Hart Local Plan details emerge

Breaking News: Hart Local Plan Update

Hart Local Plan details emerge

We have been in touch with sources close to the Hart Planning team and received an update on what is intended to be published next week in the version of the Local Plan that will be used for the Regulation 19 consultation.

Here are the key bullet points:

  • The planning period will be changed from 2011-2032 to 2016-2032, a period of 16 years.
  • Hart will adopt the new Government approach to calculating housing need, but with some modification
  • The housing target for the new planning period will be 6,208
  • If all goes to plan, we won’t need a new settlement at Murrell Green or Winchfield. We also won’t need urban extensions at Pale Lane (Elvetham Chase) or Owens Farm (West of Hook).
  • There will be important council meetings to agree this plan on 2, 3 & 4 January, with a view to going to Regulation 19 consultation in mid-to-late January and submission to the Inspector by the end of March.

Overall, we believe this to be very good news. However, there are some risks that we will discuss below.

[Update]: We understand that the hybrid planning application for the first phase of Hartland Village has been withdrawn, and will not be heard at tonight’s planning meeting. We don’t know what impact this will have on the Local Plan outlined here. More details when we get them. [/Update]

[Update 2]: We have now heard Hartland Village might now be back on the agenda. Who knows what is happening. [/Update 2]

Hart Local Plan: new housing target

Regular readers may recall that the annual housing target for Hart in the Government consultation was 292 dwellings per annum (dpa). This was based upon 218 dpa from the raw ONS household projections, plus a market signals uplift to arrive at 292 dpa. The scale of the uplift was capped in the consultation. Hart believe this cap will be lifted to give an annual target of 310 dpa. Over the plan period this would result in a total of 4,960 new houses.

Because there is some uncertainty about the status of the consultation and whether we need to build some additional houses for Surrey Heath and/or Rushmoor, Hart believe it is prudent to uplift this target by 25% to give a planning target of 6,208.

We think this uplift is a bit too generous, but will support it, because it gives us the best chance of the plan being approved by the Inspector.

Hart Local Plan: Housing supply

We understand this housing target will be met by the following:

Built to from 2016 to 6/10/17     798
Outstanding permissions 3,048
Other deliverable 504
Other sites like to be granted 184
Odiham NP 111
Windfalls 275
Hartland Village (deliverable in plan period) 1,400
Total Supply 6,320

Eagle eyed readers will note this does not include Murrell Green, Winchfield, Pale Lane (Elvetham Chase) or Owens Farm (West of Hook).

Hart Local Plan: Risks

The big risk to this plan is Hartland Park (Pyestock). The developer has proposed only 20% affordable housing in their plan compared to Hart’s target of 40%. We understand that Hart are trying to persuade the developer to agree to periodic viability reviews. This would force the developer to be open about how much profit it is making. If it makes more money than planned, then it could be asked to build more affordable homes in the rest of the development.

If agreement on this cannot be reached, then it may not be possible to include Hartland Village in the draft Local Plan and the shortfall would have to be made up from some combination of Pale Lane (Elvetham Chase), Owens Farm (West of Hook), Murrell Green or Winchfield. We will see what happens over the coming days.

Hart Local Plan: Timetable

The finalised version of the draft Local Plan will be published on 19 December. This will be followed by:

  • Review by Overview and Scrutiny on 2 January 2018
  • Approval by Cabinet on 3 January 2018
  • Approval by full Council on 4 January 2018

The intention is then to move to Regulation 19 consultation in mid-to-late January for a six week period. The consultation needs to close by mid-March. This is to give enough time to make minor tweaks before submission by the end of March. This deadline is driven by Government guidelines and the Council purdah period prior to the Local elections in early May.

It is hoped that the Government will make clear its intention regarding the consultation on how to calculate housing need in January. It is also hoped that the draft NPPF is published in early January. This is to allow time for any tweaks to be made to the draft Local Plan in the light of this new information,

There are also three other documents due to be published alongside the Local Plan:

  • Transport Assessment
  • Sustainability Assessment
  • Habitat assessment


We believe the council is taking a pragmatic approach to the Local Plan, and that this approach should be supported. If we don’t support it, then the Local Plan will be delayed. This would significantly weaken the Council’s hand in relation to Pale Lane and Owens Farm.

Let’s hope this approach finds favour with councillors and we can all look forward to a Happy New Year.


Posted in Hart District Council, Hart Local Plan, We Heart Hart Campaign, We Love Hart Campaign and tagged , , , , , , , , , .


    • Or not, I have been told Murrell Green/ Winchfield is mentioned in new draft LP as policy for future so I will be objecting to it. And I hope anyone wanting to protect our green fields will too

  1. Drove to Bracknell at the weekend. Through sandhurst and past the old transport test site. The sheer volume of development going on quite literally linking sandhurst to Bracknell was astounding. Back via Wokingham and the same there. It too will going Bracknell at amen corner. There was not a single blade of grass anywhere. It was apocalyptic in nature as though the land had been scoured. Where are all these people coming from because all these houses will sell. It’s astounding.

    • I don’t know about Sandhurst or Wokingham, but I understand that Fleet is attracting people from London. There is a fast rail link to London and countryside is within easy reach (for now at least). Schools are good and Hart is supposedly one of the best areas in England to live. Then consider what the proceeds of sale of a London house will buy in Fleet and you have the perfect case for moving here.

  2. Frankly I’d rather they developed Hartland brown field site than further destroy green fields. Hartland is right on my doorstep and will have a massive impact on this estate, but so be it.

  3. I’d suggest that head for head that would not be the case. Eastern Hart continues to take the brunt of development and this negatively impacts (social, environment, economic, health) the majority of people in Hart because the majority live in the east/urban areas. Would I give up a few farmers fields to stop a few more people dying or getting a serious respiratory disease from overcrowded roads? Yes, every time.

    • So your argument is that the people of east Hart can live in increasing amounts of population and suffer the consequences to buffer people further west? Seriously?

    • Chris Blake have you been to Hartley Wintney and seen the traffic? Try the high street any time if the day and count the HGVs. The alternative for pyestock is a distribution centre. There is no way it will revert to countryside or parkland.

    • Electric cars, problem solved. However, the real problem is all these cars being used in the first place. We are, too spread apart and need to condense our towns and cities to avoid unnecessary journeys and use public transport more. I would also argue that Fleet is the main driver behind the need for more housing, it has the largest population growth in Hart? and the most resources to accommodate it? Increasing development in existing towns and villages should be seen as an opportunity to improve existing conditions, we need to stop building detached houses far from resources and look at the heart of our settlements for opportunities.

    • James Renwick – yes, I drive that way a reasonably frequent basis. As for Pyestock, all I’m suggesting is a smaller more appropriate development; One that the area can sustain. After all, as I’ve said before, I voted for us all sharing the impact, not it all being transferred to Winchfield.

    • Gareth Price – yes electric cars, but that’s some years off. That doesn’t help the many people in Fleet and the surrounds (with young children at most risk) blighted with health issues in the meantime. Also, the car tech needs improving and it will also require a massive infrastructure investment on the generation and last mile delivery. Fleet probably has the largest population growth in the area, but mainly because Fleet/Church Crookham is where they keep building new houses. If we stop building new houses there the growth will stop. Also, building in the existing towns just degrades life and health in those towns. It brings little in the way of opportunity, unless we start insisting that every house has a builder tax associated with that money is 100% earmarked for local improvement. That sadly though is not going to happen, and even if it did, it would push house prices even more.

    • James Renwick – I was basing my comments on the article that David published. It suggested that the other areas you mentioned weren’t to be developed. But, in general, it is more detrimental to health to increase traffic in an already overcrowded area than create smaller pockets over a wider area. The reason being that apart from less grid lock this way, in a crowded area the local concentrations coalesce and have a greater impact whereas in a lower density scenario they have more opportunity to dissipate. So, just using your example, adding 1500 homes to Winchfield will have less impact than 1500 homes in Fleet because the density in Fleet is comparatively higher. So, yes, it would be potentially be less detrimental to health to build in Winchfield. I say potentially, because there are many factors that come into play here. But for Hartlands it fills the gap between Fleet and Farnborough and places all these houses in a very crowded/busy road system that currently can’t cope. So for this location the impact will definitely be high.

    • Chris Blake your assumptions don’t hold up. There is already gridlock and high levels of traffic in parts of West hart higher than Fleet. E.g. A30. The only basis for saying that there is less impact is if a whole new road infrastructure is built so traffic is not increased in existing settlements. Which of course won’t and can’t happen. Also density in Winchfield is lower now but wouldn’t be with a new settlement so your conclusions are based on odd logic. Also there is likely to be a significant environmental impact at Winchfield and a full environmental impact assessment ent is therefore required. This doesn’t apply to hartland Park.

    • David Turver Do you really believe that? I’d love to see more and better public transport – just like the ones we used to know … ! Living where we do in HW, we know how people seem incapable of walking to the local schools, the village etc… I despair!

    • James Renwick – there is, in my view, a much more significant environmental impact of building at Hartlands when compared to Winchfield. Hartlands is to be built next to a nature reserve and in the TBHSPA. This will put massive pressure on nature reserve and local TBHSPA and only lead to its degradation. From what I understand, at Winchfield some largely inaccessible farmland will be removed. Farmland, as you’ll appreciate, is a man-made environment (not natural and in many intensive setups actively tries to restrict/remove natural elements) and in my view, is much less worthy of protecting than a nature reserve. By the way, just for clarity, I am not arguing for building at Winchfield.

    • Lesley Parish – problem is the local schools, particularly since they expanded, take a significant percentage of children from out of catchment, all of them with no option but to come by car. Also, for those living on the edges of HW or in Winchfield (so within catchment), it’s just too dangerous now to walk along the main roads with speed limits ignored most of the time. Add to that working parents who have to drop/pick up their children on the way to/from work, and the roads around the schools are a nightmare. I don’t know what the solution it though !!

  4. Well I guess you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    But I would wager this plan will gain widespread support across Hart.

    Plus large brownfield sites are scarce, so it makes sense to maximise development so to protect our green fields.

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