East Hampshire District Council have published an Interim Housing Statement. This policy statement will be used to manage which sites may come forward, be granted planning permission and make a positive contribution to the required five year housing supply. The intention of the policy is to manage development so that it is not allowed in the wrong locations and of an inappropriate scale. Permission will only be granted for development that constitutes ‘sustainable development’.
The Interim Statement will be used to provide planning guidance until the Local Plan: Allocations Document, or a Neighbourhood Plan (which the Parish Council is promoting in Four Marks) is developed and is in place. The final version of the Interim Statement is here.
The Interim Statement is specifically aimed at sites outside existing Settlement Policy Boundaries. The emphasis is on sites being deliverable at the time of application; not being reliant on on significant off-site infrastructure and all factors required for development being under the applicants control. Sites should be adjacent to existing settlements defined by a Settlement Policy Boundary, as these settlements generally have facilities likely to be needed by new residents. They should also be acceptable in all other respects, e.g. highways access, no flood risk and contribute to affordable housing.
This statement is Good News because it helps establish local policy clarity to the rather vague concept of “sustainable development” in the National Planning Policy Framework.