East Hampshire District Council has identified a site in Whitehill & Bordon for large scale development.
The site will deliver up to 1,300 additional homes, totalling approximately 4,350 homes overall as part of the town’s transformation into a Green, Healthy and Connected town.
The decision has been made following the council’s Large Development Sites consultation held in 2019, which put ten sites to public comment.
Except for the land at Whitehill & Bordon, none of the other large development sites considered in the recent Local Plan consultation are technically ready for allocation.
Therefore, instead of allocating another large development site in the district, the council intends to identify a ‘broad area of search’ along the A31 corridor.
The allocation of a Large Development Site is a major part of EHDC’s Local Plan, a document that sets out the priorities and policies for development in areas of the district outside the South Downs National Park.
An up-to-date Local Plan is a vital tool in the council’s armoury against speculative development.
The further work on sites around the A31 will take time, so identifying a broad area of search, rather than a specific site, allows the council to make progress on the Local Plan.
Cllr Angela Glass, EHDC Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “To have a completed Local Plan we need to have a clear idea of where future development will go.
“We have been able to do that in Whitehill & Bordon but there is still work to do to identify another site.
“We are confident that we will be able to allocate suitable land along the A31 in a future Local Plan and by committing to investigating this further we can get on with working on the rest of the plan.
“Delaying the Local Plan would risk opening our district up to speculative development. Taking this approach means we can move forwards with the plan without a risky delay.”
Whitehill & Bordon Prince Philip Park
EHDC has identified a site in Prince Philip Park for the development of up to 1,300 homes. This is part of the ongoing transformation of Whitehill & Bordon into a Green, Healthy and Connected town. This award-winning project sees additional residential and employment-related development bringing with it the infrastructure required to make the town a place where families can live and work.
It is anticipated that the regeneration will see 3,350 new homes and 5,500 new jobs. This development would deliver up to 1,300 of those homes and a significant number of jobs and follows the development strategy envisaged by the council’s existing Local Plan.
Work must also be done to ensure the protection of habitats and species that are of international importance. Through the provision of new areas of natural greenspace and related initiatives, it is possible to avoid any significant adverse impacts. Work is on-going between the council, Natural England and the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company to investigate this matter in detail.
The broad area of search along the A31
A broad area of search is a wide geographical area, often larger than a settlement and perhaps roughly defined by landscape features such as valleys or other landforms. In this case the council and its partners will be looking at seven sites along the A31 corridor proposed during the Large Development Sites Consultation. Each site has its own benefits and comes with its own issues that need to be resolved. A lot of work is still to be done to evaluate the different options but by identifying this broad area of search, work on other areas of the plan can also progress.