In a very positive move, it has been announced that Hart District Council has joined a Government pilot to create a national register of brownfield sites. This means that Hart will be at the forefront of this initiative, which marks a significant improvement in the level of commitment towards brownfield development. Of course, this comes on the back of last week’s call for Pyestock (aka Hartland Park) to be released for housing.
Only last year, the leader of Hart Council ruled out the creation of a register of brownfield sites, so this move is very significant.
The other interesting development is that both deliverable and developable sites will be included in the new brownfield register. This is a big difference to the consultation currently going on where only deliverable brownfield sites are included, even though most of the green field sites offered for consultation are not even developable:
To be regarded as suitable for housing our proposed criteria are that sites must be:
Available. This means that sites should be either deliverable or developable. Sites that are deliverable should be available and 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. To be considered developable, sites are likely to come forward later on (e.g. between six and ten years). They should be in a suitable location for housing development and there should be a reasonable prospect the site will be available and that it could be viably developed at the point envisaged.
It is envisaged that the first draft of the register will be produced by the end of June 2016.
We welcome this development and will report back on any further developments.
If you would like to give Hart Council more encouragement to create a brownfield solution to our housing needs, we urge you to respond to the Hart District Council consultation about the Local Plan and ask them to think again. We have created a dedicated consultation page, updated our two guides to responding to the consultation and they are available on the downloads below. The comments are designed to be cut and pasted into the boxes provided. It will be very powerful if you could edit the comments into your own words. Please do find time to respond to the consultation and play your part in saving our countryside.
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