REPORT OF THE
Cabinet / Leader
SOUTH EAST PLAN
Following submission of the South East Plan to the Government by the South East Regional Assembly (SEERA) in March 2006, an Independent Panel held an Examination in Public (EiP) during the winter of 2006/07. The Panel submitted its report, which included recommendations on how the Plan should be amended in light of the discussions at the EiP, in the summer of 2007. The Government has since considered the EiPs report and has proposed further changes to the Plan, which it consulted on between July and October 2008.
The Cabinet, at its meeting on 22 September 2008, considered the key changes to the Plan http://www.hants.gov.uk/decisions/decisions-index/index-docs-6919.html and made the following comments:
It objected to:
- additional housing for Basingstoke, East Hampshire, Hart, Test Valley and Winchester districts, which would take the Hampshire total of new houses to be built each year to 6,685 - a higher number than recommended by the EiP and an increase from 6,100 in the original draft South East Plan approved by SEERA
- the conversion of house building targets into minimum figures which would mean that if the demand was there, a higher level of development could occur
- deletion of `strategic gap policies'
- the removal of the statement that new housing would be conditional on infrastructure such as new roads, health facilities, schools and utilities being provided
- increased housing for Whitehill/Bordon on the condition set out in the Plan that it was in the form of a Strategic Development Area or Eco-Town, and if this was not the case, that the housing should not have to be accommodated elsewhere in East Hampshire
- the affordable housing target, which strengthened the policies on housing provision
On behalf of the County Council, the Leader submitted the above comments to the Government's consultation. The Leader also wrote to the Minister for Housing and Planning and all MPs to express the Council's grave concerns over:
- the Government's proposals for a higher rate of house building with apparent disregard for the independent assessment that the Region is approaching its environmental limits; and
- the lack of commitment in relation to infrastructure, which could see the erosion of the quality of life for the people of Hampshire.