Get Hampshire has reported that Leaders of the North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the body responsible for the NHS in our area, have said that demand for services is rising much faster than their budgets and that in five years time there will be a funding gap of £47m per year.
This comes on top of Hampshire County Council’s £1.9bn infrastructure funding gap and Hart’s own £78m budget shortfall. We have estimated the costs of the infrastructure required for a new town at £300m, based on Hart’s own ideas of what new infrastructure will be required compared to around £40m that might be expected as developer contributions.
It is simply astonishing that as part of the Local Plan, Hart District is being asked to build over 7,500 houses and Rushmoor Borough Council over 9,800 houses (Rushmoor itself has an £80m funding gap) to increase congestion and add even more pressure on infrastructure and health services when it is clear that there simply isn’t enough money to fund even current demand let alone the new demands from the extra housing.
This is contrary to NPPF para 177 that says there must be a “reasonable prospect” of delivering the required infrastructure alongside housing:
“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”
Surely it is time to put a moratorium on any further major developments unless and until the infrastructure funding issues are resolved.