The draft Local Plan contains no infrastructure plans or costings. We think this is a massive error by the council that makes the draft Local Plan unsound.
If you agree, please download from the link below and review our suggested comments on the draft Local Plan. Please do make amendments into your own words and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org before the deadline of 5pm on 9th June 2017. All of the Council’s consultation documents can be found here.
Here is our analysis of the infrastructure weaknesses in the Local Plan
Local Plan contains no infrastructure plans
Paragraphs 7, 17 and 177 of the NPPF/NPPG make clear that infrastructure should be planned alongside housing. Para 395 of the draft Local Plan says there’s a Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) available for viewing alongside the Local Plan. However, no IDP has been made available.
Given that back in 2013, a £78m infrastructure funding deficit was identified, this is a critical omission. In particular, we think Hart Council should focus on:
- The requirement for a new secondary school. The Murrell Green proposal includes a site for a new school, albeit on top of a high-pressure gas main. However, no evidence has been presented to demonstrate a new secondary school is required. WeHeart Hart research shows that a new secondary school may not be required, and the sustainability assessment for Murrell Green mentions a 9% surplus of places.
- Railways. SW Trains have indicated that the mainline rail route to London is 20% over-crowded at present and is forecast to be 60% overcrowded by 2043. Para 58 of the Local Plan makes no mention of this, and there is no apparent plan to improve capacity.
- Our roads are becoming increasingly congested and generally in a poor state of repair. There is no sign that the council has carried out an overall road transport assessment to establish the level of investment required to improve our roads so they can cope with the scale of development that is being proposed
- Paras 65 & 66 make no mention of groundwater and surface water flood risk in Winchfield, which was identified in the Sustainability Assessment
- Para 68 provides no plan to fix the acknowledged wastewater capacity issues
- None of the plans for the strategic sites include proper plans for sports and community facilities such as allotments.
Local Plan contains no cost analysis for infrastructure requirements
Neither the Local Plan nor the Sustainability Assessment contain a financial assessment of the alternative means of providing the housing need. We think this is a very significant omission.
We already have a £78m infrastructure deficit, so this is a critical issue. The financial analysis should include:
- An assessment of the major infrastructure requirements generated by each of the approaches you have considered. These include new roads; road improvements such as roundabouts; railway station and parking improvement; railway line capacity improvements; schools; healthcare; fixed and mobile telecommunications, flood prevention, wastewater disposal and social infrastructure. A high level cost of each item should be provided.
- An analysis of the likely contribution that could be expected from developers and other providers to meet these requirements.
- An estimate of the likely contributions from Government such as New Homes bonus and grants to support brownfield development.
- A calculation of the gap between the requirement and the contributions for each development scenario
Residents should then be able to see the financial impact of the proposals and make decisions based on that.