Deadline of 6th February to comment on the EHDC draft local plan

EHDC has published a “Draft East Hampshire District Local Plan: Housing and Employment Allocations” for comment. The closing date is 6th February 2015.

The draft plan can be found here. The webpage also includes a response form for comments on the plan.

The draft local plan acknowledges that Medstead and Four Marks are developing a Neighbourhood Plan and that the Neighbourhood Plan proposals should take precedence over other proposals and be included in the draft plan.  This seems very sensible as far as it goes but our aim would obviously be to have an agreed Neighbourhood Plan that has been democratically endorsed and represents the views of the two villages to control and guide future development.

Specific concerns  in the document include:

  • If local democratic control and localism is real then the Neighbourhood Plan should be given clear primacy and not hedged with caveats such as “integrate into” and “takes precedence where it is positively progressing”.
  • That the Sustainability Appraisal repeats previous errors of assuming that SHLAA sites can be assessed on a case by case basis from an ecological and environmental point of view and ignoring the cumulative effect of development in particular areas. The Brislands Lane development and Winchester Road SINC is a particularly good example of this failure.
  • Section 8 on “Four Marks and South Medstead” states that the number of dwellings granted planning permission (191) already exceeds  the minimum identified in the Joint Core Strategy (175). The list doesn’t include the 51 homes allowed on appeal on the land North of Boyneswood Lane, Medstead GU34 5DZ (EHDC application, 55258/001). If these are added then  Four Marks and South Medstead already have 140% already approved of the minimum number to be built by 2028!

But please read the documents and make your own conclusions and comments.

Many thanks,

Barn Lane Action Group.

 

 

Good News – outline application refused!

The outline planning application to build on the land next to the Winchester Road SINC has been refused by the council planning department. The decision was taken through delegated powers and did not come to the Planning Committee.

The decision notice is here.

The reasons for refusal include:

  •  unjustified development outside the settlement boundary
  • adds to the “overperformance” (40% over minimum) in terms of new houses required by the Joint Core strategy
  • detrimental impact on protected species, specifically hazel dormice (inadequate mitigation measures), and loss of tree with TPO
  • “urban” housing density out of character with surroundings

It is excellent that the ecological issues have been included by EHDC in their reasons for refusal despite Natural England accepting the totally inadequate mitigation (which actually involved the destruction of hedgerow proposed as mitigation for the adjoining Charles Church development!).

Hopefully this means that the ecological impact of developments, particularly the preservation of protected species, will have a greater weight in future decisions.