A series of interesting revelations have resulted from the recent publication of Rushmoor Borough Council’s Draft Local Plan. The bottom line is that back in 2013, Hampshire County Council identified an infrastructure funding deficit of £1.91bn out of a total requirement of £2.16bn, or to put it another way more than 88% of the requirement is not funded.
Of this gap, £80m was attributed to Rushmoor:
“For the infrastructure defined, a total estimated funding shortfall of approx. £80 million has been identified for Rushmoor Borough over the next 15 years.”
All of these figures were compiled before the latest housing requirement was calculated so the up to date figures are likely to be much higher.
In its draft Infrastructure Plan, Rushmoor makes no mention of the costs of the infrastructure needs it has identified nor has it explained where it will get the funding from to meet those needs.
Perhaps this explains why Rushmoor is so keen to offload 1,600 houses on to Hart. Remember Hart already has a £78m funding deficit of its own, and this is probably an under-statement because it doesn’t include any allowance for additional schools, improved railways or better GP surgeries.
The National Planning Policy Framework para 177 says:
“It is equally important to ensure that there is a reasonable prospect that planned infrastructure is deliverable in a timely fashion. To facilitate this, it is important that local planning authorities understand district-wide development costs at the time Local Plans are drawn up. For this reason, infrastructure and development policies should be planned at the same time, in the Local Plan.”
It is simply inconceivable that both Rushmoor could have got so far with its Local Plan without addressing how its infrastructure is going to be funded. Surely this must be enough to find its plan unsound. We Heart Hart will work to help Hart residents object to Rushmoor’s draft Local Plan.