Council to challenge local plan findings because it's the right plan for the area

Thursday, 4 November, 2021

Havant Borough Council has received interim findings from the examination of its local plan and will be robustly challenging them because it feels it is the right plan for the area. 

The council is confident that it can overcome issues raised in relation to its 'soundness' and has demonstrated in its initial response that its plan is 'legally compliant'.  

The council recognises that some aspects of the plan may need to change as a result of these findings but believes that the strategy in the plan is the best one for the borough. 

The council has suggested it shortens the period that the plan runs to (currently it runs until 2037) so it can review the plan as soon as possible. This is so there is a plan in place while it keeps working on how new homes can be delivered sustainably in the longer-term.

Officers will be submitting further detailed information and evidence to tackle some of the issues and have pushed back on concerns raised about legal compliance.  

Crucially, having a plan is far better than not having a plan. Without a local plan in place the borough is open to speculative development because of the need to achieve central government's housing targets. 

Without a plan the borough would also be vulnerable to piecemeal development without providing the much-needed infrastructure. But by continuing with this plan the council can work with developers to ensure the infrastructure is delivered hand-in-hand with the new homes.  

A key council priority is to ensure the borough has quality homes for all its residents.  

The council has today written to the inspectors asking for the examination to continue so that it can progress its local plan (while doing some further work and providing more information on certain aspects of it). It will also be lobbying central government about the housing targets it has set for the borough.  

Cllr Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council, said: "This is the right local plan for our area. 

"Although we may need to make some tweaks to it we believe it's far and away the best solution for our borough because it will provide homes alongside vital infrastructure - while avoiding speculative piecemeal development.   

"As a local authority we have a collective responsibility with central government to make sensible decisions about housing and get much-needed homes built in our area. That’s why we believe this is the right local plan for our borough." 

The council will be lobbying central government about the housing targets it has set the borough and will also be talking to nearby local authorities - to see if they are able to help accommodate the unmet need for homes. 

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