The Spatial Strategy – Between Now and 2040

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

Principles guiding the spatial strategy

4.1 The Local Plan Update has been prepared in accordance with the principles of achieving sustainable development as set out in national planning policy. Its spatial strategy directs the most growth to locations that are already sustainable or that can be made sustainable.
4.2

Early work on the Local Plan Update, including the Issues and Options consultation, highlighted that the following elements should inform the Local Plan’s spatial strategy. These have continued to develop as the Plan has evolved:

  • In response to the Climate Change and Ecological Emergency Declarations, the strategy will support the council’s Climate Change Strategy, locating development in sustainable locations and enabling the borough’s key environmental assets to be protected and enhanced.
  • The strategy will maximise opportunities for development within built up areas and on previously developed land, to support sustainable communities and improve the quality of life of local residents whilst minimising the loss of greenfield land.
  • The focus of growth will continue to be at Basingstoke Town as the borough’s most sustainable settlement, with its wealth of services, employment and infrastructure, and the potential to reduce both the need to travel and vehicle emissions.
  • The strategy will support suitable levels of growth in viable rural communities based on a settlement hierarchy, enabling rural towns and villages to grow, thrive and respond to local needs whilst protecting the rural character and identity of settlements.
  • The strategy will be deliverable and ensure a supply of housing sites is maintained on a rolling basis but through the adoption of a stepped approach which supports the development of strategic sites which will deliver suitable infrastructure in a timely manner.

What are the borough’s needs up to 2040?
 

Housing Need and Provision

4.3 The Government’s intention to boost the supply and delivery of new homes is clear and this is reflected in the NPPF which requires councils to identify their housing need using a nationally prescribed formula called the Standard Method.  Councils should plan to deliver that number of homes as a minimum unless exceptional local circumstances can be demonstrated. In addition, the ‘Duty to Cooperate’ requires that account is taken of any needs that cannot be met by neighbouring areas in establishing the housing requirement. No requests from neighbouring authorities have been received.
4.4

The Standard Method indicates that at 1 April 2023 the housing need was 850 dwellings per annum (dpa). It is acknowledged that the Standard Method figure continues to change over time as new data is published, and current borough trends suggest that this figure will reduce slightly over time. However, 850dpa has been used as the general housing need figure for this draft version of the Plan although it is noted that the figure was 880dpa for the first year of the plan period (2021-2040).

4.5 The council does not support the government’s top-down approach to setting housing requirements which is based upon a one-size-fits-all formula that fails to take into account the unique characteristics of the borough, its history or future needs, the views of local residents, or its specific and notable constraints. More specifically, it does not take into account the impacts of extremely high levels of housing growth in the past and the pressure that this has put on the borough’s infrastructure and services. The simplistic nature of the Standard Method directs more growth to locations that have grown in the past, thereby exacerbating these issues. It is therefore considered to be fundamentally flawed and unsuitable to be used as a basis for plan making.
4.6 However, the council recognises that it is important to have an up-to-date Local Plan to maintain a plan led approach to change that meets local needs and reflects local issues and ambitions. For example, it is important to ensure that development is built in the right locations, with the right infrastructure, and to the right standards that can support the council’s Climate Emergency and Ecological Emergency Declarations.
4.7 Therefore, in order to enable plan-making to progress in a timely manner, the Plan has adopted the government’s Standard Method housing need figure as its housing requirement. The borough council will continue to make strong representations to government that the Standard Method needs to change and will review and update its housing requirement as the plan-making process progresses in light of new evidence and any updates to national policy. 
4.8 In line with the Standard Method, the Plan therefore needs to set out a strategy to accommodate 16,180 new homes over the nineteen year plan period. Two years of this period have already passed, reducing the requirement to 14,450.
4.9 When assessing how much new housing the council has to plan through new site allocations, the amount of housing already in the pipeline is taken into consideration. There are a large number of sites in the borough which already have consent for residential development, some of which have been completed since the start of the Local Plan period in 2021. There are also a number of sites that have been allocated by the existing Local Plan which have not yet been developed. Three of these sites will be reallocated in this Plan, reflecting their strategic scale and long-term delivery and also to provide a policy framework for their continued delivery. The current broad area allocations from the current plan (regeneration and Basing View), will also be carried forward into the LPU. The evidence also shows that ‘windfall’ development (sites that have not been allocated by a local or neighbourhood plan but come forward for development) makes a substantial contribution to housing provision and that this will continue. As such, a small site windfall allowance is also included in the Plan, averaging at 50dpa. A specific large site allowance has not been included and this provides an element of flexibility in the supply figures.
4.10 The table below sets out the borough’s housing requirement at 1st April 2023. Taking the current housing provision into account, this leaves a requirement of around 4,650 additional homes. If a 10% buffer is added to the remaining requirement over the plan period (2023 onwards), to provide flexibility at this stage of plan making, this would effectively result in a required supply of around 6,100 homes.

Figure 4.1: Housing Requirement

Housing Requirement

Standard Method need (2021 to 2022 (880+850))

1,730

Standard Method need (2023 to 2040 (850x17))

14,450

Total

16,180

Housing Provision

 

Homes Built (completions) in 2021/2 and 2022/3

1,765

Outstanding planning permissions at 1/4/23

7,424

Existing local plan and neighbourhood plan site allocations

1,141

Broad Area allocations from existing plan (Regeneration and Basing View)

500

Small site windfall allowance

700

Total

11,530

Remaining requirement to be met through the LPU (16,180 -11,530)

4,650

4.11 In light of local infrastructure constraints and the characteristics of the proposed strategy, rather than delivering the homes at a consistent rate across the Plan period, the homes will be delivered in line with a ‘stepped trajectory’. This will require the delivery of fewer homes in the first five years of the Plan, and then the borough will ‘catch up’ over the rest of the Plan period. This is illustrated in the diagram below.

Figure 4.2: Stepped Trajectory

4.12 National planning policy requires councils to meet their total housing needs over the Plan-period, and planning practice guidance is clear that a stepped housing requirement can be a suitable way to do this. There are strong local circumstances why this approach is suitable for Basingstoke and Deane.
4.13 Firstly, it recognises that a significant proportion of the new housing will be delivered on large strategic sites. Almost two-thirds of the new homes that are being allocated by the Plan are at Southern Manydown and Popham (with total capacity for 7,500 and 3,000 homes respectively). The council considers that large sites such as these are sustainable and most able to deliver comprehensively-planned, infrastructure-rich development. However, sites of this scale have longer lead-in times (the time taken between the site being allocated to the first homes being occupied) on account of their complexity and the amount of infrastructure required (such as site accesses and off-site highway improvements). The council is therefore committed to the delivery of homes on these sites, but they will not be available in the early years of the adopted Plan.
4.14 Secondly, the stepped trajectory takes into account the council’s own ambitious home building programme. The council is currently considering the options for how this should be set up, but it is intended that it will boost the delivery of social rented accommodation on council-owned and other public sector land. The council’s housing delivery programme has the potential to stimulate levels of housing delivery and housing land supply more generally.
4.15 Thirdly, the stepped trajectory gives the council time to work with the major infrastructure providers to get more certainty about their future investment, and to work with them to enable the infrastructure to ‘catch up’ after the high levels of past growth. In particular, there are opportunities to improve health services (including through the delivery of a new hospital in Basingstoke) and new secondary education provision.

Other housing needs

4.16 The strategy also makes provision for a sufficient number of affordable homes to meet the needs identified through the council’s Housing Market Assessment.  These will be delivered in line with the tenure split identified in Policy HSG2, with a particular focus upon social rented accommodation, which is the tenure best suited to meeting local needs.
4.17 The plan is also proactive in meeting the borough’s need for custom and self-build plots through a requirement for 5% of dwellings to be delivered as plots on sites of 100 dwellings or more. The plan supports the delivery of self-build homes on Single Plot Rural Exception Sites (Policy HSG4), and local communities will also be encouraged to bring forward plots through neighbourhood planning
4.18 Older persons’ specialist accommodation needs will be met through the delivery of accommodation on the plan’s largest strategic sites. In addition to this, windfall sites will be permitted in suitable locations as set out in Policy HSG6

Employment

4.19 The council’s Economic Needs Assessment (ENA, 2023) identifies that the borough is a self-contained Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA), with the exception of the storage and distribution sector which, by definition, operates in a wider geographical area.
4.20 The ENA identifies a limited need for new office floorspace of 40,000sqm over the plan period and 20,000 sqm over the first ten years. Given the current uncertainty in the office market it is considered suitable to focus on the position over the first ten years of the Plan period as longer term trends and needs can be picked up through a review of the Plan.
4.21 Whilst short term market signals do not support new provision, it is considered important to take a positive approach and identify net additional floorspace over the Plan period to support growth and provide flexibility to respond to changing market dynamics which can’t be predicted at this stage. However, much of the borough’s office stock is currently underutilised and this can be rationalised through mixed use proposals or refurbishments which support wider regeneration objectives and avoid the sterilization of land in the shorter term. The better use of existing floorspace can make a substantial contribution towards meeting needs over the ten year period.
4.22 A need of approximately 24,000 sqm has also been identified for industrial floorspace and 99,000 sqm of logistics floorspace over the Plan period. The logistics floorspace is considered to be a minimum, recognising that an undefined sub-regional and regional need also exists which the borough may be able to contribute to.

 

Retail

4.23

The council’s Retail and Main Town Centre Uses Study (2020) identifies that demand for retail floorspace will not significantly change over the Plan period, and that there is likely to be a contraction in floorspace demand in Basingstoke town centre. Given the way in which shopping and leisure patterns have changed since the pandemic it identifies the importance of the borough’s town and district centres being flexible and diversifying with a range of different uses. In light of these findings, it is therefore not necessary for the LPU to allocate new retail floorspace to meet needs but rather provide a framework to support suitable regeneration and diversification.

How has the council developed its spatial strategy?

4.24 The spatial strategy has been informed by a Sustainability Appraisal (SA).  This has tested the impacts of different levels of growth, and different spatial options upon some key economic, social and environmental objectives.  This informed a range of different options that were tested through the Issues and Options consultation in Autumn 2020.
4.25 The SA has also been integral to the site selection process. The council undertook a detailed site assessment of potential housing and employment sites in and around the main settlements of Basingstoke, Tadley, Whitchurch and Overton, in addition to other relevant strategic-scale sites included in the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). Sites were assessed  against an extensive set of baseline technical criteria which reflected national policy and sustainability considerations, to identify potential opportunities and impacts that could arise from development. Through this exercise, the most sustainable sites were identified, both individually and taking into account cumulative impacts.
4.26 This assessment has taken into account a range of evidence base studies undertaken to inform the LPU. This included a borough-wide Landscape Sensitivity Study, a Transport Assessment, a Water Cycle Study, Economic Needs Assessment, and a Settlement Study.
4.27 The assessment process involved a thorough and transparent consideration of the full range of issues to determine whether a site was suitable for allocation to meet the identified needs, and whether any potential impacts could be satisfactorily mitigated. In light of this assessment, suitable criteria have been included in the detailed site allocation policies to ensure that any required mitigation is achieved.
4.28 As previously identified, the Plan needs to allocate sites for around 4,650 new homes up to 2040. The draft spatial strategy would meet these needs and also provide an oversupply to provide flexibility at this stage of plan making. This effectively provides a 10% buffer.

Overview of the strategy

4.29 The Plan’s spatial strategy seeks to maximise opportunities to redevelop brownfield (previously developed) land. In addition to setting out a generally supportive framework for new development in built up areas that contribute to the well-being of the area, the Plan proactively supports a collaborative regeneration programme, highlighting the initial priority residential areas of South Ham, Buckskin and Winklebury. The Plan also supports the delivery of the Town Centre Strategy which focuses on developing a more diversified, well-connected and greener centre. This includes the provision of new homes to support vitality and an allocation of 400 new homes has been included. A large brownfield site has also been allocated for development in the borough’s rural area, at Overton, and more details are provided in following sections. The council is seeking to meet as much of its employment needs as possible through the regeneration of existing employment areas, including Basing View.
4.30 However, it is recognised that given the nature of the borough and the level of future need, it is necessary to allocate some greenfield land for development. Such allocations are principally focused around the edge of Basingstoke (the borough’s largest and most sustainable settlement), continuing the strategy that was followed in the adopted Local Plan. The largest site is Southern Manydown, to the south-west of the town, which has capacity for approximately 7,500 dwellings including 2,400 in the plan period.  In order to provide choice and flexibility, the strategy also includes a sustainable new settlement at Popham Airfield, in the south-western part of the borough, close to Micheldever station in the neighbouring district of Winchester. A number of other site allocations around Basingstoke Town, have also been included, varying in scale from under 20 to approximately 900 homes, to provide a mix of sites in terms of scale and location. These sites were considered the most suitable to accommodate development through the site assessment process and will ensure a supply of deliverable sites over the plan period to meet needs.
4.31 Some development is also suitable in the borough’s rural settlements to maintain the vitality of those communities and meet local housing needs.  However, growth at Tadley, the borough’s second largest settlement is constrained by its location close to AWE and, as such, the needs arising here will be met elsewhere in the borough.
4.32 With the exception of Overton, which has a specific brownfield site allocation, the spatial strategy identifies a level of growth that should take place in relevant rural settlements over the plan period. It is considered that local communities are best placed to guide change in their areas and therefore the Plan favours an approach where the strategy for delivering new homes in rural settlements is developed through neighbourhood plans. Neighbourhood planning has been very successful in the borough under the current Local Plan with 14 plans currently made, many of which have included site allocations. Should parish councils not allocate sites in a timely manner, the council will step in and allocate. The site allocations made through neighbourhood plans will facilitate the provision of small scale housing sites (as supported by the NPPF) in suitable locations and enable the on-going sustainability of these settlements.
4.33 The above strategy will provide a range of accommodation to meet the needs of all of the borough’s residents, including specialist accommodation for older people, plots for residents who wish to self-build, and sufficient gypsy and traveller pitches to meet needs.
4.34 The council will monitor delivery to ensure a rolling supply of deliverable housing sites. In the event that a future supply cannot be demonstrated (or could not be restored), a review of the Local Plan would be triggered. The impact of new development on water bodies (including the River Loddon and the River Test) will also be monitored closely and careful phasing of residential development will ensure that appropriate water infrastructure can be provided to maintain water quality.
4.35 In relation to employment, the strategy seeks to optimise the use of the current Strategic Employment Areas including Basing View. The existing stock will be regenerated and improved in quality to better meet needs, and also reconfigured to ensure that floorspace is not underutilised. Diversification will also be supported, where suitable, including the potential for a university campus on Basing View.
4.36 However, new allocations will also be required to meet employment needs, most notably for storage and distribution. These are proposed in sustainable locations on the edge of Basingstoke, which benefit from good connections to the Strategic Road Network. The spatial strategy will therefore continue to protect and support the borough’s Strategic Employment Areas, as well as supporting the development of the required new sites. The plan will also support the rural economy to ensure appropriate rural businesses are able to form and grow.
4.37 The strategy recognises the importance of protecting the borough’s retail centres and supporting redevelopment to meet needs. The Plan supports the delivery of the Town Centre Strategy for Basingstoke, which will guide future change and help to deliver a revitalised, well-connected, attractive and greener centre with a broad range of shopping, leisure and cultural experiences. The borough’s district centres at Brighton Hill, Chineham, Overton, Tadley and Whitchurch, together with smaller centres such as Kingsclere and Bramley will continue to act as the key focus for shopping and other town and village centre uses. There is also a network of local shops and local parades that meet communities’ day-to-day needs. It is recognised that these centres play a significant role in maintaining and enhancing the prosperity of the borough, and that local provision can help to minimise the need to travel, thus supporting the council’s actions on the Climate Emergency.
4.38 The Local Plan takes an ‘infrastructure-first’ approach that requires new development to provide sufficient infrastructure at the right time. The stepped approach to housing delivery will support this. Suitable infrastructure is critical to ensure new and existing residents and businesses have good access to high quality services and facilities. This will include the provision of all forms of infrastructure from highways improvements, utilities provision including water, and education and health facilities (including a potential new hospital and health campus). The council is working with service providers to understand and comprehensively plan for these needs, and this is set out in the draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
4.39 The policies in the plan will ensure that new and redeveloped sites deliver high quality development that meets the economic, social and environmental objectives of the NPPF, and the council’s Climate Emergency and Ecological Emergency Declarations. New homes will be built to Passivhaus standard and generate their own renewable energy to reach a ‘net zero energy balance’.  Development will also seek to minimise embodied carbon arising from the construction of the new buildings.
4.40 Homes will be well-designed and built to a new ‘liveability standard’ which will drive up housing standards for all residents. The design of the largest sites will be controlled through a strong policy framework which requires the production of masterplans and design codes. This will ensure sites are well designed, beautiful, distinctive and comprehensively planned, and that they protect and enhance green infrastructure. Policies require new development to protect and enhance biodiversity with at least a 10% biodiversity net gain to respond to the council’s Ecological Emergency Declaration.
4.41 The following section provides more detail about the development planned in different parts of the borough.

Basingstoke

4.42 In line with the key principles guiding the spatial strategy set out above, the focus of growth is at and around the borough’s largest settlement, Basingstoke.  The town is the borough’s principal centre, with excellent transport links and a wide range of retail and employment opportunities.
4.43 Development will take place in and around the town with a range of allocations of different sizes. The largest development site is at Southern Manydown, which lies to the south-west of the town. The area has the potential to deliver approximately 7,500 new homes in total, including 2,400 homes over the next Plan period. The allocation also includes a new hospital and health campus, in addition to employment land to meet needs over the plan period and supporting community infrastructure.
4.44 The scale of development, particularly when considered alongside the current Local Plan sites to the west of the town (including North Manydown, which has planning permission for up to 3,520 dwellings) provides an opportunity to bring forward a highly sustainable development in line with the council’s Strategic Vision for Land North of the M3 at Junction 7 which was adopted in 2021. The Plan will ensure the provision of high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure, a public transport corridor through the site, and a range of on-site uses that can allow trips to be internalised, including at least one secondary school.
4.45 To the east of the town, proposed allocations have the potential to deliver approximately 1,200 homes. The East of Basingstoke site is allocated in the current Local Plan for 450 homes as phase 1, and a further 450 homes are now allocated as phase 2, making the site more viable and deliverable. A further 300 homes are allocated to the north of the site at Sherfield Hill Farm which is adjacent to allocations from the adopted Plan which are currently being built out. These sites will produce a joined-up new community to the east of the A33. 
4.46 New sites are also proposed to the north of the town, with the development of part of Weybrook Park Golf Course and adjacent land accommodating approximately 250 homes, and a further 200 homes on Kiln Farm, to the West of Marnel Park.
4.47 New homes will be delivered in the town centre in line with the Town Centre Strategy. At this stage it is anticipated that the town centre can accommodate approximately 400 new homes, particularly focused upon the area around the railway station and the Top of Town. Proposals for the town centre will continue to develop and it is anticipated that higher numbers of homes may come forward, for example, as part of the council’s house building programme. Additional new homes are also likely to be delivered through regeneration schemes in the town and this will also gain more certainty as the Plan process progresses. A number of smaller proposed allocations support the focus on Basingstoke Town.
4.48 Basingstoke is also considered to be the most suitable location to meet the majority of the borough’s employment needs, and there is scope to intensify, rationalise and upgrade uses on the existing Strategic Employment Areas. In particular, Basing View is already being regenerated and remains a highly sustainable location adjacent to Basingstoke town centre and the train station. There is also scope to provide new employment floorspace in Basingstoke town centre and the larger housing led site allocations such as Southern Manydown within the proposed mixed use centres.
4.49 Southern Manydown will provide a range of employment uses including medical and life science uses connected with the new hospital. There is also an opportunity for storage and distribution and industrial floorspace of a suitable scale to be provided through the allocation, as well as on the adjacent site at Oakdown Farm, in a location close to Junction 7 of the M3. However, due to the high landscape sensitivity of the area and proximity to existing rural settlements, any scheme needs to take due regard to and respond to the area’s special characteristics.
4.50 Basingstoke town centre will continue to be the main focus for retail, and a key location for other leisure and entertainment uses. To support the Town Centre Strategy, the plan seeks to create a high-quality, well-connected town centre that supports its heritage and culture whilst allowing innovation to thrive.  Outside of the centre, the plan supports the regeneration and modernisation of the Leisure Park with new and enhanced leisure facilities to support its role as a regional leisure destination. The plan also supports the retention of existing community uses and local shopping facilities, and provision of new amenities, that can help local communities meet their day-to-day needs.
Popham Airfield
4.51 A new settlement is proposed at Popham Airfield, which lies approximately five miles to the southwest of Basingstoke alongside the A303. Popham Garden Village is the second largest development allocation in the plan with potential to deliver approximately 3,000 new homes over the Plan period and beyond. 
4.52 New settlements such as this are supported by the NPPF, and the site will be developed in line with ‘Garden Village Principles’[1]. It will be a sustainable and infrastructure-rich new community that will help to diversify supply and boost delivery rates. The new settlement will need to be as self-contained as possible by including a village centre with a sufficient range of facilities and services to ensure that the community’s day to day needs can be met. It will also have its own identity and character which is strongly informed by its rural location within the Hampshire countryside. There are opportunities to prioritise active travel and provide public transport to Micheldever railway station, which is less than two miles from the site.

The rural settlements

4.53 It is recognised that some growth is suitable in the borough’s rural areas to enable settlements and the wider area to remain viable and thrive. The approach to rural areas has been informed by a Settlement Study (2023) which places settlements into a number of tiers (see Figure 4.3) and also identifies suitable levels of future growth in different settlement. The study is underpinned by the following principles:
 
  • Directing the most development to the most sustainable places.  As shown below, the borough’s settlements have been placed into sustainability categories taking into account issues such as size, and location of local services and facilities. The strategy seeks to ensure the most sustainable settlements grow most in proportional terms.
  • Ensuring fairness by recognising past delivery. The identified housing requirements have been adjusted to reflect where settlements have delivered, or committed to deliver (for example, through planning permissions or site allocations in Neighbourhood Plans) more or fewer homes than set out in the existing Local Plan.
  • An understanding of local constraints and site availability. The identified housing requirements have been tested against known infrastructure and environmental constraints such as highways, education, health and water quality to provide an understanding of whether growth levels can be suitably delivered in and around highlighted settlements.

Figure 4.3: Settlement Category Tiers

A diagram of a pyramid

Description automatically generated

4.54 In addition to the Settlement Study further consideration has also been given to the impact of the proposed housing allocations on the nearest rural settlements.  As the spatial strategy directs significant levels of growth to sites on the edge of Basingstoke, there are concerns about how these would impact on the rural character and heritage assets of nearby villages, the local road network, and local facilities and services. The Plan therefore does not identify an additional housing requirement for the villages of North Waltham, Old Basing, Oakley, Sherborne St John and Sherfield on Loddon. 
4.55 The housing needs of the rural settlements will either be met through Local Plan site allocations (in the case of Overton where a brownfield site opportunity has been identified) or through the setting of a minimum figure in the Neighbourhood Planning policy (Policy SPS6). The neighbourhood planning-led approach focuses development in and around the settlements and supports development in the built-up areas of settlements. Neighbourhood planning will provide opportunity for local communities to have a greater say in shaping and managing development within their local area. 

Rural towns and large villages

4.56 The Local Plan allocates a site for approximate 340 new homes on a brownfield site at Overton Mill, on the edge of Overton. The settlement study identifies a requirement for 250 new homes in Overton across the Plan period. The site at Overton Mill would therefore meet Overton’s housing requirement in full, and the additional 90 dwellings that are expected to be delivered on the site would count towards Whitchurch’s housing need. This is on account of the close inter-relationship between Overton and Whitchurch. The two settlements are less than four miles apart and the residents share a range of facilities and services. The rest of Whitchurch’s housing needs (220 homes) would be met in and around the town, for example through neighbourhood planning. 
4.57 Tadley is the borough’s second largest settlement with notable services and facilities. If the general approach to identifying suitable housing targets was applied to Tadley this would equate to a requirement of approximately 945 new homes over the Plan period. However, growth at Tadley is severely restricted by the proximity of the settlement to the AWE Tadley and consequently residential development is generally restricted on the grounds of nuclear safety.
4.58 Discussions have taken place with the emergency planners responsible for enforcing the AWE Off-Site Nuclear Emergency Plan, and they have indicated that any future housing allocations would need to lie outside the defined consultation zone which covers the built-up area of Tadley. As a result of this process, the requirement for the settlement has been reduced to zero as there would be no opportunities within the current Settlement Policy Boundary. 

Smaller rural settlements

4.59 The borough’s rural area contains a large number of small and medium-sized villages (as identified in the settlement categories, above), which vary in size and function, and contain different levels of facilities and services. Of these, the medium villages are considered more sustainable locations for future growth due to their relative size and ability to support a greater range of amenities. The small villages contain only basic amenities and are reliant upon larger towns and villages to meet many of their day-to-day needs. 
4.60 Whilst it is important to maintain the character of these settlements, some proportionate growth is considered suitable to maintain their viability, and this will be delivered through the setting of minimum figures in the Neighbourhood Planning policy (Policy SPS6). 
4.61 The plan also recognises the importance of supporting and enhancing the rural economy and the role it plays in supporting rural communities. The rural area has a wide range of land-based businesses, as well as other non-traditional businesses which enhance the prosperity of the rural area. The plan therefore supports suitable proposals for rural economic growth, including farm diversification, where the use and scale is appropriate to its location.

Key Diagram

4.62 The following Key Diagram provides a spatial representation of the proposed strategy.

Figure 4.4: Key diagram summarising the Spatial Strategy

Map - Key diagram summarising the Spatial Strategy

Click to enlarge map

 

 

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