Some of the opponents of the proposed Watery Lane development in Church Crookham have criticised We Heart Hart for not joining them in opposing building a housing estate there. We cannot get involved in each and every planning application, but the material below outlines what we believe would be useful material for Face IT and other groups to use as they see fit to add to their case.
1. We don’t need this development
Hart is being asked to build too many houses, because the SHMA is flawed. It starts with the 2011-based population projections, whereas the 2012-based projections would reduce the starting point by 1,800 dwellings (SHMA appendices p75). The jobs forecasts are too optimistic, calling for a near doubling of the job creation rate over the plan period. See the links below for more detail:
As a result of the over-stated need in the SHMA, the current land supply statement understates the land-supply position, therefore the Watery Lane development is not needed now.
2. Brownfield Solution
There is an alternative brownfield solution to meet the housing needs of the district. Our local MP also supports a brownfield solution:
3. Wrong type of Housing in the Wrong Place
A development such as Watery Lane would build the wrong type of housing in the wrong place to meet the needs of the district. Hart’s policy is to build 40% affordable and 60% market housing, or a split of about 3,014 affordable and 4,520 market to meet our overall need of 7,534. The SHMA (Figure 9.8) calls for 40.8% 1-bed and 33.2% 2-bed properties from our affordable housing target and 6.7% 1-bed and 28% 2-bed properties from our market housing target. This gives a total target of 1,532 1-bed and 2,266 2-bed properties. No data has yet been forthcoming on how well or badly we are doing against these targets, but perhaps Face IT could join We Heart Hart in asking Hart to produce the information to allow us to know one way or the other. More traditional housing estates in the countryside are likely to under-deliver on both affordable and smaller properties.
Similarly, the SHMA (Figure 10.15) calls for around 2,500 specialist units for the elderly, split into various categories to be built in Hart under the Local Plan. We do not know how many have been built or permitted to date, but again it is self-evident that a housing estate in the country would not deliver specialist units for the elderly. Again, perhaps Face IT can join We Heart Hart in requesting that this information is released.
We do hope that the team opposing Watery Lane find this information helpful.