The adoption of the Hart Local Plan is anticipated in February or March 2020. The council has conceded in its main modifications to the need for an early review of the Local Plan in certain circumstances (see MM121). We support an immediate review of the Hart Local Plan, once adopted.
We think the following objectives should be set:
- Build what we need, no more, no less.
- Avoid any new settlement or large scale green field development. This means we should not build Shapley Heath, Rye Common or West of Hook.
- Focus on brownfield development to revitalise our urban centres by delivering better health, community and cultural facilities.
- Proportionate development within each parish.
We believe this can be done, and this post explains the first stage of how we do that.
Hart Local Plan Housing Delivery Test
Before we start, we need to acknowledge a weakness in the Local Plan that will shortly be adopted. The Government have imposed the Housing Delivery Test (HDT) on all councils. The HDT aims to maintain a steady supply of housing by forcing councils to keep their rolling 3-year delivery in line with the average required rate. The Hart Local Plan will run into trouble with the Housing Delivery Test (HDT) around 2025/26. This was covered by a question to the full Council meeting in July 2019. This effect might be delayed or reduced if some or all of the large developments underway slip their delivery schedules.
But, if places like Hartland Park and Grove Farm stick to their delivery schedules, we will be running short of housing in 2025/26. To rectify this, pass the HDT at 100% based on the 423 dwellings per annum (dpa) imposed by the Local Plan, we will have to build an extra 1,700 houses over the period to 2032.
Some council members may use this as a justification to pursue Shapley Heath Garden Village. We have already shown that Shapley Heath will deliver far more houses than we need, and unnecessarily urbanise the district.
Hart Local Plan versus the Standard Method
However, the Local Plan was examined under the (old) SHMA method. This, together with the alleged unmet need from Surrey Heath, resulted in a housing target of 423dpa. But, under the new standard method Hart’s housing requirement from 2020-2041 is only 251dpa (including a 40% affordability uplift).
This results in a total requirement from 2020-2041 of “only” 5,271 houses.
Revised Hart Local Plan to meet the Housing Delivery Test
However, any revised Local Plan would also have to meet the HDT. This would result in a total requirement of 6,783 houses over the period 2020-2041. The Local Plan has already identified 4,012, leaving 2,771 to find.
Hart Local Plan Immediate Review
So, the challenge from a Hart Local Plan immediate review is during 2020 develop a vision for Hart in 2040 to:
- Deliver the 2,771 houses we need at a steady rate
- Revitalise our urban centres
- Proportionate development across remaining parishes to make up the difference
- Protect the green spaces that make Hart an attractive place to live
We believe this can be done. We will work on how this might be done in subsequent posts.
This is another of our posts showing:
- What is Shapley Heath, explaining its location and scale?
- All the reasons why Shapley Heath Garden Village is a bad idea
- An outline of an alternative approach to long term planning in Hart
The master page containing all of these posts can be found here. A link is also provided in the navigation at the top of the page. Please do keep an eye out for further updates and share them with your friends.