About the Consultation

Open22 Jan, 2024, 10:00am - 4 Mar, 2024, 11:59pm

What is a Local Plan and why is the borough’s Plan being updated?

1.1 A Local Plan sets the planning policy framework for its area, guiding future growth and change. The borough has an existing Local Plan which was adopted in 2016 but this is now being updated to ensure that the borough has a Plan in place which remains fit for purpose, reflects current national planning guidance, delivers local priorities, and meets future needs.
1.2 The Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan Update (LPU) will set out how development will be planned and delivered across the borough up to 2040, outlining a strategy for guiding the location, scale and type of future development. It will also include detailed development management policies that will be used in the determination of planning applications. Upon adoption, it will replace the existing Local Plan and, alongside the borough’s neighbourhood plans, will form the development plan for the area.
1.3 Having an up to date Local Plan in place has a number of significant benefits including, most notably, responding to the council’s Climate Emergency declaration; protecting and enhancing the borough’s environmental and heritage assets, enshrining the objectives of the Environment Act into the area’s policy framework and responding to the declared Ecological Emergency; introducing a strengthened policy framework to improve design quality in the area; and meeting the borough’s housing, employment and infrastructure needs in a sustainable way.

Figure 1.1: The Development Plan

 

How is the Local Plan Update being prepared?

1.4 The council has developed this draft LPU over the last couple of years based on a raft of relevant information including technical studies, input from a broad range of stakeholders and an Integrated Impact Assessment which has considered the impacts of options being considered. An Issues and Options consultation, focusing on key issues facing the borough, was undertaken in late 2020 and this has helped to shape the evolution of the Plan.
1.5 The making of a Local Plan is a relatively long process which follows a number of statutory stages set out in relevant national legislation and guidance. Key stages in the preparation of the LPU and relevant timescales, are shown below.

Figure 1.2: Local Plan Update Timeline

1.6 The council is now consulting on a draft version of the LPU. Comments made through this consultation will help to inform the next version of the Plan, which will continue to evolve.  The Plan will be updated prior to a further consultation which will take place before it is submitted for examination by an independent Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. The council is aiming for adoption in late 2025.

What requirements must the Local Plan Update meet?

1.7

The LPU will need to set out a strategy to meet the borough’s needs up to 2040, including the amount and type of housing; employment and retail floorspace; and infrastructure needs including local services and facilities. The council also wants the Plan to reflect the aspirations and choices of the local community. However, it must comply with specific requirements set out in national planning legislation and guidance, and in particular meet ‘the tests of soundness’. When the Plan is examined, the examiner will consider whether the Plan is:

  • Positively prepared: Providing a strategy that meets the identified needs
  • Justified: An appropriate strategy based upon evidence and taking into account reasonable alternatives
  • Effective: A deliverable strategy over the plan period
  • Consistent with national policy: Enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework and other statements of national policy.
1.8 At this stage comments made through this consultation do not have to relate to the tests, but it is helpful to consider how any comments relate to them.

How will the Local Plan Update affect neighbourhood planning?

1.9 The borough has fourteen neighbourhood plans in place that set out a range of locally distinctive policies to guide development in their local areas. Updating the Local Plan does not automatically trigger a need to review neighbourhood plans which will remain in place. However, if there is a conflict between the LPU and the neighbourhood plan, the most recently adopted plan takes precedence.  Therefore, as the LPU moves forward, communities may wish to update their neighbourhood plans to bring them into line with the new plan, and to meet any new housing requirements. The council will continue to proactively support neighbourhood planning.

What is included in this consultation?

1.10 The consultation seeks comments on the draft LPU. In addition to the Plan’s evidence base, a number of supporting documents have also been published that the council is also seeking views on and these are outlined below:

Figure 1.3: Consultation Supporting Documents

Document

Purpose

Policies map booklet

Illustrates the proposed draft strategy and policies in map format.

Infrastructure Delivery Plan

Summarises the key infrastructure required to accommodate currently planned development, as well as that likely to be required to support the LPU.

Integrated Impact Assessment

Sets out the likely impacts of the Local Plan on the environment and includes the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment which looks at the impacts on protected sites, plants and animals.

How Can I Take Part in the Consultation? 

1.11 This draft Local Plan Update is available for public consultation for a period of six weeks between 22 January 2024 and midnight on 4 March 2024.
1.12 Comments can be submitted through the online portal at the following address and the use of this portal is strongly encouraged: https://consult.basingstoke.gov.uk/consultation/local-plan-update
1.13

Alternatively, a response form can be downloaded from the council’s webpage at https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/LPU-have-your-say, completed and sent to us:

By email:               Local.plan@basingstoke.gov.uk

By writing to:         Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4AH

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