Policy SPS1 - Scale and Distribution of Development

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

Policy SPS1: Scale and Distribution of Development

The council will take a positive approach to development proposals that reflect the presumption in favour of sustainable development as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

Development and redevelopment will be permitted within Settlement Policy Boundaries where it contributes to social, economic and environmental well-being. In particular, development will be encouraged on suitable brownfield sites. 

Sites outside Settlement Policy Boundaries will be considered to lie in the countryside, where development will be permitted where it complies with policies in the plan, or it can be demonstrated that it has an essential need to be located in the countryside and is sustainable.

Within the plan period from 2021 to 2040, the council will make provision for at least 16,180 new homes and associated infrastructure, phased in a stepped trajectory as follows: 

  • 880 in 2021/2 to meet the standard method figure
  • At least 850 homes for the four years up to adoption to meet the standard method figure (2022-2026)
  • At least 660 homes a year for the first five years post adoption (2026-2031)
  • At least 955 homes a year for the remainder of the Plan (2031 – 2040). 

In addition to the delivery of existing commitments and allocations, this will be provided by:

  1. Supporting regeneration, including in Basingstoke Town Centre, in line with Policies SPS2, SPS3, SPS4 and SPS9;
  2. Allocating new sites or extensions to sites, as set out in Policy SPS5, to provide approximately 5,390 homes over the plan period;
  3. Supporting the delivery of new homes through Neighbourhood Planning, in line with Policy SPS6; and
  4. Resisting developments that involve a net loss of housing, unless it can be demonstrated that the benefits outweigh the harm.

Employment uses (including offices and industrial uses) will be supported within Strategic Employment Areas and other suitable locations in accordance with Policy EMP1 and EMP4 in order to meet the needs identified through the council’s Economic Needs Assessment.

Main town centre uses (such as retail and leisure) will be directed to designated centres in accordance with Policy EMP3.

6.6 Policy SPS1 sets out an overarching framework for the Plan’s spatial strategy, delivering new housing and other uses to meet the borough’s needs over the Plan period. In particular, it seeks to focus new development on appropriate brownfield sites and within existing built up areas (as generally defined by Settlement Policy Boundaries). As such, the Plan actively supports suitable regeneration schemes including within Basingstoke Town Centre. It also sets the framework for greenfield site allocations which are required to meet needs, and the Plan’s approach to development in rural areas which will generally be guided by Neighbourhood Plans. The policies in the rest of the Plan provide more detail on the development to be delivered, combining to create a positive approach in favour of sustainable development. Proposals that accord with policies in the NPPF and the Local Plan will be approved without delay.

The purpose of a Settlement Policy Boundary (SPB) is to delineate areas within which the general principle of new development would be acceptable, although development would need to comply with all other relevant planning policies, for example in relation to issues such as design, heritage or ecology and account must be taken of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy (as evolving/adopted). A number of additional SPBs have been delineated in the updated plan to ensure a consistent approach to settlements in the borough. These are located at Headley, Highclere, and Silchester.


In terms of housing and in line with current national guidance, the policy sets out a requirement based upon the Government’s Standard Method (calculated at 1 April 2023). However, the council has significant concerns about this approach to setting housing numbers and will continue to call for change at a national level to enable local circumstances, including needs and constraints, to determine the suitable level of growth for an area.

6.9 A stepped trajectory is being adopted, with a lower rate of housing delivery for the first five years of the Plan, following its adoption, before a step up in delivery over the longer term. This will support the delivery of the Plan’s larger strategic site allocations which will take time to deliver due to their significant lead in times. This approach also takes into account the council’s own ambitious home building programme and gives the council time to work with major infrastructure providers to get more certainty about future investment, and to work with them to enable the infrastructure to ‘catch up’ after the high levels of past growth.
Implementation and Monitoring

The policy will be implemented through:

  • The determination of planning applications.

The policy will be monitored by:

  • Annual monitoring of development including the location and number of housing completions and employment floorspace through the Authority Monitoring Report.


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