On the 2nd April 2014 the David Wilson Homes planning application for 136 residential homes on the land between Winchester Road and Barn Lane was discussed.
In the open section of the meeting the Barn Lane Action Group presented their reasons for objecting to the application. Matthew Cottam gave the presentation which can be downloaded here – Parish Council Planning Meeting Final.
In the closed Parish Council discussion which followed all councillors voted to refuse the application.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England has published a report “Community Control or Countryside Chaos? The effect of the National Planning Policy Framework two years on”.
The CPRE say that “The research has found that the reforms are forcing local councils to accept major developments against their will in all parts of the country from Devon to Derbyshire and Suffolk to Staffordshire.
It reveals plans for over 700,000 houses in the countryside – including 200,000 allocated for the Green Belt. As a consequence, the countryside surrounding towns and villages across England is under siege. Sites already earmarked for housing are being left undeveloped while councils are under increasing pressure to allocate more and more land for future development.”
One of those sites is Four Marks with a predicted 350 additional houses planned without counting the Barn Lane development. We share that dubious privilege with other villages across England that are being targeted by developers who see easy pickings under the current planning regime.
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.