In a last minute move, EHDC struck the Bargate Homes development from the 15th May planning committee agenda following strong protests from Horndean District Councillors about the significant increase in planning applications by developers who have declared Open Season on Horndean.
The announcement to all Councillors is as follows:
The above application has been withdrawn from the Planning Committee agenda for 15 May 2014. The application will not be discussed at that meeting.
The item has been withdrawn from the agenda for the following reason:
A recent public exhibition relating to potential housing site preferences and infrastructure requirements in the Horndean settlement area was carried out. In view of the strong public interest in this issue it has been decided by the Executive Head of Service to withdraw this item from the agenda to allow for a full assessment and consideration of the results of this exercise prior to a decision being made.
Cllr Sara Schillemore whose ward is taking the brunt of the housing applications said that “This is exceptionally good news. The Housing consultation which was arranged for by the 5 Horndean District Councillors gave an overwhelmingly clear result on where housing should and should not go. It is vital that this is fully appreciated in the assessment of any planning applications in Horndean and I am delighted that East Hants has taken this positive action in holding back this application. In the next weeks I will be pressing for this consultation to have the fullest weight possible in decision making.”
Cllr Ferris Cowper, Leader at EHDC commented that “All communities in the South East are wrestling with the need for increased housing as defined by the Government. East Hampshire District Council recognises the need for additional housing but the extra housing is not an end in itself. Increased economic prosperity and more jobs are what matters and the housing strategy must respond to that. EHDC’s does.
However, it’s a quirk of the Planning System that whilst communities can, with Government encouragement, help to choose where this housing should go for the best sustainable solution, councils are still compelled to deal with Planning Applications in the sequence received, in other words, randomly. Plainly, economic prosperity and sustainability cannot be optimised by random decisions.
In order to manage this better, EHDC has consulted extensively with local communities, including those in the south of the District and we are determined that the results of that consultation should be used to influence our decision making. As a result, from time to time, we will need to defer making a decision about certain planning applications in order to gather all of the information required to ensure we maximise prosperity, jobs and sustainability, as advised by the communities we represent.”
This represents exceptionally good news for residents of Horndean who are clear on where housing should and should not go, and hopefully EHDC will find a route to giving this the greatest weight possible. More information as it comes here. Guy.