Hart Council will effectively destroy its own Local Plan. It has taken the decision to oppose the appeal into the Cross Farm care home application by proceeding ‘on the basis that the planning application has been refused’.
This is laughable because the Cross Farm development was one of the preferred sites in the recent draft Local Plan consultation. The proposal is for a 160 unit care village and a 64-bed care home. The potential impacts of the decision to turn down the application are:
- Hart loses 224 dwellings from its draft Local Plan, potentially rendering it unsound
- The Local Plan no longer meets the specialist housing needs of older people, potentially rendering it unsound
- The council loses around 25Ha of valuable SANG land, constraining capacity to build new homes in the district
- The cost of the appeal is likely to be around £100,000, rising to over over £200,000 if Hart Council loses
- May lead to the introduction of a further round of consultation into the Local Plan, costing more money and losing another six months in the schedule
It is looking like the new CCH/Lib Dem administration is even worse than the previous Tory administration when it comes to planning policy. It may well be time for the Secretary of State to step in and appoint commissioners to replace this failing council.
The full article in the Fleet News and Mail can be found here.