Policy SPS6: Neighbourhood Planning
Policy SPS6: Neighbourhood Planning
The council will support parish/town councils and other representatives from local communities in non-parished areas in meeting needs through the Neighbourhood Planning process.
In the settlements listed below, it will be necessary to identify sites/opportunities to meet the following levels of development, within and/or adjacent to the settlements’ defined Settlement Policy Boundaries:
At the time of the Local Plan’s five year review, if a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order that would meet the requirements of this policy has not been submitted to the Council, or at least 50% of a settlement’s identified requirement has not been given planning permission, the council will allocate sites to meet this need through a Development Plan Document.
|The council strongly supports the principle of Neighbourhood Planning, which includes the development of Neighbourhood Plans and Neighbourhood Development Orders, including Community Right to Build Orders. The council offers a range of support to neighbourhood planning groups and there has been great success in the borough with preparing neighbourhood plans. Neighbourhood planning offers local communities the opportunity to come together and agree on joint aspirations for their area, and consequently guide future development decisions. A number of local guides have been developed by the council to assist local communities through this process, including the Neighbourhood Planning Protocol (2018).
|The council continues to support the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans across the borough, and 17 neighbourhood areas have been designated in the borough at time of publication with 14 Neighbourhood Plans made and forming part of the Development Plan for their area. The council will work with these local communities to identify the most appropriate means of delivering the identified levels of development. Other communities who are not listed in the policy may also wish to prepare Neighbourhood Plans and the council will support them in bringing these forward.
|The housing requirements identified in the policy take account of a settlement’s sustainability and size and, as a general principle, seek to direct the most growth to the largest and most sustainable settlements. A number of larger settlements have not been given a specific new housing number however, due to their proximity to strategic new development sites allocated under Policy SPS5. These settlements are Oakley, Old Basing, Sherborne St John and Sherfield on Loddon. North Waltham has also not been given a new requirement but carries across the unmet requirement for 10 dwellings from the adopted Local Plan. This approach to settlements is in line with a key objective of the Plan to protect the character of the borough’s rural villages. In addition to the above, the housing requirement at Whitchurch has been reduced from 310 homes (as indicated by the Settlement Study) to 220. This reflects the close inter-relationship between Overton and Whitchurch, and the fact that the allocated site at Overton Mill would provide 90 dwellings more than Overton’s housing requirement.
|The housing requirements have been adjusted to account for whether settlements have experienced more or less development than was required by the last Local Plan 2011-2029, and are set at the Plan’s base date of April 2021. However, it is recognised that further new homes have been committed since this date (either as a result of planning permissions or sites allocated in new neighbourhood plans), so the amount of additional housing required in those settlements is now reduced. These figures are shown in the right hand column of the table in the policy.
|These requirements will be updated annually through the Authority Monitoring Report to take account of development that has occurred over the previous monitoring year. The requirements are based upon the assumption that all commitments, including sites allocated in relevant Neighbourhood Plans, will be delivered. This position will also be monitored and where sites do not come forward as predicted the relevant number of homes will be added back into the above totals. The council will provide an up to date requirement to all relevant parishes as part of its annual housing monitoring process.
|All net new dwellings within the defined Settlement Policy Boundaries of the settlements listed will qualify towards the requirements outlined in the policy. Outside of, but adjacent to, Settlement Policy Boundaries, developments with a net gain of five or more units will also qualify. As an exception to these requirements, all homes built on self-build single plot exception sites outside settlements (as set out in Policy HSG4) will also be counted. If developments of a qualifying size come forward within or adjacent to the named settlements via alternative means to neighbourhood planning, for example via a planning application, this will contribute towards the targets set out within the policy.
|Consents will be ‘counted’ in the manner set out above from the day following the adoption of the Local Plan Update. Prior to this date, consents will continue to be recorded against the qualifying criteria set out in the Local Plan 2011-2029.
|Where a neighbourhood plan is being progressed and it can be demonstrated that there are no suitable sites which can be allocated within or adjacent to the settlement policy boundary, the council will exceptionally permit other sites that are closely related to the settlement to count towards the policy’s requirement. This flexibility would not apply to qualifying windfall development, which must meet the criteria outlined in the policy.
|The council will expect local communities to review their settlement policy boundaries through the neighbourhood planning process. In identifying sites for new homes, neighbourhood plans should consider opportunities for bringing forward custom and self-build housing. This can enable a greater mix and variety of homes and, if suitably controlled, could provide a particularly suitable and sensitive form of development.
|Neighbourhood Plans which allocate sites within the area of the River Test and Itchen catchment will be required to ensure that sites can demonstrate nutrient neutrality in order to protect the Solent nature conservation sites. This should be achieved on site unless it can be robustly demonstrated that this is not achievable, in which case off-site mitigation would be required. Neighbourhood plans could also take the opportunity to allocate nutrient mitigation sites for the development in that area, which may also achieve wider environmental and community objectives, particularly where multiple site allocations are unable to achieve on-site mitigation.
|The policy will be monitored annually as part of the Authority Monitoring Report to ensure the requirements of the policy will be met within the plan period. If requirements are not on course to be met at the time that the Local Plan has its five year review, the council will step in to allocate sites through a new Development Plan Document. Should this be necessary, this will be undertaken in close liaison with the local community.