In line with feedback from the Planning Inspectorate, the Planning Policy Committee at Havant Borough Council has supported withdrawing the Local Plan (examined in 2021) and developing a revised Local Plan that reflects the contemporary and future demands of the borough.
Government requires all local authorities to provide a Local Plan – a vision and framework for the future development of the area that sets out the local needs and opportunities for the borough. A complex document requiring thousands of hours of research to produce, work began on the last Local Plan for the borough in 2016. This was developed through several consultations and submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.
The Planning Inspectorate had some concerns regarding selected elements of the Local Plan examined in 2021 and how the process moved forward. Receptive to their feedback and recognising this approach provides the fastest way to provide a sound plan - the council sees the many advantages the revised Local Plan offers - not only to reflect the council’s ambitious regeneration programme (not in place when the last plan was first developed), but to additionally benefit from the latest research and data in our changed, post-pandemic world.
Councillor Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council, said "Throughout this process Havant Borough Council has been committed to ensuring we have a sound Local Plan. From the examination stage onwards, we have listened to the inspector and have been intending to make the changes required to ensure the Local Plan is compliant. While we had hoped to make those changes through a suspension, we accept the inspectors’ recommendation to withdraw.
“We hope to use this as an opportunity to bring back a better Local Plan, taking into account our newly adopted Climate Change and Environment Strategy. We look forward to engaging with residents when our revised Local Plan goes out to consultation.”
Councillor Jackie Branson, Chairman of the Planning Policy Committee, “The detailed information provided by officers to my committee clearly provided a way forward for the borough to get the bespoke Local Plan it deserves. I welcome the improved environmental considerations in the new plan and look forward to work progressing, and a revised plan being developed that meets the expectation of the Planning Inspectorate and residents alike.”
For the latest information on the council's Local Plan work - and an introductory document on the latest developments - please visit www.havant.gov.uk/localplan on 3 March 2022.