Hart Council is falling behind its own schedule for the delivery of the Local Plan. This is exposing the district to increasing pressures from developers who have more latitude to push through inappropriate development when there is no Local Plan in place. This does not engender a great deal of confidence that the rest of the project will proceed to schedule.
According to their own schedule they are apparently slipping in these areas:
- The Employment Land Review is not complete – they have consulted, but not published an updated document. It is based on the same pie in the sky job forecasts as the SHMA.
- The Retail and Main Town uses should have been finished in March. There is no document about this subject beyond 2012 on Hart’s website.
- The landscape capacity assessment should have been completed in April, but again nothing published on their website.
- Settlement hierarchy paper should have been completed in May.
- A shortlist of strategic sites for Phase 2 testing should have been complete in April, but it is my understanding that this decision has yet to be taken.
- The Vision should have been completed in May, again nothing published.
After receiving an unsatisfactory response to a question raised at Hart Council back in April, we raised a Freedom of Information request to receive a copy of the project they are following to deliver the Local Plan. The document we received can be found here. It is clear they are suffering from “unwarranted optimism”.