On Friday about 350 residents of Clanfield, Horndean and Rowlands Castle attended a public meeting about local housing development and how this was a threat to the semi rural character in the area. This is one of two key local events and was organised by George Hollingbery, our MP who receives significant amounts of correspondence about the planning applications in the area. George can not direct planning issues and has no additional sway over planning decisions than we do, but his attention on specific applications helps to give community support. He also takes feedback from the current local situation and feeds this back to central government.
The second key event is being organised by EHDC and is a Planning Meeting on the 10th November also at Barton Hall, HTC from 7:00pm. It is important this event is as well attended as we need your support and views on the Allocations Plan which is nearing its first draft.
The meeting took on a ‘BBC Question Time’ format with a panel and questions sent in from the audience and the panel included the following:
George Hollingbery MP
Cllr Guy Shepherd – Downs Ward, Horndean and EHDC Cabinet Member
Cllr Elaine Tickell – Horndean Parish Council
Suella Fernandes, Barrister
John Beresford, Grainger Housing
This mix of MP, District and Parish Councillors, Developer and Legal Expert gave a very broad spectrum of views into the current issues.
After the meeting George said ‘I’m incredibly grateful to all those who turned up on Friday night to listen to what, by necessity, was never going to be the most exciting of evenings. That said, the idea wasn’t to have fun; it was always about give the audience information about how the planning system works so that they could understand much more what is going on in Horndean, Catherington and Rowlands Castle, how to get involved and what the future holds in terms of development.
‘I hope we achieved that – despite the rather poor sound in the auditorium from time to time – and that those who came will mow also go to EHDC’s meeting on November 10th to make their views known about the individual applications.’
During the meeting the progress of the Local Plan was an important topic. Guy Shepherd reported that East Hants has been working to produce the full local plan and with challenges such as the NPPF being introduced in March 2012 and having the South Downs Nation Park in the middle of East Hants (they are a separate planning authority) EHDC are rightly very pleased to have been one of the first planning authorities in the country to have the first part of the Local Plan approved and implemented. This was on the 26th June 2014. The next step is the Allocations Plan, and the “Where To Build” consultation EHDC held in April is a key starting point for this. A draft plan will be published and issued for consultation by Christmas but we need your support in developing this further.
EHDC are holding a Special Planning Forum Meeting on the 10th November at Barton Hall, HTC from 7:00pm and you are encouraged to come along. The EHDC planning team will be organising this public meeting and be able to brief the community in more detail about the Allocations plan and will be looking for community input on the evening.
A key part of the planning process and currently more important than the local plan is the ‘Five Year Land Supply’. Essentially if we have a five year supply of housing in the pipeline then we are able to retain our saved housing policies. This includes protection to gap land. The Local Plan EHDC have prepared has these details in place ready and it is anticipated that we will very soon have enough deliverable housing in the pipeline to achieve this. Currently there is much developer interest in the gap land and we need some big applications like ‘Land East Of Horndean’ to be considered and approved to achieve the supply. Right now, we are very close to having a five year supply and this will be a significant factor in planning.
If you were able to make the public meeting please comment on this post with feedback of what you thought. Guy.