when it is adopted, will be an important aid to making decisions on planning applications in the borough until the new Local Plan is adopted in early 2018.
To give local residents and businesses an opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the proposals, the Council will be holding a series of public exhibitions during August 2016. Dates, times and venues for these exhibitions are as follows:
- Location -Date-Time
Emsworth Community Centre, North St, Emsworth,
PO10 7DD 10th August 2016 4pm-7pm
United Reform Church, Hollow Lane, Hayling Island,
PO11 9EY 15th August 2016 4pm-7pm
Bedhampton Social Hall, Bedhampton Road, Havant, PO9 9ES 18th August 2016 4pm-7pm
Phoenix Centre, Crookhorn Lane, Waterlooville, PO7 5QB 22nd August 2016 4pm-7pm
Leigh Park Community Centre, Dunsbury Way, Havant, PO7 5QB 25th August 2016 4pm-7pm
Reception Area, Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant, PO9 2AX 31st August 2016 12pm-7pm
The consultation is also an opportunity to shape the emerging Havant Borough Local Plan 2036. As the Adopted Local Plan already reflects the requirements of the NPPF in its approach to managing development, the Council is reviewing the Local Plan rather than starting completely afresh. We are asking residents and businesses to help us with this process by answering three specific questions, which are:
• What parts of the Adopted Local Plan do you consider work particularly well?
• What parts of the Adopted Local Plan could be improved?
• Are there any areas which are not covered in the Adopted Local Plan which the Havant Borough Local Plan 2036 should address?
If you would like to formally respond to the consultation, then it would be most helpful if you could focus your response on these questions.
For further information on the consultation and to view the Draft Local Plan Housing Statement and accompanying booklet, ‘Where next for housing in Havant Borough? Proposals for new housing in the borough up to 2036’, please go to www.havant.gov.uk/localplan.
Any comments you wish to make on the draft document should be submitted to us by 9th September 2016. They should be sent to us either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post. Please see the bottom of this newsletter for the Council’s postal address.