Cllr Hughes introduced the item as the relevant Cabinet Lead. He outlined the proposed changes to the document made necessary by external factors since it had been unanimously approved by Council in January 2019. This included the need for all development to be nutrient neutral and he was proud of the pioneering approach taken by the council to address this matter with the mitigation scheme that had been launched in August 2020.
Since approval of the document in January 2019 the Hayling Island Transport Assessment had been approved and work was well underway in respect of proposals for the Warblington junction. These would be published prior to submission. He was conscious that the Hayling Island Transport Assessment Addendum had been controversial but considered it to be a robust piece of work that would lead to discernible improvements along the A3023 corridor.
He proposed the Cabinet recommendation to Council and urged that it be approved in order that a consolidated version of the Local Plan could be submitted to the Secretary of State and progressed to examination.
Council noted the deputations received from:
Mrs Skennerton (on behalf of Hayling Island Residents Association)
Mr Parham (on behalf of Save Our Island)
Mrs Brooks (on behalf of Havant Climate Alliance and Havant Friends of the Earth)
Mrs Tonkin, Mr Jones, Mr Parham and Mrs Skennerton were in attendance virtually and delivered their deputations verbally to Council.
The Cabinet recommendation proposed by Cllr Hughes was duly seconded by Cllr Wilson.
In response to a question, Council was advised that the Pre-Submission Local Plan had carried limited material weight since being approved by Council in January 2019. If approved, the amendments being considered would also carry the same weight.
In response to further questions it was confirmed that the evidence being produced highlighted a need for an upgraded junction at Warblington. When assessing transport improvements, it was confirmed that the housing projections contained within existing and emerging local plans of the borough and those of neighbouring areas were considered.
In respect of the Hayling Island Transport Assessment Addendum, Cllr Hughes confirmed that he was happy to engage with residents’ concerns in his capacity as Chair of the Hayling Island Infrastructure Advisory Group and highlighted the importance of the timing of trigger points for works to be carried out. These could be amended if necessary and he cited the changes made through interventions by Councillors in respect of the West of Waterlooville Major Development Area as an example.
The Mayor invited Councillors to debate the matter.
During the debate, members stressed the dangers of piecemeal development if the council could not demonstrate a five-year land supply and highlighted the importance of the local plan being compliant with all relevant statutory guidance.
Whilst welcoming the commitment made by Cllr Hughes to engage with residents in respect of the Hayling Island Transport Assessment Addendum, concerns were raised by some members in respect of the consultation that had been undertaken prior to the decision being made. This led to two members feeling unable to support the recommendations proposed.
All but two members supported the proposed changes to the pre-submission local plan to deliver the housing needed within the borough, although there were mixed opinions in respect of how many homes would be truly affordable for young people.
As proposed by Councillor Hughes and seconded by Cllr Wilson, it was
RESOLVED that Council:
i. Approves the publication of the changes to the Pre-Submission Havant Borough Local Plan (Appendix A);
ii. Approves the consultation on the changes on the Pre-Submission Havant Borough Local Plan (Appendix A);
iii. Authorises the Planning Policy Manager2, in consultation with the Cabinet Lead for Planning Regeneration and Communities2 and the Cabinet Lead for Communications2 to prepare relevant consultation material;
iv. Delegates authority to the Planning Policy Manager2, in consultation with the Cabinet Lead for Planning, Regeneration and Communities2 to make any necessary additional changes to the Havant Borough Local Plan prior to the start of the consultation;
v. Notes that following any approval under (i) the changes to the Havant Borough Local Plan would have material planning weight and would be a material consideration in decision making;
vi. Notes the publication of the additional submission documents (the Sustainability Appraisal, the Habitats Regulations Assessment, Integrated Impact Assessment, evidence base, Statements of Common Ground);
vii. Notes the Borough’s five year housing land supply position as of December 2019 (available at www.havant.gov.uk/localplan/evidencebase);
viii. Notes the change in title of the plan to “Havant Borough Local Plan” and the resultant need to amend any emerging Council strategies;
ix. Delegates authority to the Planning Policy Manager2 to prepare a report, which forms one of the required documents to submit to the Secretary of State, noting the number of representations made through the consultation (recommendation ii) and a summary of the main issues raised;
x. Approves the submission of the Havant Borough Local Plan, including the proposed changes, to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government following the consultation (ii) and the publication of the consultation report (vi); and
xi. Delegates authority to the Planning Policy Manager2 to prepare a schedule(s) of proposed changes for the Planning Inspector to consider before and/or throughout the examination of the Local Plan.
1 Agenda, papers and minutes are available at https://havant.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=126&MId=10792&Ver=4
2 Or successor in similar or equivalent role