Last night the Council noted the progress on its Emerging Local Plan that identified that the area to the north and east of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak is emerging as the current preferred Strategic Growth Option subject to the completion of further investigative surveys.
The Emerging Local Plan identifies a need for 5200 new homes that includes the creation of a new community including a new road to help ensure access to homes and ease congestion together with jobs, schools, shops and open spaces to the north and east of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak. A number of other smaller development sites totalling around 1700 new homes were also identified. The Council is also committed to ensuring that the environment and important habitats including ancient woodland and River Itchen are properly protected along with the conservation of the wide diversity of wildlife that live in the area.
Council Leader Keith House said, “This Emerging Local Plan confirms we remain committed to getting the right homes in the right places, protecting the gaps between our towns and villages and tackling congestion at the same time. We must undertake longer term planning for the next 20 years to provide a greater opportunity help ensure we can fund the important infrastructure we need for our communities in the future.”
He added, “We do understand that many residents have concerns that need to be addressed including that we get additional schools and GP surgeries. The Council meeting heard many helpful contributions from local residents and organisations. All of these will be considered carefully.”
The Council’s Emerging Local Plan is based on a wide range of emerging evidence available at this stage, but that some key evidence remains outstanding. Final approval will not be made until after a number of outstanding reports are complete likely to be later this year. The Council will make a definitive decision on the Local Plan once all the relevant and key evidence has been completed.
The Council will ensure that an engagement process is undertaken before a final decision is made: anticipated to be later in the year and a formal public consultation will take place once the Council has taken its decision on the Local Plan ‘submission’.
This plan and the public representations are then submitted to a public examination by an independent planning inspector who will decide whether the plan is ‘sound’ before the Council adopts it.