In a worrying development at the Hart Council meeting on Thursday 30th April, the leader of the council, Stephen Parker, ruled out creating a register of brownfield sites in the district, whilst at the same time insisting that the council supported a “brownfield first” strategy.
He said that the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) had identified only 750 dwellings as being “deliverable” within the time-scale of the Local Plan.
The council insisted that all sites in the Local Plan must be “deliverable”. However, this is misleading as the term “deliverable” has a special meaning in planning terms and only applies to the first five years of the plan when it is submitted. Beyond five years sites only have to be “developable”.
We have previously posted that there are loads of mistakes in the SHLAA that have the effect of reducing the apparent brownfield capacity and the density assumptions that Hart uses are far below what they themselves say would be achievable in urban areas.
If Hart were to include “developable” sites such as the vacant and derelict offices, Bramshill House, Pyestock (aka Hartland Park) and Sun Park as potential sites and increase the density assumptions then it is entirely possible that the whole of our remaining housing requirement could be met by brownfield development.
Surely any credible “brownfield first” strategy should include as its starting point a register of all the redundant brownfield sites in the district.
If you would like to join the campaign to get Hart to think again, then please sign and share our petition:
NPPF Definition of Deliverable:
“to be considered deliverable, sites should be available now, offer a suitable location for development now, and be achievable with a realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years and in particular that development of the site is viable”
NPPF Definition of Developable:
“to be considered developable, sites should be in a suitable location for housing development and there should be a reasonable prospect that the site is available and could be viably developed at the point envisaged”