Why does the borough need a local plan, and what does it mean for existing residents and local businesses?
Every local planning authority is required to prepare a Local Plan - this includes Eastleigh Borough Council, neighbouring councils, and the nearby city councils and national park authorities. These plans are the key document where an authority can set out a vision and framework for the future development of their area, engaging with their communities in doing so.
New homes are needed to accommodate current and future populations and to support growing businesses – and councils must plan for growth in all types of housing in their local areas, and across council boundaries. As well as new homes, we need to plan for other requirements, such as land for offices, industry and jobs; community facilities, such as schools, healthcare and leisure venues; open space for recreation and nature conservation, and support for our town and district centres. The preparation of the Local Plan helps to ensure that new developments are sustainable and supported by the necessary infrastructure – including roads, water treatment works and community facilities.
The Borough like other parts of the south Hampshire area is a popular area for those looking to take advantage of the high quality environment, access to jobs and opportunities to study, an international airport and excellent connectivity to London and beyond.
Despite the importance of the two cities as centres for employment, business, retail, leisure, culture and learning, each of the towns making up urban South Hampshire has its own distinct character and identity. The Local Plan has a role in maintaining and enhancing the Borough’s environment by helping to manage development and growth.
When The Council has an up-to-date and adopted Local Plan, and a sufficient supply of housing land, it will be easier to resist development proposals in areas that are not suitable for development.