At its meeting on 1 September Oliver’s Battery PC discussed the two consultation papers recently published by the Government on reform of the planning system in England; the PC is formulating responses to both consultations and recommends that residents actively consider their own individual responses – a higher number of responses will carry greater weight. It is expected that response templates specific to our area will be available later this month.
The first consultation paper is on Changes to the current planning system, mainly around housing numbers and formulae on affordability which are punitive to Winchester and arrive at a 50% increase in housing numbers from that expected. If you wish to challenge the assumptions behind this calculation of housing number, it is important to respond. The deadline for comments on this paper is 23.45 on Thursday 1st October 2020.
The second consultation paper is the White Paper on Planning for the Future
This White Paper proposes significant reforms to many aspects of the planning system, including a change in the way in which land is allocated for development, the type of policies which can be included in Local Plans and how controls over that development are implemented through development management. The means of delivering infrastructure via new development (s106 agreements – planning obligations) and Community Infrastructure Levy would also be changed. The new style of plan will look and feel very different to the current style as it will have digital and interactive format and the identification of land for development will follow a zoning approach based on three designations; growth, renewal and protected areas. This consultation period ends on the 29 October 2020.
The PC also discussed the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) 2020 that was approved for publication by WCC Cabinet on 18 August; residents may have seen media reports on the SHELAA.
The SHELAA will be launched formally for consultation soon and the PC will provide a response on the suitability or otherwise for land in our area; here again the PC also encourages residents’ individual responses.