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Local Plan Q&A

What is a Local Plan?

A Local Plan is a document prepared by councils and used to plan for the quantity and locations of future development.  It is used to plan for housing, jobs and employment space, sports and leisure facilities, transport and community infrastructure, the protection of sensitive habitats and the impact of climate change.

How is a Local Plan prepared?

Local Plans are prepared by councils in accordance with legislation and national planning requirements and guidance. The public must be consulted on the content of a Local Plan at various stages.  The Council's proposed final Plan must be submitted for independent examination to a Government Planning Inspector and approved before it can be adopted by the Council.

Why is a Local Plan so important?

An adopted Local Plan is used to guide where future development should go and what it should look like.  It is used both by developers to inform their ideas and Council Officers to consider planning applications.  The Council's Planning Committee also uses the Local Plan when determining planning applications to see whether the proposed development fits in with the policies set out in the adopted Local Plan. 

Does Fareham have a Local Plan?

Yes, the  Adopted Local Plan comprises three parts and sets out the Council's plans for Fareham up to 2026 (Part 3 – The Welborne Plan plans up to 2036). 

If you have a Local Plan, why are you working on a new one?

Local Plans now have to be updated every five years.  Parts 2 and 3 of Fareham's Local Plan were adopted in 2015, whilst Part 1 was adopted back in 2011.  Parts of the existing Local Plan have already been determined as being out of date by a Planning Inspector and this has been exacerbated by significant changes being made by Government to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

What happens if you don't have a Local Plan?

If a Council doesn't have a Local Plan it is not able to control where and how development takes place in the Borough.  So, for example, the Planning Committee may turn down an application because they don't agree with a development being built there, but it might be difficult to defend that decision at an Appeal.   An important part of any Local Plan is the ability to show a robust 5-year housing land supply.  In 2017 the Council lost an appeal because the Inspector did not accept the Council had an adequate 5-year housing land supply.

What is a 5-year housing land supply?

A percentage of all the new homes set out in a Local Plan must be delivered within the first five years and councils have to prove this will happen by showing when and where planned development is taking place. 

How do you decide how many homes need to be provided?

Each Council has to follow guidance set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to determine how many homes are required.  Broadly speaking this guidance takes into account household projections and affordability based on house prices compared to local salaries.  Any housing need arising from neighbouring authorities must also be planned for where appropriate.  This is usually referred to as 'unmet need'.

What is unmet housing need?

If a Local Authority is unable to plan for all of its housing need, due to constraints such as land availability, the housing not planned for is known as 'unmet need'.  This housing cannot simply be forgotten. Local authorities must work together to reach agreement about how to accommodate the unmet need. 

It is intended that the member authorities of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) will work together to seek that agreement.  PUSH was formed in 2003 and comprises twelve South Hampshire local authorities.

Why do the numbers keep changing?

The Council has to follow current National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) guidance.  That means any changes to the NPPF must be addressed when the Local Plan is updated.  This has been the case with the draft Local Plan which was consulted on in 2017 and why it has subsequently been delayed. 

NPPF requirements and guidance are subject to change and indeed changed significantly in 2012, and then again more recently in February 2019.


What is happening with the draft Local Plan?

The requirement for housing has changed so significantly since the Draft Local Plan was consulted on in 2017 that the Council has decided to start work on producing a new draft Local Plan.  This will enable the Council to plan properly for this additional housing. 

The Council is consulting on the issues and options for its new Local Plan to 2036. Should you wish to have your say on the proposals the consultation is open until Friday 26th July and you can view the consultation documents here.

Why will it take so long for the new draft Local Plan to be prepared?

There is a lot of work that goes into a draft Local Plan: 

Why can't you just build on previously development (brownfield) sites?

The Council has investigated building on brownfield sites, particularly in Fareham Town Centre and Portchester District Centre.  Unfortunately development of these areas is not straightforward and there simply aren't sufficient brownfield sites to build the number of homes required for Fareham. 

How many homes are needed in Fareham?

As of June 2019 the number is at least 520 dwellings per annum; however, that is subject to change.

Is there a chance the changes will reduce housing numbers?

Unfortunately not.  The Government is clear that it wants to build 300,000 new homes a year.  That means more, not fewer, homes in Fareham.

Are there any other changes in the revised NPPF?

Yes, the new Framework includes an annual Housing Delivery Test.

What is a Housing Delivery Test (HDT)?

The HDT is a new annual measurement of housing delivery that looks back over the previous three years to check whether the number of houses built agrees with the number that were required to be built during the same period.   Results will be in calculated as a percentage and published by the Government every November. 

If the results show the requirement has not been met, councils will be required to undertake a series of actions aimed at helping to increase build rates such as  producing a Housing Delivery Action Plan and adding an extra buffer onto the 5-year housing supply calculation.  The first results for Fareham were published by the Government in Februrary 2019. The Council passed the test with 137%.

 



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Fareham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Hampshire, PO16 7AZ
Tel: +44 (0) 1329 236100 | Mobile Text/Photo: 07876 131415 | Fax: +44 (0) 1329 821770
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