On 9 September the full Council approved amendments to Pre-Submission Local Plan. The major approved change was the HBC solution to nutrient neutrality that could allow the restart of housebuilding.
We along with other residents groups had argued that additional significant opportunities had arisen since the plan was first approved for submission in January 2019, which should be used to avoid development on unsuitable sites such as LCL.
In the end HBC chose to take a very narrow view and only consider the immediate changes, however there is expected to be a public consultation of the amended plan in the near future. The nutrient neutrality scheme proposed by HBC has been very controversial and a number of groups are expected to oppose it during the consultation.
Of more concern are the proposed Government Planning reforms. Based on the figures from 2014 the latest projections for additional houses indicate that HBC will face an increase of 91% over the next ten years. This has been estimated as being a massive 105% over the actual demographic need for homes in the Borough.
Councils that had challenged Government targets have seen their numbers reduced. This in stark contrast to HBC who in a letter from the Council leader Cllr Wilson to Secretary of State said that he wished to exceed Government housing targets. We have already seen that an increase in targets has resulted in unsuitable sites like LCL which had been protected, added to the plan. With higher targets this situation will threaten other areas of the Borough.
There is an excellent initiative by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and summary of the issues from the Havant Civic Society.