Hart Council has missed another Local Plan deadline. According to reports we have heard of Thursday’s Local Plan Steering Group (LPSG) Meeting, there was no discussion of the results of the recent Local Plan consultation.
Apparently the responses were still being analysed. At the 7th September Cabinet meeting, we were led to believe the consultation responses would be discussed at the LPSG and published shortly thereafter. This continues the trend of Hart Council missing every deadline it sets itself.
This means the Council has missed another self-imposed deadline which puts at risk the overall timetable for the Local Plan. The Regulation 19 consultation is due to start in January 2018.
Previously, councils were threatened with having their housing need determined for them if the Local Plan is not in place on time. However, as we reported here, this threat is now lower for Hart. The new Government consultation results in much lower housing need for Hart at 6,132 over the plan period. This compares to the SHMA at 8,022 and the draft Local Plan at 10,185.
It isn’t clear whether prior Government threats to withhold the New Homes Bonus if councils don’t get their act together are still in force.
However, having out of date policies and no Local Plan means Hart is at the mercy of speculative applications from developers.