Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet is set to approve a way forward to adopt its Local Plan when the Council formally writes to the Planning Inspector indicating that it is content to progress with the examination of the Plan including the main modifications outlined by the Planning Inspector.
The main modifications indicated by the Inspector include the deletion of the Strategic Growth Option (SGO) and associated link road from the Plan. Further evidence is also required by the Inspector that relates to reviewing the countryside gaps and Chickenhall Lane Link Road policies; updates on housing supply and affordable housing needs and and also regarding the Council’s continuing policy position restricting new residential development on the Hamble peninsula.
The Inspector’s letter supports the Council’s approach to the delivery of all other components of the Plan’s housing supply that is testament to the Council’s proactive approach to housing delivery that would meet the requirement for housing until after 2030.
Proceeding to adoption of the Plan will mean that the Council has a Plan in place to guide the Council’s planning decisions and help protect the borough in a Plan-led system, which has been the Council’s principal objective in developing its Plan. Although the deletion of the SGO from the Plan will leave a shortfall in the later years of the Plan period (from 2031 to 2036), all options for strategic growth can be considered in the next review of the Plan to avoid any under-delivery of housing.
With the Council proceeding along the Inspector’s recommended route, further evidence will be prepared and the main modifications will be recommended to full Council for a decision. There would then be a period of public consultation on the main modifications before the Inspector finalises her report, after which the Council can proceed to adopt the Plan.
Council Leader Keith House said, “The Council has responded positively to the Inspector’s concerns and adopting a Local Plan on this basis has significant advantages and is the best course of action to meet the longer-term housing needs of our Borough. The Council remains committed to delivering a sound Local Plan and ensuring that we deliver the right homes in the right places”.