Local Plan

Hart District Council Local Plan

The Council withdrew the Local Plan: Core Strategy 2011-2029 on 30 September 2013. Hart District Council is currently consulting on the Draft Local Plan Strategy and Sites 2011-2032.

The consultation is running from 26 April until 5pm on 9 June 2017. The consultation documents and further details are available at www.hart.gov.uk/draft-local-plan. Please use the online survey via www.hart.gov.uk/draft-local-plan-consultation for feedback.


The current Local Plan policies

This page includes Hart's local plan policy statements, for more detail download the full Local Plan Saved Policies document

You can view an interactive map to see the current planning policies.

Purchase a Local Plan

The Saved Policies document (which includes the Secretary of State's saved policy directions as appendices) can be purchased for £66 without maps. Maps can be purchased for £77. A hard copy of the Hart District Local Plan (Replacement) including First Alterations and saved policy directions from the Secretary of State and maps can be purchased for £133.

All prices are inclusive of postage and packaging and can be made by cheque or debit/credit card. Payments are to be made to 'Hart District Council'. Requests to purchase any of the documents above can be made by post, email or telephone using the following contact details: Planning Policy, Hart District Council, Civic Offices, Harlington Way, Fleet, Hampshire

 

 

GEN 1 General Policy for Development

GEN 1 PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH ACCORD WITH OTHER PROPOSALS OF THIS PLAN WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY:

(i) Are in keeping with the local character by virtue of their scale, design, massing, height, prominence, materials, layout, landscaping, siting and density;

(ii) Avoid any material loss of amenity to existing and adjoining residential, commercial, recreational, agricultural or forestry uses, by virtue of noise, disturbance, noxious fumes, dust, pollution or traffic generation;

(iii) Cause no material loss of amenity to adjoining residential uses, through loss of privacy, overlooking or the creation of shared facilities;

(iv) Do not constitute ribbon or sporadic development, unrelated to existing patterns of settlement within the District;

(v) Include provision for the conservation or enhancement of the District's landscape, ecology and historic heritage and natural resources;

(vi) Where the public would reasonably expect to use the building, provide suitable access for people with impaired mobility, including those confined to wheelchairs;

(vii) Have adequate arrangements on site for access, servicing or the parking of vehicles;

(viii) Do not give rise to traffic flows on the surrounding road network, which would cause material detriment to the amenities of nearby properties and settlements or to highway safety;

(ix) Do not create the need for highway improvements which would be detrimental to the character and setting of roads within the conservation areas or rural lanes in the District;

(x) Do not lead to problems further afield by causing heavy traffic to pass through residential areas or settlements, or use unsuitable roads;

(xi) Include provision for any necessary improvements to infrastructure and utilities resulting from the development;

(xii) Take account of the proximity of overhead cables and power lines;

(xiii) Avoid the installation of lighting, which is visually damaging to the character of the area.

Hart District is a high quality environment in which to live, work and enjoy recreation. The District Council is committed to protecting the District's environment and the quality of life of its residents. This does not however mean that no change should take place. The control of development provides the opportunity to manage change positively by ensuring that new developments are sustainable, in keeping with the surrounding area, and that the overall quality of the environment is maintained. The local planning authority is only able to refuse planning permission where it would cause demonstrable harm, but when considering applications it will negotiate with developers in order to ensure the best standards of development possible.

Landscaping schemes will be requested in conjunction with new developments, paying attention to the existing character of the landscape and to the provision of new wildlife habitats where appropriate. Standards of design in urban and rural areas will be a material consideration in determining planning applications.

The environment is important not only for its aesthetic value. The conservation of a wide range of biological species, and the promotion of energy efficiency in order to help combat acid rain and global warming, can assist in maintaining a way of life that is sustainable long into the future. This is emphasised in the Government's White Paper "This Common Inheritance" and in the UK Strategy for Sustainable Development.

GEN 2 General policy for changes of use

GEN 2 CHANGES IN THE USE OF BUILDINGS WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT NEITHER THE PROPOSED CONVERSION NOR ITS ACCESS AND SERVICING ARRANGEMENTS ARE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHARACTER OR SETTING OF THE BUILDING OR ADJOINING BUILDINGS. THE BUILDING SHOULD BE OF PERMANENT AND SUBSTANTIAL CONSTRUCTION AND CAPABLE OF CONVERSION WITHOUT MAJOR OR COMPLETE RECONSTRUCTION.

Changes in the use of buildings may have an impact on their appearance and surroundings, in terms of visual intrusion, scale, amenity, design, use of materials and external alterations. Where such impact is detrimental to the character and setting of the building or its surroundings, permission will not normally be granted.

GEN 3 General policy for landscape character areas

GEN 3 WITHIN THE LANDSCAPE CHARACTER AREAS, AS INDICATED BELOW AND SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED IF IT DOES NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE PARTICULAR CHARACTER OF THE LANDSCAPE, AND IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH OTHER POLICIES OF THIS PLAN.

1. Wellington

2. Tylney

3. Bartley

4. Whitewater Valley

5. Blackwater Valley

6. Firgrove

7. Bramshill

8. Hazeley / West Green

9. Winchfield

10. Dogmersfield

11. Hart Valley

12. Minley

13. Tweseldown

14. Redlands

15. Hart Downs

A detailed landscape appraisal of Hart District has been carried out and published in the Hart District Landscape Assessment, April 1997. The Landscape Character Areas above have been identified as a result of this work. The six built up areas of Fleet/Church Crookham, Yateley, Blackwater, Hartley Wintney, Hook and Odiham are not included within these areas, because they are not within the open countryside.

The countryside is protected for its own sake, under policies RUR 2 and RUR 3 of this plan, and the advice within PPG7 on the Countryside and Rural Economy. This policy is not intended to prevent appropriate development from taking place in the countryside. Where development is permitted under other policies of the plan however, it is important that it respects the landscape character of the surrounding countryside and that is the purpose of this policy. The identification of specific landscape character areas, and the description of the character, potential threats to this character, and future management needs included as part of the appraisal, will guide planning decisions across all of the countryside within Hart District.

The Blackwater Valley (Landscape Character Area 5) also has additional policies specifically concerning its recreational and open gap functions.

The results of the landscape appraisal are summarised within the introductory sections of this plan (Section 3.3) For the purposes of appraising proposed developments, reference should be made to “Hart District Landscape Assessment” (Hart District Council, 1997).

Design Quality

Design of Built Environment

Design - the arrangement and quality of our built surroundings ­can contribute considerably to our well-being, and our senses of delight and belonging. Town and village centres, and the areas where we live - if comfortable, convenient, coherent, and attractively laid out and managed - can have an appearance and identity which is appealing to us individually but which can also help to increase the economic attraction of the District overall and its social and cultural well-being.

An important aim of the local plan is to support areas that already display high quality in urban design, to encourage development and other measures which will improve and raise existing urban design quality; and to ensure that with the introduction and development of new built-up areas, centres and spaces high standards of urban design are achieved as considered appropriate by the local planning authority.

GEN 4 General Design Policy

GEN 4 DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY SUSTAIN OR IMPROVE THE URBAN DESIGN QUALITIES OF TOWNS, VILLAGES AND OTHER SETTLEMENTS WHICH DERIVE FROM THEIR LAYOUT AND FORM, SCALE, CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE, SPECIAL FEATURES, OR THE ARRANGEMENT, SCALE AND DESIGN OF BUILDINGS AND SPACES.

In keeping with the principal aims of the local plan, the local planning authority will seek to protect the District's existing built design qualities and seek to extend higher standards in the quality of the built environment to new development. Accordingly the local planning authority will not normally approve development which detracts from the existing built design qualities contributing to the attraction and appearance of built-up areas, their convenience or their sense of place and identity.

When considering proposals for development, including changes of use, the local planning authority will have regard to the effect that a proposal may have upon the existing built-up area. Matters to be taken into account may include:

• developed structure, which may reflect location, topography and landscape and surroundings;

• layout and form, which may be influenced by natural or man-made features;

• scale, where the relative size, status and prominence of buildings, spaces, features, and their component parts will be considered in respect of context;

• character or appearance, which may be derived in broad terms from the urban structure and arrangement of an area, buildings and spaces, landscape and ecology, materials, texture and colour, and the diversity, nature and effect of activities within an area.

Applicants for planning permission should, as a minimum, provide a short written statement setting out the design principles adopted as well as illustrative material in plan and elevation. This material should show the wider context and not just the development site and immediately adjacent buildings. Inclusion of relevant perspective views can also be of value. Such material will be particularly important in relation to complex or large-scale development proposals and those involving sensitive sites. PPG1 paragraph A4 also gives valuable advice in this respect.

The local planning authority (LPA) will require the preparation of planning briefs where considered necessary for major development sites allocated in the local plan and for substantial windfall sites. (These will either be prepared directly by the LPA or on behalf of the LPA by the applicant in conjunction with the LPA, subsequently to be formally approved by the LPA). Supplementary planning guidance to assist in the submission of proposals for development will also be provided.

Those submitting development proposals are recommended to discuss their ideas at an early stage and before schemes become firmed up. The local planning authority will endeavour to assist in respect of urban design matters in the preparation of development proposals and to this end a check list of matters likely to be of significance in the analysis of the urban design implications of proposals is included in supplementary planning guidance.

GEN 6 Policy for noisy/un-neighbourly developments

GEN 6 PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH COULD CREATE, INTENSIFY OR EXPAND NOISY OR NOXIOUS USES OR WHICH WOULD GENERATE VOLUMES OR TYPES OF TRAFFIC UNSUITED TO THE LOCAL AREA WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE:

(i) The site is not located where the proposal would have a serious adverse effect on the amenities of existing housing and other sensitive uses such as schools, or the recreational amenity of quiet areas of countryside; or

(ii) The proposal incorporates adequate noise abatement measures to alleviate any material loss in amenity.

Sporadic development can result in several different land uses becoming established within close proximity, some of which may be detrimental to the quality of the environment and a nuisance to other land uses. The District Council is anxious to ensure that new development is appropriately sited so that it does not cause a nuisance through noise to other users in the area.

This policy, together with the following policy GEN 7, is therefore included for amenity reasons. In granting planning permission, the local planning authority may impose conditions and seek legal agreements to control the occupier, hours of operation and arrangements for minimising disturbance by noise, dust, smoke, fumes or other pollutants, and for establishing and maintaining landscape works.

Examples of noisy uses include some types of commercial uses, as well as recreation uses including water sports, shooting, motor sports and war games. The Council will encourage land management agreements, drawn up in consultation with the relevant bodies, where this can lead to the co-existence of conservation and development.

The District Council will apply the advice contained in Circular 10/73 and PPG24, the Planning Policy Guidance Note on "Planning and Noise", and any subsequent guidance supplementing, revoking or re-enacting that advice. In addition, due regard will be given to advice from the Department of the Environment, Building Research Establishment, Transport and Road Research Laboratory or any other appropriate public body (including the Council's Environmental Health section) advising on noise which falls within the scope of a material consideration as outlined in the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act.

GEN 7 Policy for noise sensitive developments

GEN 7 PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT FOR NOISE SENSITIVE USES, PARTICULARLY DWELLINGS, HOTELS AND SCHOOLS, LOCATED CLOSE TO MAJOR ROADS, RAILWAY LINES OR OTHER NOISE-GENERATING USES WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE ADEQUATE MEASURES ARE TAKEN FOR NOISE AMELIORATION.

The Council would not wish to see uses which are relatively sensitive to noise located close to existing uses that generate a lot of noise, without appropriate measures to reduce adverse impact of noise on the new development. Such noisy uses may include main roads, railways and air traffic. Advice on appropriate noise levels will be sought from the Council's Environmental Health section.

GEN 8 Pollution

GEN 8 PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH COULD SIGNIFICANTLY ADVERSELY AFFECT THE QUALITY OF AIR, SURFACE WATER OR GROUND WATER, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

Polluting land uses or processes such as certain types of industry can adversely affect health, the natural environment and general amenity. Such land uses are particularly inappropriate near residential areas, water-courses and sites of nature conservation interest. When considering such applications, advice will be sought from the Council's Environmental Health section and the Environment Agency. Where nature conservation sites may be affected, the local planning authority will also consult English Nature.

Circular 1/97 Planning Obligations states that planning obligations should only be sought where they are necessary to make a proposal acceptable in land-use planning terms. PPG23 ‘Planning and Pollution Control’ at paragraph 1.31 acknowledges that the potential for pollution affecting the use of land is capable of being a material consideration in deciding whether to grant planning permission. In this respect, planning obligations will be sought to provide appropriate aftercare on sites likely to be harmed by pollution where shown to be necessary to enable the development to proceed. The Environment Agency has prepared a Catchment Management Plan for the River Blackwater catchment, which covers most of the District. This includes targets for reducing pollution levels in the River Blackwater, and maintaining the presently unpolluted waters of the Rivers Whitewater and Hart.

Guidance on considerations affecting the acceptability of development from a ground water protection viewpoint has been prepared by the Environment Agency Thames Region entitled “Policy and Practice for the Protection Of Ground Water”.

There are a number of habitats in and around the district, which are dependent on correct quantity and quality of water being available. This may be compromised by changes in water extraction for industry, agriculture or domestic water supply.

Central Government advice on this issue is included in PPG23 on Planning and Pollution Control. Polluting land uses are also controlled under the Hazardous Substances Act.

GEN 9 Contaminated Land

GEN 9 PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT ON LAND THAT IS, OR THERE IS REASON TO BELIEVE MAY BE, CONTAMINATED, WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE APPLICANT HAS CARRIED OUT AND SUBMITTED A SITE SURVEY TO ESTABLISH THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE CONTAMINATION WHICH, TOGETHER WITH THE SENSITIVITY OF THE PROPOSED USE TO THE CONTAMINATION, OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROPOSED REMEDIAL MEASURES DO NOT PUT THE DEVELOPMENT AND ITS USERS AT RISK.

Earlier uses may have left land contaminated but if the land is suitably located and its reuse is practicable, contaminated land should be recycled to reduce the demand for greenfield sites for development and to reduce the threat such sites can pose to health, safety and the environment. Government policy expressed in PPG23, Planning and Pollution Control, is that remedial works should be undertaken to deal with any unacceptable risks posed by contamination, taking into account the uses proposed. As far as possible contamination should be dealt with on the site itself to avoid the risks of contaminating other land and of transporting contaminated materials.

Before development or other use of the land takes place any contamination that may pose a threat needs to be dealt with. Where land is known to be contaminated, or there is reason to believe that it might be, if development is proposed the applicant will be expected to have carried out a site survey and assessment to establish the nature and the extent of the contamination and to submit the results of the survey and assessment with any application.

Development will not be permitted unless practicable and effective measures are to be taken to control contamination during development and thereafter in a way that will not expose occupiers of the development and of neighbouring land to unacceptable risks or pollute surface or ground water.

In addition it should be noted that:

(1) Complementary powers exist under the Building Regulations and Environmental Health legislation.

(2) The local planning authority accepts no liability for its decision to grant planning permission on any site that subsequently proves to be contaminated. The decision will be made on the basis of evidence available at the time the planning application is made. In law, it is the owner of land who is responsible for removing contamination.

GEN 10 Renewable Energy

GEN 10 PROPOSALS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SCHEMES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:

(i) The impact of the development on the immediate and wider landscape is not significantly detrimental;

(ii) The proposal does not adversely affect features and areas of ecological, historic or cultural interest;

(iii) The impact of development on local land use and residential amenity is minimised, both during and after construction, to the satisfaction of the local planning authority;

(iv) The proposal is justified in terms of local and wider benefits;

(v) The location is necessary as the particular resource can only be harnessed where it occurs.

The Government's policy is to stimulate the development of new and renewable energy sources wherever they have prospects of being economically attractive and environmentally acceptable, in order to contribute to:

• diverse, secure and sustainable energy supplies;

• reduction in the emission of pollutants;

• encouragement of internationally competitive industries.

Government has published Planning Policy Guidance on Renewable Energy (PPG22) together with technical annexes, which set out in more detail the particular issues that local authorities should consider in determining such proposals. PPG22 defines “Renewable energy” as the term used to cover those energy flows that occur naturally and repeatedly in the environment - energy from the sun, the wind and the oceans, and the fall of water. The heat from within the earth itself, geothermal energy, is usually regarded as renewable, although locally it cannot always sustain continuous extraction. Plant material is an important source of renewable energy. Combustible or digestible industrial, agricultural and domestic waste materials are also regarded as renewable sources of energy.

The Council acknowledges that new and renewable energy sources can potentially contribute to energy needs in a significant and sustainable way. Renewable energy sources offer the hope of increasing diversity and security of supply, and of reducing harmful emissions to the environment. The aim of the planning system is to secure economy, efficiency and amenity in the use of land in the public interest. The Council's encouragement of the development of renewable energy sources must be weighed carefully with its continuing commitment to policies for protecting the local environment. The Council acknowledges the advice in PPG22 that proposals to harness renewable energy can display a variety of factors peculiar to the technology involved.

Moreover, such schemes can have particular locational restraints since, in many cases, the resource can only be harnessed where it occurs. The Council will need to consider both the immediate impact of renewable energy projects on the local environment and their wider contribution to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

GEN 11 Areas affected by flooding or poor drainage

GEN 11 DEVELOPMENT IN AREAS LIABLE TO FLOOD, OR WHICH WOULD UNACCEPTABLY INCREASE THE RISK OF FLOODING ON OTHER LAND, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED, UNLESS APPROPRIATE AND SATISFACTORY ALLEVIATION OR MITIGATION MEASURES ARE INCLUDED.

Circular 30/92 “Development and Flood Risk” requires that local authorities take into account flood risk in drawing up development plans, and that the Environment Agency is consulted on applications that have implications for flood risk. Development permitted without regard to such considerations can lead to danger to life, damage to property and wasteful expenditure. Engineering works can reduce risk but can never eliminate it entirely.

The local planning authority will discuss with the Environment Agency any development proposals which:

• are within flood-plains;

• could significantly increase surface water run-off from the area;

• are within or adjacent to watercourses;

• include or affect any flood control structure;

• are situated in areas where NRA have indicated there is a drainage problem;

• would involve the culverting or diversion of any watercourse.

GEN 12 Design against Crime

GEN 12 PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH FAILS TO INCORPORATE APPROPRIATE PROVISION FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AND CRIME PREVENTION WITHIN ITS DESIGN.

The design and layout of new development can directly reduce opportunities for crimes such as theft, assault and burglary, as well as reducing the fear of crime. Developments can be designed and laid out to provide for the surveillance of open spaces, houses can be set out so that the main living areas look out over the access road, and adequate lighting can provide for surveillance at night. Existing developments can be improved by the addition of crime prevention facilities. The aim of designing against crime is to reassure the public by making crime more difficult to commit, increasing the risk of detection and providing people with a safer and more secure environment. Advice on this issue is given in the DETR Circular 5/94, Planning Out Crime. The Police launched a “Secured by Design” initiative in 1989 to draw attention to this issue, and the local Police may be consulted in relation to proposed developments.

ALT GEN 13 Affordable Housing

ALT GEN 13 THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO NEGOTIATE THE PROPORTION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON A SITE BY SITE BASIS BASED ON AN OVERALL GUIDELINE TARGET THAT 40% OF NEW DWELLINGS SHOULD BE AFFORDABLE IN INDIVIDUAL SCHEMES. OF THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO BE PROVIDED, IN TERMS OF THE TOTAL NUMBERS OF SOCIAL HOUSING FOR RENT AND OTHER FORMS OF SUBSIDISED HOUSING, THE COUNCIL WILL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT:

• THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF THE SITE

• THE PROXIMITY OF LOCAL SERVICES

• ANY PARTICULAR DEVELOPMENT COSTS

• ANY SPECIFIC HOUSING NEEDS OF THE AREA IN WHICH THE SITE IS SITUATED

• ANY OTHER PLANNING OBLIGATIONS WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE

THE COUNCIL WILL EXPECT FULLY SERVICED LAND TO BE PROVIDED OF A SUFFICIENT SIZE TO ACCOMMODATE THE RANGE AND TYPES OF DWELLING NECESSARY TO MEET THE IDENTIFIED HOUSING NEED AT NIL COST.

THESE REQUIREMENTS WILL APPLY TO SITES WHICH ARE 0.5 HA OR LARGER OR THAT WOULD PROVIDE 15 OR MORE DWELLINGS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SETTLEMENTS BELOW 5000 POPULATION WHERE THE REQUIREMENTS WILL APPLY TO SITES WHICH ARE 0.2 HA OR LARGER THAT WOULD PROVIDE 5 OR MORE DWELLINGS.

THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO GRANT PLANNING PERMISSION SOLELY FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON LAND WITHIN OR ADJOINING RURAL COMMUNITIES THAT WOULD NOT OTHERWISE BE RELEASED FOR HOUSING, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF EXISTING POLICY RUR 22 AND THE AMENDMENTS TO PPG 3. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS POLICY, RURAL COMMUNITIES ARE ALL SETTLEMENTS OTHER THAN THE URBAN AREAS OF FLEET, YATELEY AND BLACKWATER/HAWLEY. THIS PROVISION WILL BE MADE WHERE THERE IS AN IDENTIFIED LOCAL NEED AND IT WOULD CONTRIBUTE TO THE ATTAINMENT OF A MIXED AND BALANCED COMMUNITY. EXCEPTION SITES SHOULD BE SMALL IN SCALE IN RELATION TO THE SIZE OF SETTLEMENTS. SUCH SITES WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE FULLY SERVICED LAND AT NIL COST.

THE COUNCIL WILL EXPECT THE MIX OF ACCOMMODATION IN TERMS OF SIZES AND TENURES TO REFLECT THE FINDINGS OF THE LATEST HOUSING NEEDS SURVEY, GRANT AVAILABILITY AND THE LOCATION AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE SITE IN QUESTION. THESE WILL BE MATTERS FOR NEGOTIATION BUT THE COUNCIL WILL REJECT DEVELOPMENTS THAT CONFLICT WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF WIDENING HOUSING CHOICE.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING SHOULD BE INTEGRATED WITH MARKET HOUSING AND ‘PEPPERPOTTED’ THROUGHOUT DEVELOPMENT SITES.

PLANNING CONDITIONS WILL BE IMPOSED OR A LEGAL AGREEMENT SOUGHT TO ENSURE THAT THE INITIAL AND SUCCESSIVE OCCUPANCY IS RESTRICTED TO THOSE IN HOUSING NEED AS DEFINED BY THE DISTRICT COUNCIL AND THAT

THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVIDED REMAINS AFFORDABLE FOR SO LONG AS THERE REMAINS A NEED FOR IT.

DECISIONS ON APPLICATIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT WILL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE POLICIES UNLESS THE DEVELOPER OR LANDOWNER CAN DEMONSTRATE THAT THE PARTICULAR PHYSICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSTRAINTS OF A SITE, OR OTHER PLANNING REQUIREMENTS WOULD MAKE THE SPECIFIED LEVELS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNACHIEVABLE.

THIS POLICY REPLACES POLICIES URB13 AND RUR21 OF THE HART DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN (REPLACEMENT) 1996 TO 2006

Policy Context

The affordable housing policies in this Local Plan Alteration are based on:

• Circular 6/98, Planning and Affordable Housing

• Planning Policy Guidance Note 3, Housing (2000) (PPG3) as revised

• Regional planning and housing policies which in turn reflect national policies such as the Communities Plan

• The District wide Housing Needs Survey (2003)

PPG3 indicates that the need of a community for a mix of housing, including affordable housing, is a material planning consideration which should be taken into account in formulating development plan policies. Where it can be demonstrated by up-to-date surveys that there is a lack of affordable housing to meet local needs, local plans should include a policy to secure affordable housing. Additional advice is included in Circular 6/98, “Planning and Affordable Housing”, which defines affordable housing and emphasises the need to secure a range of dwelling types and sizes to cater for different housing needs and create balanced communities.

Housing Need

The Council has regularly reviewed the housing needs of the area and surveys were carried out in 1994, 1998 and 2003. Each successive survey shows an increase in the number of households unable to afford access to the housing market in Hart. The 2003 survey indicates that Hart is an affluent authority with nearly 60% of households having incomes in excess of £30,000 as opposed to a national percentage of 24.5%. However, the average price for a property in the District is £227,000 ranging from £317,000 for a detached house to £152,000 for a flat or maisonette.

The high prices therefore exclude many families and single person households who are currently seeking access to local housing. Home ownership is beyond the reach of 80% of concealed households (i.e. those households which currently live as part of another household but which would form a separate household if affordable housing was available). In 2003 mortgage interest rates were at their lowest level for over 35 years and therefore people who cannot enter the market under these circumstances may never be able to do so.

The 2003 Housing Needs Survey shows that the need for flats and maisonettes generated by concealed households at 59% compares with a 2003 stock supply of all tenures of dwellings within this category of only 8.5%. This indicates a clear need for policy to redress an undersupply of flats and small units in the District.

A lack of affordable accommodation is a contributory cause of outward migration from the District.

The survey concludes that there is an annual affordable housing requirement of 600 units per annum within the District in relation to which re-lets of existing social housing and new build social housing units total 182 leaving an annual shortfall of 418 units. The annual scale of affordable need is over seven times the average annual new units planned over the next 2 years.

Definition of affordable housing

The Council defines affordable housing as: “That provided with subsidy, both for rent and low cost market housing, for people who are unable to resolve their housing requirements in the local private sector housing market because of the relationship between housing costs and incomes”

The types of affordable housing which comply with this definition include:

• Social housing for rent

• Grant funded Shared ownership

• Low Cost market housing - subsidised housing for sale at below market levels where the discount can be retained for future purchasers

• Discounted market rented housing.

PPG 3 states that affordable housing should not normally be defined by reference to tenure. The above definition complies with this requirement because it is not tied to any single form of tenure and embraces both social rented and low cost market housing.

As Hart is such an expensive housing area, low cost market housing can only be that which is provided with the benefit of a subsidy sufficient to bring prices within the range of those households who could not otherwise afford to buy within the District.

Lower priced market housing provided without subsidy, including small units and starter homes, does not fall within the definition of affordable housing in Hart. This is because prices, even at the lower end of the market, will be above affordable levels.

There is a particular “identified housing need” for social housing for rent that would not be met by other types of affordable housing.

The Housing Needs Survey has also identified a need for smaller dwellings, including flats and apartments, and this is likely to be a separate policy requirement applying to private sector housing schemes additional to the provision of subsidised affordable homes.

Key workers are a category of housing need rather than a particular type of affordable housing. Their needs will be met by the various types of affordable housing defined above (and in some cases by loan schemes) rather than a dedicated form of provision.

Target for affordable housing

Regional Planning Guidance for the South East (RPG 9) indicates a need for approximately 50% of the total provision for additional dwellings should be affordable housing. The Guidance states that more specific targets should be agreed in the light of local need assessments.

In Hart, the overall level of need for affordable housing would indicate that provision should be more than 50% of the total additional dwellings to be provided. However, a target based on housing need must be balanced against considerations of economic viability and what can realistically be achieved on individual sites.

In individual private housing schemes, the local planning authority will seek to achieve a target of 40% of new dwellings as affordable housing taking into account present levels of housing need and the requirement to secure other planning obligations. This guideline level of provision is consistent with land values in the area.

The Council will seek a 50:50 ratio of social rented housing to other types of affordable housing (such as shared ownership and subsidised market housing provision) within individual schemes. This is based on the “identified housing need” for social rented accommodation.

The exact level of provision on individual sites will be a matter of negotiation and will need to take into account:

• The nature and character of the site and its surroundings including the proximity of local services and accessibility to public transport.

• The economics of provision, including whether there will be particular costs associated with developing the site. The onus will be on the applicant to demonstrate which costs should be taken into account in negotiations.

• The specific housing needs of the area in which the site is located.

• The level of public subsidy available.

Targets will be set for specific sites as these are identified and allocated for development through the local plan process. In each case, the requirement will be based on an overall guideline target of 40% depending on site circumstances.

House Sizes

The Housing Needs Survey identifies a range of house sizes required by both existing and concealed households in Hart. For concealed households there is a strong preference for small one and two bedroom accommodation that will be reflected in a separate policy requirement applying to private sector housing schemes.

Within the affordable housing component of individual schemes, the precise size and mix of accommodation will be a matter for negotiation with the District Council but should reflect assessed housing needs, grant availability, and site circumstances.

Contributions to Affordable Housing

This policy will apply to all residential sites which are 0.5 ha or larger or that would provide 15 or more dwellings. In settlements below 5000 population, it will then apply to sites which are 0.2 ha or would provide 5 or more dwellings, unless they are designated as rural exception sites. Where possible, affordable housing will be located within the development proposed.

On larger sites, in exceptional circumstances, the Council may consider that it is preferable for a financial or other contribution to be made towards the provision of affordable housing on another site in the Council’s administrative area. Such an arrangement, secured by legal agreement or planning obligation as a pre-requisite to a planning permission, must result in the provision of additional affordable housing that would not otherwise be provided in the Council’s area.

Securing Affordable Housing

To ensure that affordable housing remains available for successive as well as the initial occupiers of the property, the Council will seek, by means of a legal agreement or Condition, the involvement of a Registered Social Landlord, or other affordable housing provider in the management of affordable housing.

Integration of affordable housing

In the interest of developing balanced and sustainable communities, the Council will expect that affordable housing will be integrated with market housing both in terms of spatial distribution and appearance.

Affordable Housing in Rural Areas

Where the Council is considering permitting residential development for affordable housing on land within or adjoining existing villages in accordance with Policy RUR22 and as provided for in the 2005 revisions to PPG3, this will be a “bottom up” process carried out with full consultation and agreement with the village that is subject to the allocation. The Council will not expect land provided under its rural exception policy to be fully serviced and provided at nil cost.

CON 1 European Designations

CON 1 DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OF CLASSIFIED OR PROPOSED SPECIAL PROTECTION AREAS OR CANDIDATE OR DESIGNATED SPECIAL AREAS OF CONSERVATION (DESIGNATED UNDER EUROPEAN LEGISLATION IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE) WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THERE ARE NO ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS AND THERE ARE IMPERATIVE REASONS OF OVER-RIDING PUBLIC INTEREST, INCLUDING THOSE OF A SOCIAL OR ECONOMIC NATURE. IN THE CASE OF SPA AND SAC WHICH SUPPORT A “PRIORITY” HABITAT OR SPECIES, PLANNING PERMISSION MAY ONLY BE GRANTED IF THE DEVELOPMENT CAN BE JUSTIFIED ON THE GROUNDS OF HUMAN HEALTH, PUBLIC SAFETY OR BENEFICIAL CONSEQUENCES OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE TO THE ENVIRONMENT.

Special Protection Areas are a European designation reflecting international importance for bird populations. The Thames Basin Heaths proposed Special Protection Area represents an outstanding lowland heathland habitat with significant populations of protected bird species such as Dartford Warbler, Nightjar and Woodlark. Special Areas of Conservation are designated under the European Community Habitats Directive. None have so far been designated within Hart District but further designations may take place in the future.

The Government has an international obligation to protect these sites, and local planning authorities are required to pay particular regard to their importance. Development proposals, which would adversely affect these sites, are likely to be “called in” for determination by the Secretary of State for the Environment. Detailed advice on how local authorities should treat proposals for development that could affect these sites is given in Planning Policy Guidance Note 9 on Nature Conservation. It should be noted that for the purposes of planning decisions, proposed Special Protection Areas or candidate Special Areas of Conservation should be treated as if already fully designated. The local planning authority will request the submission of an ecological assessment and survey to accompany any application for development, which may affect a proposed Special Protection Area.

*Close liaison and consultation with English Nature will be maintained concerning all these site categories.

CON 2 National Designations

CON 2 DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OF A SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST OR NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED IF IT CAN BE SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS THAT WILL PREVENT DAMAGING IMPACTS ON WILDLIFE HABITATS OR OTHER NATURAL FEATURES OF IMPORTANCE ON THE SITE OR IF OTHER MATERIAL FACTORS ARE SUFFICIENT TO OVERRIDE THE NATURE CONSERVATION INTEREST

On the advice of English Nature development in or likely to affect Sites of Special Scientific Interest will be subject to special scrutiny. Where such development may have an adverse effect, directly or indirectly on the special interest of the site, it will not be permitted unless the reasons for the development clearly outweigh the nature conservation value of the site itself and the national policy to safeguard such sites. Where the site concerned is a National Nature Reserve (NNR) or a site identified under the Nature Conservation Review (NCR) or Geological Conservation Review (GCR) particular regard will be paid to the individual site's national importance. Where development is permitted, the authority will consider the use of conditions or planning obligations to ensure the protection and enhancement of the site's nature conservation interest.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest are nationally designated examples of the best nature conservation sites in the country. There are currently seventeen SSSIs within the District, covering a wide range of valuable habitat types and reflecting the ecological diversity of the District. These SSSIs are listed in Section 2 of Appendix B and shown on the Proposals Map. Local Planning Authorities are required by law to protect these nationally designated sites from adverse effects of development.

CON 3 Local Designations

CON 3 DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE NATURE CONSERVATION INTEREST OF SITES OF IMPORTANCE FOR NATURE CONSERVATION WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED IF OTHER MATERIAL CONSIDERATIONS OUTWEIGH THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SITE TO LOCAL NATURE CONSERVATION.

On the advice of English Nature, development likely to have an adverse effect on a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation will not be permitted unless it can be clearly demonstrated that there are reasons for the proposal which outweigh the need to safeguard the substantive nature conservation value of the site. In all cases where development is permitted which would damage the nature conservation value of the site or feature, such damage will be kept to a minimum. Where appropriate the authority will consider the use of conditions and/or planning obligations to provide appropriate mitigation and compensatory measures.

Criteria for the identification of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation have been jointly adopted by Hampshire County Council, English Nature and the Hampshire Wildlife Trust, and are endorsed by the District Council. The criteria are set out in Appendix C of the local plan, and the sites are listed within Section 8 of Appendix B. SINCs include the Countryside Heritage Sites previously recorded by the County Council for their nature conservation interest.

These sites are all considered to form an irreplaceable resource within the District, which should be protected from adverse effects of development. They all form part of the "Critical Environmental Capital" of the District. The safeguarding of all such sites is part of a strategy for sustainable development followed by the District and County Councils and based on the UK Strategy for Sustainable Development. The protection of international, national and locally designated nature conservation sites follows Government guidance in PPG9 on Nature Conservation.

Developments that involve raising or lowering the water table, atmospheric or water pollution, excessive noise or disturbance, increased erosion, damage to vegetation or increased recreational use are likely to be unacceptable within or adjacent to these areas. As a matter of practice, Hart District Council will consult with English Nature on proposals outside as well as inside SSSIs, where it is considered that proposed development could have an adverse effect on the SSSI.

The local planning authority will request the submission of an ecological assessment and survey to accompany any application for development, which may affect a site of importance for nature conservation.

The LPA will apply this policy to all new SINCs, even those notified after the plan is adopted and that an up to date list will be available from Hampshire County Council.

CON 4 Replacement and Habitats

CON 4 WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS PERMITTED WHICH WOULD BE LIKELY TO HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON FEATURES OF NATURE CONSERVATION INTEREST IN A DESIGNATED AREA COVERED BY POLICIES CON 1, CON 2 AND CON 3 OR SPECIES OR THEIR HABITATS REFERRED TO IN POLICY CON 5, THAT ADVERSE EFFECT SHOULD BE REDUCED WHERE IT IS PRACTICABLE TO DO SO BY THE PROVISION OF ADEQUATE REPLACEMENT HABITAT ON THE SITE OR IN OTHER APPROPRIATE LOCATION.

Where areas of countryside are lost or degraded through development, the Council will seek some environmental compensation either through habitat improvement on part of the site, or the protection and management of land elsewhere. The Council will need to be satisfied that the compensatory provision is adequate and is integrated with surrounding habitats. Appropriate levels of compensatory provision will depend on the specific features or value of the site, and will be discussed with bodies such as the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Where areas of countryside are lost or degraded through development, the Council will seek some environmental compensation either through habitat improvement on part of the site, or the protection and management of land elsewhere. The Council will need to be satisfied that the compensatory provision is adequate and is integrated with surrounding habitats. Appropriate levels of compensatory provision will depend on the specific features or value of the site, and will be discussed with bodies such as the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Attention is drawn to Policy E12 of the adopted Hampshire County Structure Plan 1996-2011, which also requires protection of other habitats not covered by any designation. The local planning authority will also apply that strategic policy where appropriate.

CON 5 Species Protected by Law

CON 5 PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD HAVE A SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE EFFECT ON PLANT OR ANIMAL SPECIES OR THEIR HABITATS PROTECTED BY LAW UNLESS CONDITIONS ARE ATTACHED OR PLANNING OBLIGATIONS ENTERED INTO REQUIRING THE DEVELOPER TO TAKE STEPS TO SECURE THEIR PROTECTION.

Where development which may have an effect on protected species is permitted, the local planning authority may impose conditions and seek planning agreements to reduce disturbance to a minimum, facilitate survival of individual members of the species and provide adequate alternative habitats. The presence of a protected species on a site is a material consideration to be taken into account in considering proposals for development, as outlined in PPG9, Nature Conservation. The essential concern of the local planning authority is that the development should not endanger the long-term survival of the population of the species within the local area.

Individual plant or animal species are afforded various levels of protection under Schedules 1, 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and within European law. This policy is aimed at protecting those rare or vulnerable species, which are recognised legally as requiring high levels of protection as a result of their scarcity value. Many of these are found within the SSSIs and proposed SPA, but they are also worthy of protection where they are found outside the designated sites. The rare heathland bird species for which the Special Protection Area has been proposed, for example, are also found in surrounding conifer plantations which are former heathlands.

Badgers are protected by law, and licences must be obtained from English Nature before carrying out any works which would interfere with badger setts. Where development is taking place on a site used by badgers, the local planning authority will request survey information on badger setts and activity, and will work with the developers to ensure that the final layout has the least harmful possible impact on the badgers' activity.

CON 6 Heathlands

CON 6 DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS LIKELY TO CAUSE SIGNIFICANT HARM TO EXISTING AND FORMER HEATHLAND HABITATS, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, WILL NOT NORMALLY BE PERMITTED.

The importance of conserving heathland has recently been recognised by the UK Biodiversity Steering Group. The UK Biodiversity Steering Group's report includes a Costed Habitat Action Plan for Lowland Heathland, which recognises that "lowland heathland is a priority for nature conservation because it is a rare and threatened habitat". Much of the District's heathland has been designated as proposed Special Protection Area or Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also of amenity value as a characteristic landscape of the area.

Both existing and former heathland should be protected from potentially damaging development. Former heathlands which have become overgrown through lack of management, or which have been used for forestry or other open land use, still have the potential for restoration, which is why they are worthy of protection where possible. Measures to improve and restore this habitat are also being undertaken, co-ordinated by the Northeast Hampshire Heathlands Project. Such work is of considerable value as the habitat is otherwise at risk of deterioration due to lack of management.

The importance of conserving heathland has recently been recognised in the UK Biodiversity Steering Group Report’s Action Plan for Lowland Heathland which states that ‘Lowland heathland is a priority for nature conservation as it is a rare and threatened habitat”. This policy relates to land which either retains a heathland character (albeit suppressed under another (un-built) land-use, such as plantation forestry, or to open land which may be reasonably expected to gain a heathland character if appropriately managed, such as farmlands on poorer soils and some mineral workings.

Heathland is also of value for informal recreation such as walking, although it is sensitive to erosion or intensive use. More intensive recreational developments, particularly those involving buildings or car parks, would be inappropriate.

This policy will be applied in particular to existing and former heathland habitats principally evidenced within the landscape character areas of Bramshill, Firgrove, Hazeley / West Green, part of Winchfield and Minley as shown on the Proposals Map.

CON 7 Riverine Environments

CON 7 DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WHICH WOULD HAVE A SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE AFFECT ON THE NATURE CONSERVATION, LANDSCAPE OR RECREATIONAL VALUE OF RIVERINE ENVIRONMENTS (WHICH INCLUDE THOSE OF THE RIVERS HART, WHITEWATER AND BLACKWATER), WETLANDS AND PONDS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

River corridors are of great importance for water resources, nature conservation, fisheries and recreation and often make a significant contribution to the landscape. This is recognised in RPG9, Regional Planning Guidance for the South East, in para 4.25. Rivers, groundwater, ponds, wetlands, appropriate public access and water-related recreation all deserve conservation, restoration or enhancement where appropriate. It is important that development should not lead to pollution, which could adversely affect water quality. The National Rivers Authority (now the Environment Agency) has prepared a Catchment Management Plan for the Blackwater River Catchment, which includes all the rivers within Hart. The more isolated Rivers Whitewater and Hart currently have high standards of water quality, which should be protected, and the Environment Agency aims to improve water quality along the River Blackwater. The Council will generally encourage initiatives which seek to conserve and restore or enhance the natural elements of river corridors, as indicated on the Proposals Map for the Rivers Whitewater, Hart and Blackwater, and other waterside areas, or which encourage appropriate water-based and water recreation.

The Council is concerned about the level of demand for water abstraction in the District, as this can seriously reduce the flow of rivers. There is already a problem of low flow on the River Whitewater. Water supply for new development should come from a sustainable source. The Environment Agency will be consulted on any development proposals that could affect rivers.

See also proposal CON 10 specifically protecting the Basingstoke Canal, a watercourse of national importance, which should be protected from pollution or other matters, which could affect its water quality. See also Policy GEN 3, which addresses the avoidance of adversely affecting the character of the landscape, including the Hart, Whitewater and Blackwater Landscape Character Areas.

CON 8 Trees, Woodland & Hedgerows: Amenity Value

CON 8 WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS PROPOSED WHICH WOULD AFFECT TREES, WOODLANDS OR HEDGEROWS OF SIGNIFICANT LANDSCAPE OR AMENITY VALUE PLANNING PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE GRANTED IF THESE FEATURES ARE SHOWN TO BE CAPABLE OF BEING RETAINED IN THE LONGER TERM OR IF REMOVAL IS NECESSARY NEW PLANTING IS UNDERTAKEN TO MAINTAIN THE VALUE OF THESE FEATURES. PLANNING CONDITIONS MAY BE IMPOSED TO REQUIRE THE PLANTING OF NEW TREES OR HEDGEROWS TO REPLACE THOSE LOST.

Much of the character of Hart is due to the large areas of woodland and the substantial numbers of trees and fine hedgerows in its towns and villages. Ecologically and visually, trees and hedgerows are an important part of the environment and the loss of trees and other features, which contribute to the character of the District, will be resisted. Management of woodlands and groups of trees will be encouraged by the Council. It should be noted that felling of individual trees, if carried out as part of an overall conservation management plan for the woodland, may be of positive benefit.

Ancient woodland or other woodland of ecological value will already be protected through the nature conservation policies CON 1-6. This policy aims to protect trees and woodlands for their public amenity and landscape value.

Where individual trees or groups of trees are considered to be of particular amenity value, the Council will protect them by the designation of Tree Preservation Orders. It is an offence to fell or carry out works to a protected tree without informing the Council. All trees within conservation areas are also protected. Further information is given in the Council's advice notes on Protected Trees and Conservation Areas.

The local planning authority will request the submission of a tree survey, showing the position, spread and condition of all trees, together with a proposed landscaping scheme and management plan. Where the local planning authority does not receive adequate information it may not be able to determine an application. Development proposals affecting trees will be considered against British Standard BS5837: 1991.

When preparing landscape schemes for development in rural settlements and greenfield sites, the developer will be requested to plant indigenous tree species. This will help to soften the impact of development in rural areas. The management of existing woodland areas will also be encouraged by the Council as this can enhance their ecological and amenity value.

CON 10 Basingstoke Canal

CON 10 DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE LANDSCAPE, ARCHITECTURAL OR ECOLOGICAL CHARACTER, SETTING OR ENJOYMENT OF THE BASINGSTOKE CANAL OR WHICH WOULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OF IMPORTANT VIEWS IN THE VICINITY OF THE CANAL WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

The Basingstoke Canal was constructed in the 1790s. It is an important historic and landscape feature of exceptional ecological value and a valuable recreational resource. The Canal and it’s associated bridges, nearby buildings and other structures are designated as a conservation area. A Conservation Area Proposal Statement has been prepared for the Fleet section of the canal, and this includes detailed policies for its protection. The whole length of the Canal within the District is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Greywell Tunnel in particular is of international importance as a bat roost.

The local planning authority is anxious to preserve the character of the canal environs and to soften the impact of any development around the Canal. Proposals will be expected to show a high standard of design. To this end, the local planning authority has made a number of Directions under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning, General Development Order 1988 (as amended) to extend planning controls to cover operations which do not normally require permission. Three Article 4 Directions relate to properties within the Basingstoke Canal Conservation Area: Part of the Basingstoke Canal Conservation Area within Crookham Village made 12th January 2000; Broad Oak, Odiham made 28th September 1998; and North Warnborough Conservation Area made on 28th January 1998. Further information regarding properties affected by these directions and the permitted development rights removed by them, may be obtained by contacting Hart’s Development Control section. Further directions may be made under any subsequent review of the conservation areas.

Proposals for development which would be unduly prominent from the Canal towpath, or which would restrict or adversely affect views of the Canal from surrounding roads, footpaths or public places, will be resisted in order to protect the special character of the conservation area.

See also Proposal RUR 32, which covers recreational developments associated with the Canal.

CON 11 Archaeological Sites and Schedule Monuments

CON 11 DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT A SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT, OTHER SITE OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OR ITS SETTING, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS SHOULD BE PROTECTED IN SITU, UNLESS THERE ARE EXCEPTIONAL OVERRIDING NEEDS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD PREVENT THIS, IN WHICH CASE A DETAILED ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT PRIOR TO DEVELOPMENT.

Sites of archaeological importance are normally identified by English Heritage and the County Archaeologist. Where important archaeological remains are thought to exist on a site, the local planning authority will request an initial archaeological evaluation as part of the planning application. The aim of this is to define the character and extent of archaeological remains in the area of the proposed development, in order to indicate the weight that needs to be attached to them in determining the application. This is in accordance with detailed advice in PPG16 on Archaeology and Planning.

The policy is also intended to cover sites of archaeological importance at present not known about. If chance discoveries are made during the course of development, where archaeological works are NOT already secured through an archaeological condition attached to the planning permission, the local authority in conjunction with the County Archaeologist will endeavour to work with developers to preserve or record the “finds” and assess the site without undue delay to the development. Where archaeological works have been secured by a condition attached to a planning permission, delays might arise from time to time.

Scheduled ancient monuments and other sites of known archaeological interest within the District are identified in the Hampshire Archaeology and Historic Buildings Record (AHBR) which incorporates the County Sites and Monuments Record both of which are held by Hampshire County Council.

CON 12 Historic Parks and Gardens

CON 12 DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT HISTORIC PARKS AND GARDENS OR THEIR SETTINGS, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

Historic parks and gardens are important for their intrinsic value and for the contribution they make to the character and heritage of the District. Many have specific historic associations, for example the association of Elvetham Park with Elizabeth I. The most important sites are included on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. This currently includes Elvetham Park, Dogmersfield Great Park, Bramshill Park, Warbrook House, Tylney Hall, Minley Manor and Heckfield Park. These are listed in Section 7A of Appendix B and defined on the Proposals Map. Parks and gardens of local historic interest are also listed in this section and fall to be considered under this policy. The Weir Schultz house and garden at Phoenix Green is an example of a garden of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which is of local importance. There are other parks and gardens of a local historic interest however, which the Council will also seek to protect and conserve through this policy should the need arise. Parks and gardens of local importance have been identified on a local list prepared by Hampshire County Council Environment Group, in conjunction with Hampshire Gardens Trust. This list is included in Section 7B of Appendix B. The settings of such historic grounds, including significant views to and from them, will also be protected from inappropriate development under this policy.

Changes may take place within these historic environments, particularly as many now have alternative uses. It is important that such changes are managed to ensure that they can be carried out sensitively, avoiding harm to the general elements of the historic landscape.

The importance of historic parks and gardens and the need to take them into account in planning decisions is outlined in PPG15 on Planning and the Historic Environment.

CON 13 Conservation Areas – general policy

CON 13 PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH FAIL TO MEET THE OBJECTIVES OF CONSERVING OR ENHANCING THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF A DESIGNATED CONSERVATION AREA WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historical interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. These areas will naturally be of many different kinds. They may be large or small, whole villages and hamlets or just a square or green. They are often focused on listed buildings but not always. Other attractive groups of buildings, open spaces, trees, a traditional street pattern or features of historic or architectural interest may also contribute to the special character of an area.

Conservation areas are designated and reviewed under separate legislation from the local plan. In designating new conservation areas, the local planning authority will take into account the architectural and historic merit, scenic quality, cohesion, physical relationships between buildings, and the relationship of buildings with their settings.

It is the overall character of an area, which the designation of a conservation area seeks to preserve and enhance, rather than the individual buildings. Development proposals will need to take account of the following criteria:

(i) The use of the local building style, traditional scale and materials and special architectural detailing appropriate to the setting of the site;

(ii) The retention and management of beneficial landscape and townscape features including the protection and retention of buildings of local architectural or historic merit, important gaps, views, trees, boundary treatments and open spaces;

(iii) The conformity of the proposed development with the building line, orientation and density of other buildings in the vicinity;

(iv) The use of boundary treatments which in terms of materials, colour, massing and species are sympathetic to the character and appearance of the conservation area;

(v) The potential for securing environmental improvements as part of any scheme.

Proposals for the change of use of buildings within conservation areas will also need to satisfy the following criteria:

(vi) The proposal can be accommodated harmoniously within the existing street scene, without the need for building works or operations that would result in the introduction of intrusive materials, detailing or design features; and

(vii) The intensity of activity on site would not have a detrimental effect on the character or appearance of the conservation area; or

(viii) The proposal will beneficially contribute to the character and vitality of the conservation area.

The local planning authority has a statutory duty to ensure the preservation and enhancement of its conservation areas. Conservation Area Proposal Statements have been prepared for many of the conservation areas in the District. These set out in further detail the elements contributing to the particular value of each Area. They are prepared under section 71 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The preparation of these documents assessing the character and value of individual conservation areas is also encouraged in PPG15 on Planning and the Historic Environment. A list of Conservation Areas, and those that currently benefit from the preparation of a Conservation Area Proposal Statement, is given in Section 1 of Appendix B. Changes of use of buildings will normally be permitted (subject to other policies in the development plan) provided that they do not cause demonstrable harm to the character of the conservation area. Within historic villages a balance of residential and commercial uses is desirable: the loss of too many residential uses in the centres, or the loss of important facilities such as village shops, can be detrimental to the vitality of the village. The subdivision of single large houses into smaller units can sometimes erode the character of the original building and its setting, through effects on communal areas such as front gardens, and increased car parking and traffic. See Proposal RUR17 on village shops. Where buildings within a conservation area are unoccupied and deteriorating through lack of maintenance, then the local planning authority will be prepared to take a flexible approach to changes of use, in order to secure maintenance of the building.

It is recognised that trees make a major contribution to the character and amenity of Conservation Areas. Consequently, virtually all trees in Conservation Areas are protected. This allows the Council to ensure the contribution which trees with a trunk of over 75mm diameter make to the environment is preserved. The general rule is that permission is required to carry our works to all trees within a Conservation Area.

Conservation areas contain visible evidence of a settlement's past in buildings, street plans, open spaces and archaeological features. The local planning authority will protect them from development that could detract from or alter their special character or setting.

Most conservation areas in the District are now the subject of directions made under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1998, the effect of which is to reduce the extent of minor alterations or demolition that can be carried out in conservation areas without the need to apply for planning permission. Further directions may be made under any review of a conservation area. Further information regarding properties affected by these directions and the permitted development rights removed by them may be obtained from Hart’s Development Control section.

Attention is drawn to Proposals URB 18 and URB 19, which relate specifically to housing densities within the North Fleet and Yateley Conservation Areas.

CON 14 Conservation Areas – demolition of buildings

CON 14 DEVELOPMENT REQUIRING THE DEMOLITION OF A BUILDING OR PART OF A BUILDING IN A CONSERVATION AREA WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IF:

(i) The removal of a building or part of a building would unacceptably harm the special character and/or appearance of the area;

(ii) Detailed proposals for the re-use of the site, including any replacement building (or part thereof) and landscaping, have not been approved.

Individual buildings often significantly contribute to the overall character of conservation areas.

A general presumption in favour of retaining buildings, which make a positive contribution to the area's character, is stated in PPG15 on Planning and the Historic Environment. PPG15 advises that in general, buildings that make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a Conservation Area should be retained. Proposals for demolition will therefore be considered in terms of the appearance of the building itself, and its contribution to the overall street scene. Partial demolition such as the removal of chimney stacks can also have a significant detrimental effect on the overall character of the surroundings. Other buildings may be demolished but the emphasis should be on the contribution any replacement would make to the objectives of conservation in the area concerned. Landscaping is an important feature of any site in a conservation area and as such sites should not be left vacant or derelict after demolition even in the case of removal of a building of no merit at all. Since 1998 the local planning authority has made a number of directions under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Order) Act 1988 which remove certain permitted development rights in respect of dwelling houses in most conservation areas. These cover partial demolition as well as other alterations. Further information regarding properties affected by these directions, and the permitted development rights removed by them may be obtained by contacting Hart’s Development Control section.

CON 17 Listed Buildings and Buildings of Local Interest – extension or alteration

CON 17 PROPOSALS FOR THE EXTENSION OR ALTERATION OF LISTED BUILDINGS OR BUILDINGS OF LOCAL INTEREST, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS:

(i) The scale of the building is not materially changed;

(ii) Design is appropriate to the character and setting of the building.

Under Planning Policy Guidance Note 15 on Planning and the Historic Environment, the applicant must demonstrate a strong case for carrying out any works to a listed building.

Buildings of special architectural or historic interest contribute to the attractive character and heritage of both settlements and the countryside, and require conserving and protecting from potentially harmful development.

The local planning authority has a statutory duty to preserve and protect listed buildings and their settings. This may, on occasion, involve a positive approach to changes of use. Buildings of local interest are locally designated and whilst the local planning authority will aim to protect them, there is no statutory duty or power to do so. Applications involving Buildings of Local Interest will therefore be treated on their merits. Buildings of Local Interest (for their historic or architectural merit) have been identified by the Council and details are held within the Council's Design and Landscape Section.

Where development or change of use is necessary in order to secure the retention of a listed building or building of local interest, the local planning authority will be prepared to consider exceptions to other policies in this plan.

Where proposals may affect the character or settings of listed buildings, the local planning authority will request the submission of a detailed application, including photographs of relevant details.

CON 18 Listed Buildings or Buildings of Local Interest – Change of Use

CON 18 IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE PRESERVATION OF THE BUILT STRUCTURE, THE CHANGE OF USE OF A LISTED BUILDING OR BUILDING OF LOCAL INTEREST WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED IF IT IS IN KEEPING WITH THE BUILDING AND WILL NOT MATERIALLY AFFECT FEATURES OF HISTORIC OR ARCHITECTURAL IMPORTANCE.

The local planning authority may be prepared to take a flexible approach to the change of use of a listed building if this is necessary to secure the fabric of the building, for example if it is currently disused or has fallen into disrepair. This is in accordance with the advice in PPG15 on Planning and the Historic Environment.

Buildings of local interest (for their historic or architectural merit) have been identified by the Council and details are held within the Council’s Design and Landscape Section.

CON 19 Strategic Gaps – General Policy

CON 19 DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHICH WOULD DIMINISH THE FOLLOWING DEFINED STRATEGIC GAPS PHYSICALLY OR VISUALLY:

(i) The Blackwater Gap between the Blackwater Valley Towns (Aldershot to Yateley) and the County Boundary; and

(ii) Fleet and Aldershot/Yateley.

Strategic Gaps are designated to protect those areas of land which have particular importance as open and undeveloped land; important in terms of the structure of the settlement pattern at a strategic level and providing a clear visual and physical break in the built environment. They keep individual settlements separate and distinct but may also have other benefits for local communities as areas with recreation, amenity, and / or nature conservation value. Strict control of development is necessary if their importance is to be maintained.

These strategic gaps have a long-term importance and once fixed in local plans their boundaries should be altered only in exceptional circumstances. Within this densely urbanised part of north-east Hampshire, there are substantial areas of open or undeveloped land which are of fundamental importance for shaping the strategic settlement pattern. They perform a role in providing extensive breaks in this large conurbation and their importance is a reflection of their size and extent. In north-east Hampshire the towns are part of a larger urban area of around 300,000 people, interspersed with open and undeveloped land, which extends both sides of the County boundary. In Surrey and Berkshire, development stretches in an almost unbroken crescent, paralleling the River Blackwater, from Farnham to Sandhurst and beyond. Pressures threatening further coalescence are considerable, particularly along the river valley itself. Over the years, development has reduced the amount of open land between the Blackwater Valley Towns. In many, this remaining open land is dominated visually by urban features. Fleet is a large town with a distinct and separate identity, which over recent years has experienced peripheral pressures for development towards the Blackwater Valley Towns. Strategic gaps between these towns and Fleet will help to prevent coalescence in this part of the conurbation.

Attention is drawn to the fact that a number of site-specific proposals occur within the defined strategic gaps. These include sites at DERA, Pyestock and Clarks Farm, Darby Green. These are generally instances where there is already development and the Plan proposals seek to address the development options for each site within the context of the gaps that they fall within.

It should be noted that where gaps cross District boundaries, as is the case with the Fleet to Farnborough/Aldershot gap and the Yateley/Blackwater to County Boundary gap, similar designations exist on the other side of the boundary.

CON 20 Strategic Gaps: Blackwater Valley

CON 20 Within the Blackwater gap between the Blackwater Valley towns AND THE COUNTY BOUNDARY, permission will not be granted for development which would diminish the gap physically or visually, in order that the setting and separate identity of settlements on either side of the County boundary ARE retained. Proposals that retain the open nature of the Blackwater Valley, promote recreation as its primary use and have no detrimental effect on ecology or landscape will be permitted.

In north-east Hampshire the towns are part of a larger urban area of around 300,000 people, interspersed with open and undeveloped land, which extends both sides of the County boundary. In Surrey and Berkshire development stretches in an almost unbroken crescent, paralleling the River Blackwater, from Farnham to Sandhurst and beyond. Pressures threatening further coalescence are considerable, particularly along the river valley itself. The Blackwater River runs through a thin ribbon of open and undeveloped land with narrow strips of land running between the towns to the open countryside beyond. This open land is of strategic importance to the separate identity of the settlements in the three counties.

The area surrounding the Blackwater Valley has generally seen a rapid rate of development in recent years. The Valley itself therefore performs a valuable role as an open gap between settlements on either side, and provides opportunities for a wide variety of recreational pursuits. These include both informal recreation such as walking and bird-watching, and more formal activities such as water-sports. The Blackwater Valley Countryside Service works to protect the open space and ecological value of the Valley whilst maximising recreation opportunities.

There are particularly fine views across the River Blackwater from neighbouring Wokingham District, including those from Wokingham's Blackwater Valley and Farley Hill Areas of Special Landscape Importance.

See also Proposal RUR 31, which covers recreational development within the Valley.

CON 21 Local Gaps

CON 21 DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD LEAD TO THE COALESCENCE OR DAMAGE THE SEPARATE IDENTITY OF NEIGHBOURING SETTLEMENTS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IN THE FOLLOWING LOCAL GAPS:

(i) Fleet to Crookham Village;

(ii) Fleet/Church Crookham to Ewshot;

(iii) Crookham Village to Dogmersfield;

(iv) Eversley to Yateley;

(v) Hook to Newnham;

(vi) Odiham to North Warnborough;

(vii) Eversley Centre and Eversley Cross.

Gaps separating smaller settlements are also very important, but their significance is of more local value. They are important in maintaining the separate identities of smaller settlements, providing their setting and preventing coalescence. Any public rights of way within these gaps are usually heavily used and of high value to those living in adjoining settlements. The reduction of gaps can adversely affect the use and amenity of such rights of way, as well as impeding attempts to introduce new or extended footpaths or cycleways.

Local gaps may be subject to more frequent review than Strategic Gaps. Nevertheless, for the period of this local plan, the local planning authority aims to retain protection of all these gaps.

CON 22 Setting of settlements and recreation

CON 22 DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE CHARACTER OR SETTING OF A SETTLEMENT, OR LEAD TO THE LOSS OF IMPORTANT AREAS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF OPEN LAND AROUND SETTLEMENTS, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD:

(i) Obscure typical views of the settlement from public vantage points;

(ii) Obstruct significant public views our of the settlement;

(iii) Result in the loss of ”green fingers” important to the structure and amenity of the settlement; or

(iv) Otherwise have a serious adverse effect on the character or setting of the settlement.

Land immediately outside settlement boundaries may be important to the form and character of a settlement, providing both the foreground and the background views of the settlement from a distance and opportunities for views from the settlement. In some instances it may form fingers of open land which penetrate into the settlement and are an essential part of its character and appearance. When development is proposed it is important that these considerations are not overlooked and this policy provides a basis for their protection.

CON 23 Development affecting Public Rights of Way

CON 23 DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHICH WOULD SERIOUSLY DETRACT FROM THE AMENITY AND CONSEQUENT RECREATIONAL VALUE OF WELL-USED FOOTPATHS AND OTHER PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE CLOSE TO MAIN SETTLEMENTS BY REDUCING THEIR RURAL CHARACTER OR DETRACTING FROM SIGNIFICANT VIEWS.

Walking in the countryside is an extremely popular activity. Many areas in which there are good networks of footpaths and bridleways, with opportunities for circular routes, within easy reach of main settlements are of particular value and amenity to local residents. Development that would have an adverse impact on views from such routes, or which would suburbanise their surroundings, will therefore normally be resisted. Examples of areas currently important for countryside walking are the Hook Woods (north-west of Hook) and the countryside around the Crookham Village / Basingstoke Canal area. Informal recreation is also one of the aims of the Forest of Eversley Partnerships. See also Proposal RUR 30, which provides for small-scale developments to facilitate informal recreation.

Rights of way also include bridleways, byways open to all traffic (BOATS), roads used as public paths (RUPPS), and unclassified county roads. They can be important for a range of recreational uses as well as walking.

Note that whilst much of the MoD land in the District is currently used by the public for informal recreation subject to military bylaws, this cannot be assumed to provide for open space deficiencies, as public use is only permitted where this is compatible with current training requirements.

RUR 1 Definition of areas covered by RUR policies

RUR 1 THE POLICIES IN THIS SECTION OF THE PLAN APPLY TO THE RURAL SETTLEMENTS OF BARTLEY HEATH, BROAD OAK, CROOKHAM VILLAGE, CRONDALL, DOGMERSFIELD, EVERSLEY CENTRE, EVERSLEY CROSS, EVERSLEY STREET, LOWER COMMON, Up-GREEN, EWSHOT, GREYWELL, HARTFORDBRIDGE, HAZELEY, HAZELEY BOTTOM, HAZELEY LEA, HECKFIELD, HOUND GREEN, LONG SUTTON, MATTINGLEY, MILL LANE CRONDALL, RAF ODIHAM, ROTHERWICK, SOUTH WARNBOROUGH, NORTH WARNBOROUGH, WINCHFIELD COURT (formerly Winchfield Hospital) AND WINCHFIELD HURST AS DEFINED IN THIS PLAN, AND TO THE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE.

The settlement boundaries have been drawn:

(i) To enclose the built fabric of the settlement or the separate clusters of dwellings;

(ii) To reflect the built form of the settlement or cluster of dwellings;

(iii) To use wherever possible physical features on the ground that are identifiable on Ordnance Survey maps.

Normally settlement boundaries include gardens, but where domestic curtilages extend well beyond the built fabric, they may be drawn more closely around the dwellings themselves to avoid opening too widely the opportunities for further development and arousing unreasonable expectations as to the development that might be acceptable. An exception is where land is allocated in the Plan for development, when it is included in the defined boundary in anticipation of its incorporation into the built fabric of the settlement.

RUR 2 Development in the open countryside - general

RUR 2 DEVELOPMENT IN THE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE, OUTSIDE THE DEFINED SETTLEMENT BOUNDARIES, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT IT IS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY OTHER POLICIES IN THE LOCAL PLAN, AND THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE A SIGNIFICANT DETRIMENTAL EFFECT ON THE CHARACTER AND SETTING OF THE COUNTRYSIDE BY VIRTUE OF ITS SITING, SIZE AND PROMINENCE IN THE LANDSCAPE.

The local plan proposals map distinguishes the built up areas of towns and villages from the surrounding open countryside by means of settlement policy boundaries. The whole of the area outside these boundaries is classified as countryside.

In addition to the areas designated for their landscape or ecological value, much of the countryside of the District is of a small scale and intimate, enclosed character: this should be respected by any new development. This countryside is of strategic significance in controlling the sprawl and separating the built up areas of the Blackwater Valley Towns, Reading and Basingstoke. It is also a valuable informal recreation resource for the residents of these urban areas.

The Council's aim is to protect this countryside for its own sake by minimising the impact of new development on agricultural and forestry land, mineral resources, and areas of historic, landscape or nature conservation interest. Pressures for development are in conflict with the protection of the countryside resource, and policies of restraint are required to protect its character. Central Government guidance in Planning Policy Guidance Note 7: The Countryside and Rural Economy, emphasises that building in the open countryside, away from existing settlements or allocated areas, should be strictly controlled and that priority should be given to restraint in designated areas.

The countryside can normally accommodate some small-scale economic development without detriment, provided that it is sensitively related in design and location to the existing settlement pattern and landscape. Some diversification from strictly agricultural uses within complexes of farm buildings, for example small-scale industrial units, will be considered as part of the rural economy. Such uses will still be judged according to their impact on landscape, ecology, general amenity of the countryside and the objectives of sustainability.

RUR 3 Development in the open countryside - control

RUR 3 DEVELOPMENTS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WHICH ARE PROVIDED FOR BY OTHER POLICIES IN THIS PLAN, WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE:

(i) The countryside is protected and maintained through the retention, creation or enhancement of features of nature conservation or landscape importance;

(ii) Any existing buildings or structures can be retained if of architectural quality;

(iii) The site is satisfactorily landscaped to reduce its impact on the surrounding countryside;

(iv) The criteria of the specific Policy by which the development proposed may be permitted are also met.

This policy builds on RUR 2 by specifying particular environmental considerations that may be taken into account when dealing with applications for development in the countryside. Any requirements for protection or enhancement works for landscape or conservation, in association with development, would be reasonably related to the proposed development.

RUR 4 Re-use of Rural Buildings - general

RUR 4 PROPOSALS FOR THE RE-USE OF RURAL BUILDINGS (OTHER THAN LARGE HOUSES) FOR COMMUNITY, BUSINESS, INDUSTRIAL (B2), RECREATION OR TOURISM RELATED ACTIVITIES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE EXISTING BUILDING CURRENTLY ENJOYS A LAWFUL USE AND THE CONVERSION WILL NOT RESULT IN ANY SERIOUS HARM TO ESSENTIAL FEATURES OR THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING OR ITS IMMEDIATE SURROUNDS, AND THAT THE FORM, BULK AND GENERAL DESIGN ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE SURROUNDING COUNTRYSIDE.

The re-use (change of use from an existing use, or use of a disused building) of farm buildings can produce a valuable means of diversifying the rural economy, providing new jobs needed in rural areas and encouraging local enterprise. Re-use of existing buildings can also help to reduce the demand for new building in the countryside. Some farm buildings may be of historic or architectural value, and in these cases, adaptation to a new use can be particularly useful if it is a means of protecting the building from falling into disrepair. The removal or enhancement of unsightly farm buildings will be encouraged.

Rural buildings relate to any buildings (other than large houses) outside the settlement boundaries and within the defined rural settlements.

This policy will only apply where the original building was legitimately allowed for a genuine use. Before permitting development under this policy, the local planning authority may investigate the past history of the building to make sure that no misuse of agricultural permitted development rights has occurred.

It is important however that such development does not take place on such a scale that the existing rural character is harmed. It may not be possible to convert large complexes of buildings without changing the character of their surroundings, and larger commercial enterprises may result in excessive traffic on narrow rural lanes. It is also important that the design of such conversions is appropriate to their rural location, and that the conversion does not lead to any adverse effects on areas particularly sensitive due to their ecological, historic or landscape value. All proposals will need to conform to other policies of this plan, particularly RUR 2, RUR 3 and the conservation policies.

The overall appearance and structure of farm buildings of historic value should not be altered by conversion. For this reason, small-scale employment uses such as workshops, craft studios, "telecottages" or light industry, or community uses, are often preferable to residential uses, because there is usually more scope for flexibility in design and structure. See policy RUR 5, which deals specifically with residential conversions.

In some cases the local planning authority may grant planning permission subject to one or more conditions limiting the period for which the building can be used, restricting use to a particular firm or individual, or removing permitted development rights in order to control intensification of use on the site.

This policy will not be used to prevent the renewal of temporary permissions, but the existence of temporary consent does not justify replacement with a permanent dwelling.

RUR 5 Re-use of rural buildings - residential

RUR 5 PROPOSALS FOR THE RE-USE OF RURAL BUILDINGS FOR RESIDENTIAL PURPOSES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT A PROPOSAL FOR RESIDENTIAL USE WOULD BE LESS HARMFUL THAN A COMMERCIAL USE TO THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING OR THE SURROUNDING COUNTRYSIDE AND:

a) The applicant has made every attempt to secure suitable business re-use, and the application is supported by a statement of the efforts which have been made; or

b) Residential conversion is part of a scheme for business re-use within that particular complex of buildings.

New housing in the countryside is normally strictly controlled under the policies of this plan and the advice of PPG7 on the Countryside and Rural Economy. New scattered, isolated housing can have a detrimental impact on the countryside. This can be the case even if the proposal re-uses an existing building, particularly if extensive alteration or re-building is required. Residential conversion can often have detrimental effects on the fabric and character of historic buildings. Conversion may be the key to protecting historic buildings, but it must be sympathetic to the original character. In addition, the creation of a residential curtilage around newly converted buildings can have a detrimental effect on the character of the countryside. It is important that the need for such buildings can be justified, in order not to create large inappropriate buildings in the countryside.

RUR 8 Advertisements in the countryside

RUR 8 PROPOSALS FOR ADVERTISEMENTS IN THE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE AND RURAL SETTLEMENTS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THEY RESPECT THE INTERESTS OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND OF AMENITY ASSESSED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE LOCAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE AREA, INCLUDING THE SCENIC, HISTORIC, ARCHITECTURAL OR CULTURAL FEATURES WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE DISTINCTIVE CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY.

The quality of the environment can be adversely affected by the introduction of shop and other signs which are out of character in design, colour, materials or illumination. This problem is particularly acute in the countryside and in villages, which have historic and interesting streets containing shops and commercial properties. In assessing the impact on amenity, the local characteristics of the neighbourhood will be taken into account. In particular the proposed sign should be:

(i) Sympathetic to the character of the countryside in terms of its siting, height, materials and illumination; and

(ii) Appropriately sited in relation to the means of access serving the business, and would not be visually intrusive or result in clutter.

In terms of public safety, particular care should be given to avoid an adverse effect on road safety.

The District Council will encourage the method of advertising most appropriate to the business and character of the buildings, and the grouping together of information on one sign will be encouraged.

RUR 10 Telecommunications

RUR 10 PROPOSALS FOR THE SITING OF TELECOMMUNICATION INSTALLATIONS AND EQUIPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:

i) The location is the optimum necessary to satisfy technical, operational and legal requirements and at the same time minimise the need for additional apparatus elsewhere;

ii) Subject to technical, operational or legal requirements, the proposal is as sympathetic as possible in design, materials, colour, scale and location with the surrounding environment;

iii) It has been established that the following options are impracticable for technical, operational or legal reasons:

a) Using an existing mast belonging to the licensee or any other person;

b) Replacing an existing mast belonging to the licensee or any other person;

c) Erecting in co-operation with any other operator of a personal telecommunications system a mast for the joint use of the licensee and that other operator.

iv) There are no other suitable masts within the area that could be shared.

Telecommunications are playing an increasingly important role in today's society, and an up to date and efficient network is essential for the effective operation of business and commerce. The evolution of a number of different telecommunication networks however has an impact on the physical environment. Telecommunication equipment usually requires location on high ground, remote from interference from buildings or trees. This often means open landscapes of high quality, such as the Downlands in the south of Hart District. The General and Conservation policies of this plan will be taken into account in assessing applications.

Central Government advice on telecommunications is provided in Planning Policy Guidance Note 8, and the local planning authority will take this into account in determining applications. This states that local planning authorities should allow for the efficient development of the telecommunications network, but that general policies controlling external appearance and siting should be used.

There are several ways in which the visual effect of telecommunications can be minimised. The sharing of masts can reduce the number in a particular area, though there may be technical restrictions preventing this in some cases. Landscaping and screening of the base of the mast, and control over materials, colour and design can reduce their impact. Pole masts are generally preferable to tower or lattice masts, and height should be kept to a minimum wherever possible (under 20 metres). Independent technical assessments of requirements may be sought in connection with specific requirements.

Telecommunication installations need to have adequate access for the development of the site, though the construction period is usually short and little maintenance is required. Small country lanes are not always suitable for large vehicles and this should be taken into account by the operator. Careful site management during construction can minimise this intrusion.

Negotiation with the Civil Aviation Authority or Ministry of Defence should take place at an early stage to ensure that disruption to flying aircraft by tall masts is minimised.

RUR 11 Agricultural Developments

RUR 11 PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT NECESSARY FOR THE PURPOSES OF AGRICULTURE, WHERE THE CRITERIA OF POLICY RUR 3 ARE MET.

Provision or replacement of agricultural buildings may be necessary to meet modern requirements of agriculture, and the Council will generally encourage this as a benefit to the rural economy. Some agricultural buildings have permitted development rights and hence do not require planning permission. In these cases there is a notification procedure for siting, design and external appearance. Where planning permission is required, the general environmental and conservation policies of this plan will be taken into account, as well as the advice in PPG7 on the countryside and rural economy. It is important that the need for such buildings can be justified, in order not to create large inappropriate buildings in the countryside.

Development permitted under this policy will normally also be subject to the considerations listed in Policy RUR3 in the same way as other developments in the countryside.

RUR 12 Business in rural settlements

RUR 12 WITHIN THE RURAL SETTLEMENTS, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OR CHANGE OF USE TO BUSINESS (B1) WILL NORMALLY BE PERMITTED WHERE:

(i) The proposal is well related in location and design to existing development;

(ii) The scale of the proposal is not sufficient to cause a seriously harmful impact on surrounding properties, the immediate street scene or the settlement as a whole (including the balance of available facilities);

(iii) The proposal is not significantly harmful to the amenities of adjacent residents, through noise or traffic impacts or any noxious fumes or smell;

(iv) Changes of use do not cause serious harm to the character or setting of the building, particularly if it is listed;

(v) The scale of development, either on its own or cumulatively with other proposals in the area, would not result in an imbalance between work force and jobs in the parish, leading to net in-commuting to a rural area.

Small-scale business developments in rural settlements can help to diversify the local economy and provide jobs for local residents, reducing their need to travel further to seek employment. Central Government advice in Planning Policy Guidance Note 7, The Countryside and Rural Economy, encourages local planning authorities to consider favourably applications for small business uses in rural areas provided that environmental interests are not jeopardised. Any such new development should be sensitively related to the existing settlement pattern in both location and design.

The development of large offices however is often inappropriate within small settlements or residential areas, unless the proposal secures the retention of a listed building in which case exceptions may be made, under the conservation policies. It is important that any employment development does not have any adverse effect on the quality of the residential environment or result in the loss of viable residential units.

RUR 13 Business in open countryside

RUR 13 WITHIN THE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MAY BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:

(i) The site already includes buildings from a previous use; and

(ii) The proposal is well related in location and design to the surrounding countryside and has no detrimental effects on landscape, ecology or historical features;

(iii) The proposal will not cause serious harm to the character and amenities of the area;

(iv) The site is well contained by clear boundaries;

(v) The scale of development, either on its own or cumulatively with other proposals in the area, would not result in an imbalance between work force and jobs in the parish, leading to net in-commuting to a rural area.

Development permitted under the Policy would normally be subject to the considerations listed in Policy RUR3 in the same way as other developments in the countryside. Building within the open countryside, away from existing settlement boundaries, will be strictly controlled in order to protect the countryside for its own sake, as well as particular features of importance. In exceptional cases, where a site has or has had an existing use, where it is unobtrusive, away from specially designated areas and where a proposed use can be of significant benefit to the surrounding rural economy, it may be possible to accommodate small business uses without detriment to the environment.

The design, landscaping and location of such exceptional developments will be strictly controlled in order to minimise the impact on the countryside. It is also important that such developments do not have an adverse effect on the amenity of public rights of way. Larger business units, or those generating significant volumes of traffic, will not be regarded for inclusion under this policy.

Proposals for the re-use of rural buildings for business are covered by policy RUR 4. This policy however allows for additional buildings within or adjacent to existing complexes.

RUR 16 Loss of employment uses

RUR 16 PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE OF USE WHICH WOULD RESULT IN A LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT USES WILL NOT NORMALLY BE PERMITTED.

Rural industry makes a significant contribution to the rural economy and provides jobs for those living in villages. Existing and proposed employment sites in rural areas also provide future opportunities for redevelopment for other businesses including agriculture-related industry. The Council has prepared an Economic Development Strategy, which particularly encourages the development of small rural business uses. It is important to protect employment opportunities and to secure local jobs that match the District's population profile.

The council accepts that there may be circumstances where the replacement of an un-neighbourly use or the longer-term benefit of the local economy may justify an exception to this policy.

RUR 17 Protection of rural shops and post offices

RUR 17 WITHIN THE RURAL SETTLEMENTS, PROPOSALS FOR THE CHANGE OF USE OF EXISTING LOCAL SHOPS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS A SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE RETAIL OUTLET IS AVAILABLE IN THE SETTLEMENT, IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY FABRIC OF THE VILLAGE.

If such a business has to close down, alternative uses would be considered under policies RUR 12 (business uses in rural settlements) and RUR 20 (housing in rural settlements).

RUR 18 Small scale shopping development

RUR 18 SMALL SCALE SHOPPING DEVELOPMENT CONSISTING OF NEW BUILDINGS, EXTENSIONS OR CHANGES OF USE (INCLUDING CHANGES FROM RESIDENTIAL USE AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL) WILL BE PERMITTED IN THE RURAL SETTLEMENTS, PROVIDED THAT THEY DO NOT CAUSE HARM TO THE CHARACTER AND AMENITIES OF THE SETTLEMENT.

The local planning authority wishes to see the retention and provision of small-scale shopping facilities in the rural settlements to meet local needs. These facilities are of particular value to elderly people or those without cars. They are an important service within a local community and can help to reduce travel demands. Guidance in PPG13 on Transport (paragraph 2.15) stresses the need to provide services in local centres, for this reason.

RUR 20 Housing in rural settlements

RUR 20 WITHIN THE SETTLEMENT BOUNDARIES OF THE RURAL SETTLEMENTS, SMALL SCALE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED, PROVIDED THAT:

(i) The density, scale and design are not harmful to the character of the surrounding properties;

(ii) The development does not result in the loss of an important area of open land, or gap in a frontage, which contributes to the character and setting of the settlement;

(iii) The proposal does not result in the loss of any natural feature considered worthy of retention;

(iv) The proposal provides a reasonable mix of dwelling types and sizes where appropriate, reflecting the current needs of the area.

The local planning authority accepts the need to allow small-scale infill within the rural settlement boundaries where this would not be unduly harmful to the character of these settlements. The mix of housing types and sizes will be informed by reference to the Hart Housing Strategy, which is updated annually. It is important that developments reflect and are sympathetic to traditional local buildings. Such infill development can contribute towards increased housing needs locally, without harming the surrounding countryside, to seek a mix of housing types and sizes within housing developments in rural areas including a significant proportion of small units.

Excessive infilling or "town cramming" could detract from the appearance of rural settlements (many of which are conservation areas) and development will therefore be resisted on areas of open land or spaces in frontages, which act as characteristic features of the settlement. This will apply to pieces of land which provide important views from public spaces, which have public recreational value or the realistic potential to be used for public recreation in the future, which provide an essential part of the setting of a listed building, or which have been identified in a Conservation Area Proposal Statement as being of particular landscape or amenity value. The density of development permitted will depend on the surrounding buildings and townscape.

Reference should also be made to Policy H11 of the Hampshire County Structure Plan Review which recognises that there may be opportunities of windfall sites to help meet future housing needs where redevelopment would contribute towards urban regeneration or conserve land of greater value. Such sites should also be suitable in planning terms for housing development and consistent with other policies of the Plan.

RUR 22 Affordable Housing

RUR 22 HOUSING DEVELOPMENT WITHIN OR ADJACENT TO RURAL VILLAGES MAY, IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES, BE PERMITTED TO MEET LOCAL NEEDS IF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS CAN BE MET:

(i) The local planning authority must be satisfied that there is a proven need for affordable housing for local people in the immediate vicinity;

(ii) Development should be of an appropriate size so as not to have an overbearing impact on the settlement or the countryside. A maximum of approximately 0.4 hectares (1 acre) should normally be developed on the site;

(iii) The site must normally be immediately adjacent to a defined settlement boundary, or form a logical extension to the existing settlement;

(iv) The development should not have an adverse effect on the surrounding open countryside;

(v) Materials and design are appropriate to the character of the surrounding area.

Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 on housing recognises that the community's need for affordable housing is a material planning consideration, which can be addressed within local plans and through development control. The best way of ensuring that affordable housing will be maintained is by involving a housing association, but in some cases schemes may be promoted in partnership with private developers. In rural areas where there is little scope for providing such housing in association with larger developments, and where there is a local need, PPG3 allows for the provision of affordable housing within or adjacent to existing villages, on sites that would not otherwise be permitted for housing.

This policy will normally only apply to sites immediately adjacent to rural settlements defined in this plan. In some exceptional cases however, such schemes may be appropriate adjacent to rural hamlets which do not have settlement boundaries due to their small size, if there is a demonstrated local need.

A Housing Needs Survey, commissioned by the Council in 1994, has revealed a significant need for affordable social housing in the District, endorsed by the Council's Housing Strategy. These findings were confirmed in the 1998 Housing Needs Survey. The local planning authority wishes to ensure that people who are on relatively low incomes and cannot access the owner occupied sector of the housing market have the opportunity to continue to live and work in the District.

The applicant must express willingness to enter into a Section 106 Agreement, the purpose of which will include:

a) Agreement to nominate a body (normally a housing association or housing trust) to manage the occupancy and maintenance of the dwellings;

b) Agreement that occupancy shall be restricted and remain available to those who meet the criteria for local need as defined above.

The local planning authority is concerned to prevent houses approved under RUR 21 from ever coming onto the open market. The body nominated to manage such properties will be expected to retain adequate controls over the property to prevent "staircasing".

RUR 23 Replacement of existing dwellings

RUR 23 THE REPLACEMENT OF AN EXISTING DWELLING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE PERMITTED, PROVIDED THAT THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA APPLY:

(i) The existing dwelling has lawful residential use;

(ii) The existing dwelling is not the result of a temporary or series of temporary permissions;

(iii) The proposed dwelling is not disproportionate in size to the existing dwelling, or in its impact on the countryside.

Applications for replacement dwellings within settlement boundaries will normally be permitted, but replacement dwellings in the countryside will be more restricted. Applications for the replacement of existing unoccupied dwellings, which nevertheless enjoy lawful residential use rights, will be considered on their merits taking into account the criteria set out above. It is important that replacement dwellings are not intrusive in the countryside, and that they are not significantly larger than the original dwelling. The policy will not be used to prevent the renewal of temporary permissions, but the existence of temporary consent does not justify replacement with a permanent dwelling other than in the circumstances envisaged by Policy RUR 26 (the division of agricultural holdings).

Extensions and renovations of dwellings will normally be permitted within settlements, but in the countryside this policy will be applied to ensure that renovations and extensions do not have a harmful impact on the character of their surroundings. Extensions and renovations which improve the condition of dwellings will usually be allowed, provided that they respect the original character of the property and that they do not result in a dwelling of such a size that it would be readily capable of conversion into more than one dwelling at a later date. Advice in PPG7, The Countryside and Rural Economy, states that new housing in the countryside should be strictly controlled.

RUR 24 Renovation and extension of existing dwellings

RUR 24 THE RENOVATION OR EXTENSION OF A DWELLING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT:

(i) The existing dwelling has lawful residential use rights; and

(ii) The extension does not materially change the impact of the dwelling on the countryside or result in an enlarged or additional dwelling disproportionate in size to the original dwelling.

Extensions and renovations of dwellings will normally be permitted within settlements, but in the countryside this policy will be applied to ensure that renovations and extensions do not have a harmful impact on the character of their surroundings. Extensions and renovations which improve the condition of dwellings will usually be allowed, provided that they respect the original character of the property and that they do not result in a dwelling of such a size that it would be readily capable of conversion into more than one dwelling at a later date. Advice in PPG7, The Countryside and Rural Economy, states that new housing in the countryside should be strictly controlled.

RUR 30 Informal recreation facilities

RUR 30 PROPOSALS FOR SMALL-SCALE INFORMAL RECREATION FACILITIES, SUCH AS INTERPRETATION CENTRES AND CAR PARKS, WHICH ENABLE PEOPLE TO ENJOY THE COUNTRYSIDE, WILL NORMALLY BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THEY DO NOT CONFLICT WITH THE PROTECTION OF ECOLOGY OR LANDSCAPE, AND DO NOT CREATE UNDUE TRAFFIC PROBLEMS.

The attractive and varied countryside of the District provides a valuable informal recreational resource, easily accessible from surrounding urban areas. Informal recreation, particularly walking, is very popular and does not generally cause any harm to landscape or ecology. The creation of new permissive footpaths in the countryside will be supported by the District Council. The effects of any proposed small-scale recreational developments on existing rights of way would be considered, but such uses should normally be complementary to the enjoyment of those rights of way. Small car parking areas and interpretation facilities can assist visitors to enjoy the countryside.

The Forest of Eversley, as defined in this plan, has the potential to offer informal recreation opportunities for visitors to the District. Nature conservation interests are paramount in this area however due to the international importance of lowland heathland, much of which is a proposed Special Protection Area for Birds. Uses attracting large numbers of visitors would therefore be inappropriate. An interpretation centre and informal car parking and picnic areas would assist visitors to appreciate this distinctive area. A County Council initiative, supported by the District, seeks to promote the wider Forest of Eversley area for recreational and tourism potential.

Larger scale developments attracting considerable numbers of people would be considered under RUR 29. For the purposes of this policy, small-scale facilities would include interpretation boards or shelters, small interpretation centres, bird-watching hides and minor car parking areas for no more than around a dozen cars.

RUR 31 Blackwater Valley

RUR 31 WITHIN THE BLACKWATER VALLEY, PROPOSALS FOR RECREATIONAL USES THAT REQUIRE PLANNING PERMISSION (INCLUDING THE USE OF FORMER GRAVEL WORKINGS) WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY SAFEGUARD NATURE CONSERVATION INTERESTS AND PROVIDE A RIVERSIDE FOOTPATH AND BRIDLEWAY LINKED TO THE EXISTING NETWORK. THE FOLLOWING USES ARE PROPOSED FOR THE SPECIFIC AREAS, AND DEVELOPMENTS TO FACILITATE THESE ACTIVITIES WILL BE PERMITTED:

(i) Between Blackwater and Swan Lane, Darby Green - angling, sailing and other non-powered water sports;

(ii) Between Swan Lane and Mill Lane, Yateley - angling, non-powered water sports, and nature conservation / The Chandlers Lane Playing Fields - playing fields and other recreational purposes;

(iii) Between Mill Lane and Eversley Cross - angling, nature conservation and all forms of sports including powered activities, and formal recreation in appropriate locations;

Between Eversley Cross and the Whitewater River - angling, canoeing, walking, riding and nature conservation.

These developments are also subject to Proposal CON 20, protecting the open nature of the Valley, which should be read in conjunction with this proposal.

The water areas north of Yateley are the result of past mineral extraction within this area. The County Council, as minerals planning authority, controls the restoration of sites following mineral working, but once restored, these areas are subject to planning controls by the local planning authority where development or changes of use are proposed.

Different parts of the Valley may be appropriate for more formal and informal activities. Provision will be made as opportunities arise to incorporate a public footpath/bridleway with associated parking, linking the various parts of the valley. Provision of land or water space for public use may be made by means of Section 106 agreements.

The broad policy guidance for the whole of the Blackwater Valley was initially established when the "Blackwater River Valley Restoration and Recreation Study" was published in 1971 by Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey County Councils. This was supplemented by a further joint study, the "Blackwater Valley Joint Landscape Study" published in 1976. Both these studies identified the need to improve the environment of the Blackwater Valley, improve public access and provide recreation and leisure facilities, particularly after the completion of gravel extraction. The Blackwater Valley Countryside Service currently works to encourage recreation facilities in the Valley and maintain and enhance its ecological, landscape and informal recreational value. The Blackwater Valley Strategy 2000-2005 currently provides up to date information on the policy aims for the area.

The noisier powered activities, such as jet-skiing and motor cycle sports, may be accommodated if it can be shown that they conform to Policies GEN 6 and GEN 7 and follow the guidance of PPG24.

RUR 32 Basingstoke Canal

RUR 32 RECREATIONAL, NAVIGATIONAL AND ANCILLARY FACILITIES WILL BE PERMITTED ALONG THE BASINGSTOKE CANAL, WHERE THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT THE PROPOSAL WOULD CONSERVE THE HISTORIC AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTER OF THE WATERWAY AND ITS SETTING.

The Basingstoke Canal, it’s associated bridges and structures and a surrounding corridor has been designated as the Basingstoke Canal Conservation Area, and the whole length of the canal within the District is also a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Proposals for any development will also be subject to Proposals CON 1, CON 2, CON 3 and CON 10 of the conservation chapter of this plan.

The restoration and ongoing maintenance and improvement of the Basingstoke Canal is a major project which will continue for several years. It is the policy of the local authorities to encourage its maintenance and use for navigational and recreational purposes following restoration, and to provide facilities in selected locations provided that the character of the canal is protected. It is important to maintain a balance between the different recreational uses and environmental interests. The strategy for the restoration and after use of the canal is being co-ordinated by a Joint Management Committee comprising local authority and interest group representatives, and a management plan for the whole canal has recently been prepared.

RUR 33 Camping and Caravanning

RUR 33 PROPOSALS FOR TOURING CAMPING AND CARAVANNING FACILITIES WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY:

(i) Do not conflict with any conservation policies by causing any detrimental effect on interests of acknowledged importance, including ecology, archaeology or sites of historic interest;

(ii) Do not have a significantly detrimental impact on the landscape, do not cause inappropriate traffic volumes on rural lanes and are well related either to existing settlements, existing groups of buildings or suitable landscape screening.

Where stationed for any length of time or on a regular basis, caravans and tents can have an intrusive effect on the appearance of the open countryside, and may unduly disturb important interests such as ecology or agricultural land of the best and most versatile quality. Where planning permission is required and harmful effects can be avoided however, a limited number of small-scale touring camping and caravanning facilities may be appropriate to enable visitors to enjoy the area's countryside and historic features. This can be an appropriate means of farm diversification. Such facilities should be well screened within the landscape so as to cause minimal impact on the countryside.

RUR 34 Horse Related Development

RUR 34 PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE BREEDING, KEEPING AND RIDING OF HORSES (INCLUDING STABLES, RIDING SCHOOLS, EQUESTRIAN CENTRES AND STUD FARMS, AND ASSOCIATED BUILDINGS SUCH AS TACK ROOMS) WILL ONLY BE GRANTED PLANNING PERMISSION IF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS ARE SATISFIED:

(i) The proposal does not create the need for an additional dwelling in the countryside;

(ii) Adequate provision can be made for off-road exercising of horses, either within the site or using official bridleways, without undue impact on the wider rural environment including ecological interests and the amenity of other recreational uses;

(iii) Any outdoor arena or hard surface for exercise purposes would not be detrimental to the character of the countryside by virtue of its scale, prominence, surface treatment and siting;

(iv) Any new buildings are essential to the use and are not significantly harmful to the open character of the countryside.

Horse riding and related leisure activities are becoming increasingly popular particularly in the more prosperous south-east of England. The increase in population in Hart as a result of additional housing growth is likely to increase demand in the District for horse-related activities.

Horse keeping and associated activities can give rise to a number of issues:

(i) Decline in management of good quality agricultural land;

(ii) Demand for additional dwellings in the countryside;

(iii) Visual impact on the rural environment and the deterioration in landscape due to keeping a large number of horses on a small area, or inadequate land management. Design and maintenance can help to reduce impact. Any buildings should be designed to blend in with their surroundings, and jumps and equipment should be put away when not in frequent use;

(iv) Pressure placed by horse riders on public open space, common land, bridleways, footpaths and forest trails, and conflicts which can arise with other recreational interests, conservation and farming. Erosion and damage to vegetation can be a problem particularly in ecologically sensitive areas such as heathland habitats. There may be conflict with other recreational uses and the maintenance of footpaths and bridleways can help to alleviate this. In some cases footpaths may need to be physically closed off to horse riders;

(v) Potential dangers to horse riders and other road users in situations where inadequate riding areas are available close to riding establishments;

(vi) Proximity of activities to residential areas and possible loss of amenity through noise, traffic and floodlighting as well as loss of visual amenity;

(vii) Demands for intensification of use and the erection of large buildings, which would be prominent in the landscape. Wherever possible, the re-use of existing buildings will be encouraged rather than the provision of new ones.

This proposal is designed to minimise the impact of this activity on the countryside. Specific advice on development involving horses is given in Annex F of PPG7. The welfare of horses, taking into account recommended standards for their comfort and safety, will be a material consideration.

See also Proposal RUR 28, which covers additional dwellings required in association with equestrian activities.

RUR 35 Social infrastructure and services

RUR 35 PROPOSALS WHICH RETAIN, IMPROVE OR PROVIDE NEW LOCAL SHOPS, SCHOOLS, POST OFFICES, MEDICAL FACILITIES, CHURCHES, MEETING HALLS, PLAYING FIELDS AND OTHER COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES WILL BE PERMITTED WITHIN AND ON THE EDGE OF THE RURAL SETTLEMENTS OR WHERE EXISTING FACILITIES ARE ADJACENT TO THE URBAN AREAS PROVIDED THAT THE LOCATION IS WELL RELATED TO THE CATCHMENT AREA SERVED AND OTHER POLICIES OF THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN ARE SATISFIED. PROPOSALS THAT WOULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OF COMMUNITY FACILITIES SUCH AS SCHOOLS, MEETING HALLS AND RECREATION AREAS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT THEY ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED, OR THEY PROVIDE FOR REPLACEMENT FACILITIES WITHIN THE CATCHMENT AREA OR SUITABLE ALTERNATIVES EXIST.

The local planning authority wishes to ensure that the existing level of provision is maintained and, where necessary, improved or provided to meet the needs of the rural population. As far as possible, new facilities should be located in or on the edge of the rural centre that is closest to the majority of the clients served by the facility and this will normally be the largest settlement within the catchment area.

RUR 36 Motor sports

RUR 36 IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES, PLANNING PERMISSION MAY BE GRANTED FOR USE OF LAND FOR MOTOR SPORT (NOT INVOLVING ATTENDANCE BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC) PROVIDED THAT THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA CAN BE MET:

(i) The site has a hollow land-form which can be adapted to direct noise in an upward direction away from neighbouring properties and other areas of countryside providing opportunities for informal tranquil recreation;

(ii) Activities will not have a material adverse effect on interests of acknowledged importance covered by other policies of the plan in CON 1 to CON 23;

(iii) No spectator events will be held on site;

(iv) Proposals must include appropriate measures for the collection and disposal of waste materials (including oil, fuel, components, vehicles and general rubbish arising).

RUR 37 Use of dwellings for B1 use

RUR 37 IN THE RURAL SETTLEMENTS AND OPEN COUNTRYSIDE, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GIVEN FOR THE USE OF PART OF A DWELLING HOUSE AND/OR ANCILLARY BUILDINGS WITHIN ITS CURTILAGE FOR BUSINESS (B1) USES PROVIDED THAT:

a) The principal use of the property remains as a dwelling house; and

b) No more than 25% of the property (including ancillary buildings) is used for business purposes, subject to a minimum allowance of 20 sq. m. and a maximum allowance of 50 sq. m.; and

c) There will be no outside storage; and

d) There will be no material increase in traffic as a result of the proposal.

The local planning authority wishes to encourage and facilitate people working from home in accordance with advice in PPG13 and to encourage a greater and more diverse provision of employment in rural areas. Proposals not falling within the limits prescribed in Criterion (b) of the Policy will be considered on their merits.

Where a business use is strictly ancillary in planning terms to the residential use of the dwelling planning permission is not required. Prospective applicants are advised to seek clarification with the local planning authority to confirm a “de-minimis” use of the property.

RUR 38 Provision of Gypsy Sites

RUR 38 THE SITES MARKED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP ARE CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR USE AS GYPSY ACCOMMODATION. FURTHER SITES FOR TRANSIT AND PERMANENT SITES FOR GYPSY FAMILIES MAY EXCEPTIONALLY BE PERMITTED WHERE THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT THERE IS A GENUINE NEED FOR THE SCHEME AND THEY MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

(i) There is no unacceptable impact on designated areas of landscape and / or nature conservation value;

(ii) The purposes of the Strategic or Local Gaps are not prejudiced;

(iii) There is a satisfactory means of access and adequate parking, and development does not generate traffic of an amount or type inappropriate for roads in the area;

(iv) There is no unacceptable impact on neighbouring land uses;

(v) They can be provided with essential services (mains drinking water, and a refuse collection point);

(vi) They include where necessary, a landscape scheme;

(vii) Where an element of business activity is provided, it does not adversely affect neighbouring land uses or generate levels and types of traffic inappropriate to local roads;

(viii) They have reasonable access to schools, medical services, shops and other community facilities.

Local planning authorities no longer have a statutory duty to provide sites for gypsies residing in or resorting to their area. Guidance in Circular 1/94 “Gypsy Sites and Planning” states that local planning authorities should continue to make adequate gypsy site provision in their development plans whether for public or private sites. A variety of sites may be needed. The aim is to secure provision appropriate to gypsies’ accommodation needs while protecting amenity and the local environment. As a rule, it will be appropriate to make provision for gypsy sites in areas of open land where development is severely restricted. Other considerations such as highway access and safety and proximity of local facilities, is also relevant. Sites meeting countryside, conservation and highway policies can be found in rural or semi-rural settings and urban areas.

URB 1 Definition of areas covered by URB policies

URB 1 THE POLICIES IN THIS SECTION OF THE PLAN APPLY TO THE URBAN AREAS AND RURAL CENTRES OF BLACKWATER/HAWLEY, FLEET, HARTLEY WINTNEY, HOOK, ODIHAM AND YATELEY, AS DEFINED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP AND INSET MAPS, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.

Employment developments are expected to comply with guidance under Policy T14 (iii) regarding car and lorry parking.

URB 2 Business Development - general

URB 2 WITHIN SETTLEMENT BOUNDARIES BUT OUTSIDE THE DEFINED TOWN CENTRES, DISTRICT SHOPPING CENTRES AND LOCAL CENTRES, B1 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OR CHANGES OF USE TO BUSINESS (B1) WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE:

(i) The proposal is well related in location and design to existing development;

(ii) Existing buildings are physically capable of accommodating the proposed use, and new buildings are of an appropriate proportion in relation to the surrounding buildings and street scene;

(iii) The local planning authority is satisfied that there is no material detrimental effect on the amenities of adjacent residents arising from the scale of development proposed;

(iv) Access and parking can be accommodated without adverse effects on other road users.

Within the settlement boundaries of the urban areas and rural centres planning permission will normally be permitted for appropriate industrial or commercial development. Business (B1) development can normally be located in residential areas without harming the amenity of residents. This is included in the advice in PPG4, Industrial and Commercial Development and Small Firms. Also, the Council aims to encourage and support business development through its Economic Development Strategy. Large or "un-neighbourly" employment developments can however be inappropriate within residential areas if they have an adverse effect on the quality of the environment or result in the loss of viable residential units.

URB 3 Town district and Local Centres: Business above ground floor

URB 3 WITHIN THE DEFINED TOWN CENTRES, DISTRICT SHOPPING CENTRES AND LOCAL CENTRES, CHANGES OF USE TO BUSINESS (B1) ABOVE GROUND FLOOR LEVEL, WHICH REQUIRE PLANNING PERMISSION, WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE BUILDING IS PHYSICALLY CAPABLE OF ACCOMMODATING THE PROPOSED USE AND THAT THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF THE CENTRE.

This policy only applies to changes of use that require planning permission. Under the Use Classes Order, various changes between categories in Class B (office and industrial uses) do not require permission. Note that the change of use to flats no longer requires planning permission.

The Council aims to encourage and support business development through its Economic Development Strategy. Within the town centres, district shopping centres and local centres, small-scale office and business development is generally appropriate and can meet the needs of businesses with a requirement for premises in the locality. Business uses in the main settlement centres are well-located in relation to the advice in PPG13: Transport, which emphasises the need to reinforce the role of town centres as major centres of employment, reducing travel demand by allowing people the choice of working close to their homes and using public transport.

Any proposal will be carefully evaluated to ensure that incremental increases in office and business use do not adversely affect the character and vitality of the area by changing the balance of uses.

Residents and workers stimulate shopping, restaurants and cafes, and other businesses to serve them and so in turn add to vitality (PPG6, paragraph 2.13). However, business (B1) uses are often closed at night and the local planning authority does not wish to see large parts of town centres, district shopping centres and local centres become dead at night. Where there is evidence that this is already happening because of a lack of residential units nearby, the local planning authority may exceptionally refuse planning permission for B1 use or may grant temporary consent only, to enable the situation to be kept under review.

URB 4 Town, district centres: business at ground floor level

URB 4 WITHIN THE DEFINED SHOPPING AND TOWN CENTRES, DISTRICT SHOPPING CENTRES AND LOCAL CENTRES CHANGES OF USE FROM RETAIL (A1) TO BUSINESS (B1) AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IF IT LEADS TO A SIGNIFICANT LOSS OR FRAGMENTATION OF EXISTING RETAIL FRONTAGES WHICH IS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL TO THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF THE CENTRE.

Shopping is a major, if not the pre-eminent function of the commercial centres and it is the intention of the Plan that the vitality and viability of the centres will be maintained and, where possible, enhanced.

Class B1 uses will normally not be permitted in ground floor locations in shopping frontages, or only if by their extent, location or the nature of the use proposed they would contribute to, or not damage, the continuity or effectiveness of the shopping frontage.

URB 5 Provision of small businesses

URB 5 NEW EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENTS ALLOCATED OR ALLOWED BY OTHER POLICIES OF THIS PLAN WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY MAKE PROVISION FOR SMALL BUSINESSES ON ALL OR PART OF THE SITE.

The Council’s Economic Development Strategy particularly encourages the provision for small businesses, which make an important contribution to the economy of the area and allow new employment opportunities. These include new businesses, which often need support in setting up and may have difficulty finding appropriate sites. Provision for small businesses is also particularly encouraged under PPG4: Industrial Development and Small Firms. See also proposals RUR 12-16 encouraging small business development as part of the rural economy.

Where a site or development is intended for the sole occupation of a known occupier, for example for a headquarters or regional office building or for industrial plant, in so far as this policy is concerned the proposal will be considered in the light of the circumstances of the case and the advantages that might accrue to the local economy.

URB 6 Expansion of employment uses

URB 6 PLANNING PERMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT OR REDEVELOPMENT CONCERNING THE EXPANSION OF EMPLOYMENT USES WILL BE GRANTED WITHIN OR ADJACENT TO THE EXISTING CURTILAGE OF A SITE PROVIDED THAT THE SITE IS ALREADY LAWFULLY USED FOR SUCH PURPOSES AND THAT THE PROPOSAL, INCLUDING ACCESS AND SERVICING ARRANGEMENTS, DOES NOT MATERIALLY AFFECT THE AMENITIES OF ADJOINING BUILDINGS.

The expansion of employment sites can allow for the growth of local businesses without requiring them to leave the locality or the District. A degree of flexibility is therefore required in assessing such proposals (as encouraged under PPG4), but it is important that expansion is controlled so that it avoids detriment to surrounding countryside or urban areas, or to adjoining residents and uses. Not all expansions will require planning permission.

URB 7 Loss of employment uses

URB 7 DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OF AN EXISTING EMPLOYMENT SITE LAWFULLY USED (OR ENJOYING LAWFUL USE RIGHTS) FOR B1 (BUSINESS) OR B2 (INDUSTRY) WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED IF THE PRESENT USE HARMS THE CHARACTER OR AMENITIES OF ITS SURROUNDINGS, THE SITE IS NOT CAPABLE OF CONTINUING SATISFACTORILY IN AN EMPLOYMENT USE OR THERE WOULD BE SUBSTANTIAL BENEFITS TO THE LOCALITY.

The local planning authority wishes to retain and encourage skilled jobs in the employment areas, and to protect the vitality and viability of the defined commercial and retail centres. It is an important aim of the local plan to protect employment opportunities and to secure local jobs that match the District’s population profile. The Council’s Economic Development Strategy seeks to encourage and support business development within the District.

There is a severe imbalance between population and jobs in the district with only one job for every two members of the resident work force. PPG13 recommends that local planning authorities should seek a better balance. That objective would be undermined strategically by the loss of major employment sites, but it would be undermined locally as well by the loss of smaller sites. Therefore, all employment sites lawfully used for B1 (business) or B2 (industrial) uses are covered by this policy. The circumstances in which an exception to policy would be made do not extend to market consideration of land values. In a dormitory district such as Hart, the value of residential land will sometimes exceed the value of industrial land. That is not a reason for abandoning the industrial use, particularly where there is an imbalance between jobs and workforce locally. However, the local planning authority recognises that certain uses may not make good neighbours to nearby residential uses.

URB 8 Shopping in urban areas and rural centres

URB 8 RETAIL DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED IN THE TOWN AND VILLAGE CENTRES OF FLEET, YATELEY, HOOK, ODIHAM AND HARTLEY WINTNEY (AS DEFINED ON THE RELEVANT INSET MAPS), IF IT WILL SUSTAIN AND/OR ENHANCE THE RANGE AND QUALITY OF SHOPPING PROVISION AND THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF THE CENTRE, MAINTAIN OR IMPROVE THE AMENITY, ENVIRONMENT AND CHARACTER OF THE CENTRE AND BE READILY ACCESSIBLE BY MEANS OF TRANSPORT OTHER THAN THE PRIVATE CAR.

In order to cater adequately for the daily shopping needs of the District’s population, the maintenance and enhancement of shopping facilities will be encouraged. At ground floor level within the defined commercial centres of settlements, shopping is the main use and the concentration of shops within one main area increases the convenience for shoppers.

Financial and professional services such as banks, building societies and estate agents are usefully located within main shopping areas. However, it is important that these uses do not dominate the centre as this can fragment the shopping areas, increase the distance between different shops or reduce the overall provision of shopping uses. This could detract from the vitality and viability of the town centres.

In those parts of the centres where shopping is, or is intended to become, the predominant use, Class A2 and A3 uses will only be permitted in shopping frontages if the development would not lead to non-shopping uses occupying more than 15% of the frontage within 50 metres on either side of the centre of the application site (25% in secondary or local shopping areas). All proposals will however be assessed on their merits, taking account of trading patterns in the area. See also area-specific policies F2, F3 and F10 in Fleet Town Centre that take precedence in those areas.

URB 9 Retail: local needs

URB 9 THE PROVISION OR IMPROVEMENT OF LOCAL SHOPS TO SERVE THE DAY-TO-DAY NEEDS OF LOCAL RESIDENTS AND WORKERS WILL BE PERMITTED, SUBJECT TO OTHER POLICIES OF THIS PLAN, WHERE THEY ARE SATISFACTORY IN THEIR SITING AND DESIGN, READILY ACCESSIBLE TO LOCAL PEOPLE BY MEANS OF TRANSPORT OTHER THAN THE PRIVATE CAR AND WOULD RESULT IN NO MATERIAL HARM TO RESIDENTIAL AMENITY.

The local planning authority wishes to see the retention and provision of small-scale shopping facilities to meet local needs. These facilities are an important service within a local community and can help reduce travel demands. Guidance in PPG13 on Transport (paragraph 2.15) stresses the need to provide services in local centres for this reason.

URB 10 Out of centre retailing

URB 10 PROPOSALS FOR LARGE SCALE RETAIL DEVELOPMENT (OVER 2,500 sq.m.) OUTSIDE THE DEFINED TOWN CENTRES, DISTRICT SHOPPING CENTRES AND LOCAL CENTRES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THERE IS AN IDENTIFIED NEED FOR ADDITIONAL SHOPPING PROVISION WHICH CANNOT BE MET IN THE COMMERCIAL CENTRE, IN WHICH CASE THE SEQUENTIAL APPROACH TO SITE SELECTION WILL BE ADOPTED. THIS MEANS THAT TOWN CENTRE SITES ARE THE FIRST PREFERENCE FOR THE LOCATION OF LARGE-SCALE RETAIL UNITS, FOLLOWED BY EDGE OF CENTRE SITES, FOLLOWED BY DISTRICT OR LOCAL CENTRES (SERVING RESIDENTIAL AREAS). ONLY AS A LAST RESORT WILL AN OUT OF CENTRE SITE BE CONSIDERED. ALL SITES MUST ADDITIONALLY SATISFY THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

(i) The proposal is capable of serving the area without adversely affecting the character, vitality and viability of nearby centres, either as a result of the individual proposal or of the cumulative impact of several such proposals or developments; and

(ii) The proposal would not cause a local shortage of land for business, industrial, distribution or other uses; and

(iii) The site is easily accessible by public transport, walking and cycling.

Guidance on retail developments within and outside town centres is provided by PPG6 on retail development. This clearly states that local planning authorities should aim to maintain the vitality and viability of existing centres and should resist development outside centres which could adversely affect them. Proposals should be considered on a "sequential approach": the first preference should always be for town centre sites, followed by sites within settlement boundaries but not in the centres. Sites outside settlements should only be considered if no other sites are available.

The local plan process has not identified a need for further new retail development during the plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of Fleet Town Centre and other centres in the retail hierarchy. Therefore, there are no site-specific proposals for very large-scale retail development contained within the plan. Consequently, any proposals coming forward outside this policy framework will, in accordance with the Cabon Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, also be required to demonstrate the need for additional facilities, particularly if they are likely (on their own or in combination with other proposals) to change the role of any centre. For clarity and consistency of approach, proposals for smaller-scale retail development (less than 2,500 sq. m.) outside the defined town centres, district shopping centres and local centres will also be required to demonstrate need and to comply with the sequential approach to ensure that centres retain their role in the hierarchy. Large-scale retail development (over 2,500 sq. m.) outside town centres can have a harmful impact on the vitality and viability of the centres. Out-of-town centres are less convenient for people who do not own cars and encourage people to use cars more for shopping. The maintenance of concentrated shopping uses in town centres minimises travel demands and resulting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, as far as possible, and is therefore the most sustainable method of provision. The mix of shopping, employment and service uses within centres makes public transport more viable as one journey can serve several functions.

Certain types of retailing activity however, particularly those involving heavy or bulky goods such as DIY goods, may have particular requirements for large floor areas and immediately adjacent car parking which may not be capable of being satisfied within a town centre location. These types of activity will normally require edge-of-town locations. There is already considerable provision of out-of-town developments along the Blackwater Valley adjacent to this District, in Camberley, Farnborough and Aldershot. These include both food superstores and DIY warehouses, as well as the Marks and Spencer and Tesco stores near Camberley. These are all accessible to the residents of Hart District, particularly those living in the east of the District where more of the population is concentrated.

The District Council is currently aiming to enhance the town and village centres within its area and Town Centre Management Groups have been set up in order to work with retailers and local interest groups in order to further this aim. Developers proposing new out-of-town retail centres will be expected to provide information on the likely economic impact of their proposals on the surrounding shopping centres. Developments likely to adversely affect the centres, in themselves or through a cumulative effect with other proposals, will not normally be permitted.

Retail developments outside the settlement boundaries will normally be resisted, as they could adversely affect the open countryside and are more likely to increase car journeys.

Reference should also be made to PPG13 paragraph 27 which indicates that large comprehensive projects should be reduced or split to enable them to locate the constituent parts in sustainable locations rather than accept a large comprehensive development in an unsuitable location.

URB 11 Shop fronts

URB 11 DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS FOR THE PROVISION, ALTERATION OR REPLACEMENT OF SHOP FRONTS WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:

(i) Traditional shop fronts are not destroyed;

(ii) Design, materials and detailing of new shop fronts or alterations of existing shop fronts are in scale and keeping with the character of the building and its surrounding shopping frontage;

(iii) They preserve separate access to upper floors where this exists.

The design of shop fronts, if not controlled, can lead to significant changes in the visual character of both historic towns and village centres. A design guide for shop fronts, as well as specific guidance on roller shutters and security blinds, has been prepared by the Council. It is in the interests of developers to make provision for internal security blinds, if necessary, as part of their initial permission, as permission for external blinds or other security features which are incompatible with existing designs at a later date will not normally be granted. The proliferation of large, obtrusive external shutters can seriously detract from the character of town centres, and reduce their attractiveness after shopping hours. The protection of traditional shop fronts is particularly important within the conservation areas of Hartley Wintney and Odiham. See also proposals CON 13-16, which apply to listed buildings and conservation areas. The preservation of separate access to upper floors is a key factor in maintaining residential or separate commercial uses on the upper floors of shops.

URB 12 Residential development: criteria

URB 12 WITHIN THE MAIN SETTLEMENT BOUNDARIES, AND ON OTHER SITES SPECIFICALLY ALLOCATED IN THIS PLAN, RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED, PROVIDED THAT:

(i) The proposal is sympathetic in scale, design, massing, height, layout, siting and density both in itself and in relation to adjoining buildings, spaces and views and makes optimum use of the site at densities commensurate with good innovative design in relation to site characteristics (see policy GEN 4);

(ii) The proposal does not result in the loss of any local feature of note, such as trees, hedgerows protected under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 (SI No. 1160) and views;

(iii) The proposal provides a reasonable mix of dwelling types and sizes where appropriate, reflecting the current housing needs of the area with the emphasis on smaller units to reflect the trend towards smaller household;

(iv) The proposal does not result in material loss of amenity to adjoining residents;

(v) The proposal does not result in the loss of land in lawful use or with lawful use rights for business (B1) or industry (B2) uses other than in the circumstances of Policy URB 7.

The Council's Housing Strategy, and the Housing Needs Survey carried out in 1994, show that there is an abnormally high proportion of larger detached houses within the District and a significant market demand for small, more affordable units. The Council will therefore actively encourage the development of more small units in order to offer a wider choice of housing within the District. It should also be noted however that urgent needs for affordable housing are most commonly for family accommodation, and this would be taken into account particularly in considering affordable housing provision under policy URB 13. The mix of housing types and sizes will be informed by reference to the Hart Housing Strategy which is updated annually.

Within the settlement boundaries of towns and villages of the District, infill development on small sites, which are generally suitable for development, will normally be permitted in accordance with other policies of this plan, and an allowance for development on such small sites is made in order to contribute towards structure plan housing targets.

Proposals for redevelopment at higher densities will be considered under this policy. The relationship to the existing form and layout of surrounding development, traffic generation, and potential impact on important trees or open spaces will be important considerations in these cases.

The mix of housing types and sizes will be informed by reference to the Hart Housing Strategy, which is updated annually.

ALT URB 14 Sheltered and Supported Accommodation

ALT URB 14 ON THOSE SITES WHERE THE DISTRICT COUNCIL HAS NEGOTIATED 40 OR MORE AFFORDABLE UNITS, 10% OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF AFFORDABLE UNITS WILL BE DESIGNATED AS SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION; SUCH ACCOMMODATION TO BE MANAGED BY A REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORD OR HEALTH CARE TRUST.

WITH REGARD TO SHELTERED HOUSING SCHEMES, THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK A TARGET OF 40% OF THE UNITS TO BE AFFORDABLE. HOWEVER, IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES THE DISTRICT COUNCIL MAY CONSIDER IT APPROPRIATE TO AGREE EITHER A LOWER PERCENTAGE TOGETHER WITH A COMMUTED SUM, OR A COMMUTED SUM.

THIS POLICY REPLACES POLICY URB14 OF THE HART DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN (REPLACEMENT) 1996 TO 2006 AND SHOULD BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH ALT GEN13.

The Housing Needs Survey has identified a high level of demand for sheltered and supported accommodation. It suggests that there will be a combined requirement within the next 5 years for 1,474 units of sheltered accommodation from those currently living within the District and those who may in-migrate to be with their family. About 40% are estimated to be in the affordable sector. The survey has also identified over the next five years a need for 224 units of supported accommodation involving either a nursing home, live in carer or independent accommodation with external support.

The Council places a high priority on the provision of sheltered and supported accommodation. It wishes to enhance residential care provision for its elderly population. The Council therefore requires that 10% of affordable accommodation provided under this first alteration should be special needs accommodation in the form of supported housing on those sites providing 40 or more affordable units. It is considered that groups of four dwellings are the minimum number which can be satisfactorily managed as a unit and that provision in small groups can be satisfactorily integrated with the rest of the community.

With regard to sheltered housing the Council will seek to achieve 40% of the units as affordable. However it recognises that separation of affordable and market units may sometimes be difficult to achieve on the same site. Therefore in exceptional circumstances the Council would be prepared to accept a lower percentage together with a financial contribution towards the purchase or provision of sheltered units elsewhere within the District, the total contribution equivalent to the requirement to provide 40% of affordable units in total.

This policy is to be read in conjunction with Policy ALT GEN 13 with regard to site thresholds.

URB 15 Town, district and local centres

URB 15 CHANGES OF USE TO OR FROM RESIDENTIAL, ABOVE GROUND FLOOR LEVEL WITHIN THE DEFINED TOWN CENTRES, DISTRICT SHOPPING AND LOCAL CENTRES OF THE URBAN AREAS AND RURAL CENTRES, WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THAT WOULD SUPPORT THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF THE CENTRE.

Residential uses within town centres can play a valuable role in maintaining their vitality, viability and diversity of uses. The conversion of vacant properties to residential uses can improve the vitality of the centre whilst contributing to the housing needed in the District, and adding to the variety of housing types available. Flats over shops are particularly suitable for small households requiring more affordable housing. The Council’s Housing Needs Survey revealed a significant demand for this type of accommodation in the District. A recent change in Government policy means that the change of use to flats over shops no longer requires planning permission.

The development of flats over shops will however only be encouraged in areas where the current environment is appropriate for residential use and the nature of surrounding uses will be taken into account. The feasibility of providing appropriate access will also be taken into account.

The local planning authority will generally resist the change of use of purpose-built residential units in town centres, unless this does not harm the vitality and viability of the centre. However, where commercial units have been converted to residential use under this policy, their change of use back to commercial use at a later date will normally be permitted.

URB 16 Extensions

URB 16 EXTENSIONS TO EXISTING DWELLINGS WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE:

(i) The proposed development is sympathetic in scale and character to the existing dwelling and surrounding properties;

(ii) The proposed extension does not materially detract from the amenities of adjoining dwellings by virtue of its siting and massing, or loss of privacy;

(iii) The proposed extension does not harm the street scene.

The local planning authority will apply “quarter pane” tests, which determine whether a material loss of daylight or sunlight would be incurred by a neighbouring property as a result of a development proposal. It will also pay due regard to the D.o.E. publication “Sunlight and Daylight: Planning Criteria and Design of Buildings” and any subsequent material official guidance.

The local planning authority will also have regard to townscape matters and, in particular, the space around dwellings.

URB 17 Annexes for dependent relatives

URB 17 THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANNEXES FOR DEPENDENT RELATIVES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE ANNEXE IS CONNECTED TO THE MAIN DWELLING, WITH NO SEPARATE EXTERNAL DOOR, IN ORDER TO SERVE AS AN ANNEXE THERETO.

Conditions may be imposed to ensure that the use of the annexe is incidental to the enjoyment of the main dwelling. The local planning authority is anxious to avoid the creation of separate and unfettered units of accommodation within the curtilage of family homes where separate and distinct provision of amenity space and parking cannot be provided. The amenities of the occupiers of adjoining properties also need to be safeguarded.

URB 18 Residential densities in North Fleet and Yateley Conservation areas

URB 18 IN ORDER TO RETAIN THE HIGH QUALITY OF THE RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENT WITHIN THE SPECIFIC AREAS OF NORTH FLEET DEFINED ON THE FLEET INSET MAP, RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT AT THE FOLLOWING DENSITIES WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT THIS WOULD NOT RESULT IN ANY DEMONSTRABLE HARM TO THE CHARACTER AND VISUAL AMENITY OF THAT AREA IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROPOSAL GEN 4:

(i) Area A - dwellings on plots of more than approximately 0.2 hectares (0.5 acres);

(ii) Area B - dwellings on plots of more than approximately 0.1 hectares (0.25 acres);

(iii) Area C - development at a density of less than approximately 17 per hectare (7 per acre);

(iv) Area D - development at a density of less than approximately 25 per hectare (10 per acre).

These densities represent the typical current densities within the specific areas, which are considered to be an important element of the character of these areas. The area is notable for its low-density development, and in many parts the dwellings are relatively evenly spaced, in plots of similar size. Higher densities would detract from the distinctive character of the street scene as well as resulting in the loss of the trees and large gardens, which contribute to the overall appearance. Infill development, which would be acceptable in other residential areas, will be more strictly controlled within this area in order to protect its character.

Density of new development is not however the only factor to be considered when assessing the impact of a proposal on the area, and the wider impact on the area's character, considered in relation to Proposal GEN 4, will also be a principal factor involved.

A Conservation Area Proposal Statement has been prepared for the North Fleet Conservation Area, describing its character and interest in more detail.

The local planning authority acknowledges that Government Guidance has changed during the preparation of this local plan. When the plan is next altered/reviewed there will be a need to review this policy in the light of PPG3: Housing, paragraph 57, which advises authorities to avoid the inefficient use of land. This will be done whilst having regard to the character of the conservation area.

URB 19 Yateley Conservation Areas

URB 19 WITHIN THE THREE YATELEY CONSERVATION AREAS DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE SEMI-RURAL CHARACTER OF THE AREA, PARTICULARLY BY INCREASING THE DENSITY OF DEVELOPMENT, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

The conservation areas within Yateley (Yateley Green, Cricket Hill and Darby Green) provide good quality accommodation in a pleasant environment and need to be protected from "town cramming" which would substantially change their environment. Infill development, which would be permitted in other residential areas of the District, will be more strictly controlled in these particular areas.

In assessing the acceptability of development proposals on the conservation areas, an analysis of the effect of proposals on their character will be required. The special characteristics of each of the Conservation Areas are set out in Conservation Area Policy Statements. Plans showing the boundaries of all three conservation areas can be obtained from the Planning Department of the Council.

The local planning authority acknowledges that Government Guidance has changed during the preparation of this local plan. When the plan is next altered/reviewed there will be a need to review this policy in the light of PPG3: Housing, paragraph 57, which advises authorities to avoid the inefficient use of land. This will be done whilst having regard to the character of the conservation area.

URB 20 Retention and provision of local services and community facilities

URB 20 PROPOSALS WHICH RETAIN OR PROVIDE NEW LOCAL SHOPS, SCHOOLS, POST OFFICES, MEDICAL FACILITIES AND OTHER COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT OTHER POLICIES AND DEVELOPMENT CONTROL CRITERIA ARE SATISFIED.

The local planning authority wishes to ensure that the existing level of provision is maintained and, where necessary, improved or provided to meet the needs of the existing population and those arising from new development.

The proposals in the local plan, particularly those related to housing growth, will have a significant impact on the provision of public utilities or services, educational, health and social services. It is important that the local plan takes account of current and future programmes of the relevant agencies responsible for providing the services and, where appropriate, phases development to accord with their programmes and reserve sites for any related development.

In areas where there is inadequate provision of a particular service, developers may be asked to enter into agreements with the relevant public authorities, whereby a contribution is made towards its provision or improvement.

URB 21 Loss of amenity and recreation open space

URB 21 THE DEVELOPMENT OF EXISTING OR PROPOSED AMENITY OPEN SPACE OR RECREATIONAL LAND (DEFINED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP AND INCLUDED IN THE SCHEDULE IN APPENDIX E) WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED:

(i) Where there is a local excess of amenity open space or recreational land, measured against the council’s standards; or

(ii) For sporting or recreational uses which retain the open character of the land.

In view of existing deficiencies in both active and passive open space provision in Hart, it is essential that existing open space be protected from unrelated development and that proposals for further open space are not jeopardised. Considerations to be taken into account will include local need for open space, the present amenity for the area and the desirability of using urban land efficiently. PPG17 on Sport and Recreation advises against the loss of open space and recreational land to other development. This Policy shall not override the requirements of the local education authority to use part of a school's open space to increase the school building area for the proper provision of education facilities.

URB 22 Change of use of small open space areas

URB 22 IN THE INTERESTS OF LOCAL AMENITY, THE CHANGE OF USE OF SMALL AREAS OF OPEN SPACE WITHIN HOUSING ESTATES AND IN OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE MAIN SETTLEMENTS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT THE PARCEL OF LAND IS OF MINIMUM BENEFIT IN TERMS OF ITS IMPACT ON LOCAL AMENITY AND RECREATION.

Areas of informal open space within housing developments serve a valuable function both in softening the impact of buildings and providing areas for informal recreation and children’s play. The inclusion of these areas into private gardens will therefore normally be resisted.

URB 23 Open space requirements with new developments

URB 23 NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS OF 20 OR MORE DWELLINGS WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE OPEN SPACE IS PROVIDED ON SITE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDS SET OUT IN THE PLAN. DEVELOPMENTS OF BETWEEN 5 AND 19 DWELLINGS WILL BE EXPECTED TO MAKE PROVISION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDS, HAVING REGARD TO THE LEVEL OF DEFICIENCY OF OPEN SPACE IN THE LOCALITY. IN EITHER CASE, THE PROVISION OF OFF-SITE OPEN SPACE IN SUBSTITUTION WILL BE CONSIDERED IN RELATION TO THE NEEDS OF THE DEVELOPMENT FOR OPEN SPACE, FOR CHILDREN’S PLAY AND OTHER RECREATIONAL PURPOSES, THE LOCAL AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATE EXISTING OR PROPOSED OPEN SPACE TO SERVE THE RESIDENTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DEVELOPMENT.

The provision of additional recreational facilities in conjunction with new housing development cannot and should not be met from public funds alone. The provision of open space should be programmed and new development should contribute towards this provision.

The standard is based on the current guidance from the National Playing Fields Association, and will be adapted if this guidance changes during the plan period.

The total standard will depend on the local population profile and the adequacy of existing provision of public open space, but will normally include 1.6 - 1.8 hectares of outdoor sport areas and 0.6 - 0.8 hectares of children's playing space. At the present time all wards and parishes of the District are deficient in “formal” sports open space provision. It will therefore be essential that new housing developments make their own contribution to this type of open space in accordance with the NPFA standard.

The area of open space required is calculated by making an estimate of the number of persons likely to be living on the site when it is fully developed, and subsequently applying the target of 2.4 hectares per 1000 persons. The site population is estimated by establishing the area of developable land, estimating the net density of the proposed development and taking the household occupancy rate of 2.72 persons per dwelling from the 1991 Census. (This will be updated as statistics from the 2001 Census become available.)

The exact nature of open space will be agreed with the developer of each site. In most situations the provision of open space will be considered as an integral part of the design and layout of new residential development, and developers are expected to include an open space scheme as part of the overall design layout of each site. However, obligations towards open space provision in the locality will also be sought from individual developers where the provision of formal open space may be more cost-effective and operationally advantageous to the settlement than a series of small sites. Such obligations may contribute towards provision on existing publicly owned leisure facilities or sites would be acquired and maintained by the District or Parish Council, and appropriate legal agreements would be sought with developers for this provision.

Where off-site open space is required, a pro-rata contribution per dwelling will normally be requested based on the equivalent cost of on-site provision. This would be used only for open space provision, maintenance or management, or the provision of recreational facilities within the immediate locality of the development, where the inhabitants of the new development will benefit from it.

The provision of children's play areas will be sought as part of the public open space requirement in conjunction with schemes for residential development. Commuted payments towards off-site provisions may be acceptable, subject to the size of the proposed development and the existing play facilities in the area.

Natural features such as woodlands and lakes on the development site will be allowed to contribute towards the provision of amenity open space, provided that the feature is owned or controlled by the developer, easily accessible to residents of the new development, and is a recognisable feature in one area rather than dispersed through the site. The retention of such features as part of the amenity open space can add character to the development site and protect wildlife habitats on the site. Additional areas would need to be provided for other categories of open space, such as playing fields.

The future management of open space will be ensured, either through agreements with developers or by other arrangements agreed with the District Council. A commuted capital payment to the Council reflecting the true cost of maintenance over twenty years will normally be required.

The local planning authority will also seek to secure the provision of children's play areas in conjunction with schemes for residential development. Commuted payments towards off-site provisions may be acceptable, subject to the size of the proposed development and the existing play facilities in the area.

URB 24 Signs and advertisements

URB 24 THE ERECTION OR REPLACEMENT OF SIGNS AND ADVERTISEMENTS WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:

(i) The sign is well related to the scale and character of the building and its setting in terms of its siting, size, materials, degree of illumination and visual intrusion;

(ii) The siting, size and illumination of the sign do not have an adverse impact on highway safety.

The quality of the environment can be adversely affected by the introduction of shop and other signs which are inappropriate in design, colour, materials or illumination. This can be particularly acute in historic towns or villages such as Odiham and Hartley Wintney. It is the Council's intention to declare Special Advertisement Areas in Odiham and Hartley Wintney in order to control advertisements in these centres. The District Council will encourage the method of advertising most appropriate to the business and character of the buildings, and the grouping together of information on one sign will be sought wherever possible.

Supplementary Planning Guidance on Illuminated Advertisements has been approved by the Council.

F1 Fleet Town Centre – General Policies

F1 DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS IN FLEET TOWN CENTRE WHICH CONFORM TO OTHER PROPOSALS IN THIS PLAN, WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE:

(i) They do not prejudice the maintenance of Fleet Town Centre as the principal shopping centre of Hart District;

(ii) They maintain or enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre by contributing to an appropriate mix of uses;

(iii) Buildings of local interest are retained;

(iv) Improvements to highways and car parking are secured or facilitated where necessary.

This policy is intended to support Fleet's position as the District's principal shopping centre by concentrating principal retail uses along Fleet Road, encouraging a mix of uses in order to maintain the centre's vitality and securing environmental quality. Where appropriate, landscaping schemes will be encouraged in association with new developments in order to enhance the attractiveness of the town centre.

Proposals GEN 4, URB 3, URB 4, URB 11, URB 15, T3, T7, and T12, also specifically apply within the town centre.

The following proposals relate to specific areas of the town centre. The proposal numbers are marked on the Fleet Town Centre Inset Map in order to indicate the areas to which the proposals apply.

Primary Shopping Area of Fleet Town Centre

Within the primary shopping area of the town centre, the local planning authority wishes to encourage shopping as the main use. The concentration of shops in one area is of benefit to shoppers and retailers. However, a mix of residential, recreational and business uses can add to the variety and vitality of the centre, particularly above ground floor level. The area of primary shopping designation in Fleet has been slightly expanded since the previous local plan. This has been altered at the request of local traders, and in order to accommodate increased shopping provision for the higher population when the developments at Freelands Farm, QEII Barracks and Railroad Heath are completed.

F2 Fleet Town Centre – Primary retail centre

F2 AREA F2 (DEFINED ON THE FLEET TOWN CENTRE INSET MAP) IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR RETAIL (A1) USES ON THE GROUND FLOOR WITH RESIDENTIAL, LEISURE OR BUSINESS USES ABOVE. PROPOSALS FOR CHANGES OF USE FROM RETAIL (A1) ON THE GROUND FLOOR WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE THIS RESULTS IN MORE THAN 15% OF THE TOTAL SHOPPING FRONTAGE, WITHIN 50 METRES ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CENTRE OF THE APPLICATION SITE, BEING IN NON-RETAIL USES UNLESS THE PROPOSED USE IS COMPLEMENTARY TO OTHER RETAIL USES AND WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF THE TOWN CENTRE.

Policy URB15, on changes of use to and from residential units above ground floor level in town centres, will be applied within the town centre. While offices are an appropriate use above ground floor level, the loss of purpose-built residential units will be resisted if this detracts from the viability and vitality of the centre. The conversion of existing properties above ground floor level into flats will be encouraged.

In order to cater adequately for the daily shopping needs of the population of Fleet and the surrounding area, the maintenance and enhancement of shopping facilities will be encouraged. At ground floor level within Area F2, shopping is the main use, and the concentration of shops within this one main area increases the convenience for shoppers. Financial and professional services such as banks, building societies and estate agents are usefully located within main shopping areas. However, it is important that these uses do not dominate the retail core of the centre as this can fragment the shopping area, increase the distance between different shops or reduce the overall centre. All proposals will, however, be assessed on their merits, taking account of trading patterns in the area.

The local planning authority recognises that certain non-retail uses such as public houses, restaurants and leisure uses can act as a focus of activity within town centres and increase pedestrian "foot-fall" past shop units in the immediate vicinity. The local planning authority also recognises that new technology could lead to a reduction in the amount of space needed for financial service uses (such as banks and building societies) within town centres.

Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.

Proposals for new development must comply with Proposal T7 for the Fleet Inner Relief Road. Proposals which would encroach on the proposed alignment of the Relief Road will not normally be permitted. Hampshire County Council is expected to withdraw the policy for the Fleet Inner Relief Road from the next review of the structure plan. When that happens, it will be withdrawn from the local plan by way of an alteration to the plan. In the meanwhile, the proposal will remain as a technicality to keep the local plan in general conformity with the currently adopted structure plan.

Secondary Shopping Areas of Fleet Town Centre

The secondary shopping areas of Fleet are less central and a wider variety of uses can be accommodated within them. They may be particularly suitable for more specialist shops, and a greater proportion of financial and professional services, such as estate agents and solicitors, may be appropriate in these areas. This variety can assist in maintaining the viability and vitality of the town centre.

F3 Fleet Town Centre – Secondary retail area

F3 AREA F3 (AS DEFINED ON THE FLEET TOWN CENTRE INSET MAP) IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR RETAIL (A1), FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL (A2), CATERING (A3) OR LEISURE USES AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL, WITH RESIDENTIAL, FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL (A2), CATERING (A3), LEISURE OR BUSINESS (B1) USES ABOVE PROVIDED THAT A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF NON-SHOPPING USES IN THE TOWN CENTRE DOES NOT RESULT. THE SITE OF THE TELEPHONE EXCHANGE IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT FOR BUSINESS (B1) OR RESIDENTIAL USE ON BOTH GROUND AND UPPER FLOORS, PROVIDED THAT AN APPROPRIATE ROUTE IS MADE AVAILABLE ON SITE TO ACCOMMODATE THE LINE OF THE FLEET INNER RELIEF ROAD.

Properties with permission for class A3 use (catering/food and drink) may normally be changed to class A2 (financial or professional services) without requiring planning permission.

The intention is to ensure there is no disproportionate cluster of any one use that might undermine the vitality and viability of the town centre. For the purpose of this policy, and in this secondary shopping area, “disproportionate” is taken to mean no more than 25% of the total shopping frontage within each separate area marked F3 on the Fleet Town Centre Inset Map.

Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.

Hampshire County Council is expected to withdraw the policy for the Fleet Inner Relief Road from the next review of the structure plan. When that happens, it will be withdrawn from the local plan by way of an alteration to the plan. In the meanwhile, the proposal will remain as a technicality to keep the local plan in general conformity with the currently adopted structure plan.

Peripheral (Business and Residential) Areas of Fleet Town Centre

The peripheral areas of Fleet Town Centre have few retail uses and are generally characterised by either business or residential uses. In many areas, one or other of these uses dominates. Where there are extensive areas of business use, the environment may not be so appropriate for residential use and so business uses will continue to be encouraged. Residential uses in these peripheral areas are important however as they provide housing which is immediately accessible to the town centre. This is of particular benefit to people working in the town, and to elderly people needing easy access to shops. These locations are often appropriate for high-density housing including flats.

F4 Fleet Town Centre – Area F4

F4 IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE DIVERSITY OF THE CENTRE AND TO PROVIDE ACCESSIBLE RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION, AREA F4 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE PRIMARILY FOR RESIDENTIAL USES, INCLUDING FLATTED DEVELOPMENT, BUT ALSO FOR BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY USES.

This area is currently principally in residential use, including a mix of older terraced or semi-detached properties and newer flatted development. Small units for business and community use could be accommodated without detracting from the residential environment.

F5 Fleet Town Centre – Area F5

F5 IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE THE DIVERSITY OF THE CENTRE, AREA F5 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE PRIMARILY FOR BUSINESS USES BUT ALSO FOR RESIDENTIAL USES, INCLUDING FLATS.

This area currently includes a mix of business and residential units. As it is now dominated on one side by the rear of the Hart Shopping Centre, the environment may be preferable for business uses.

F6 Fleet Town Centre – Area F6

F6 IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE THE DIVERSITY OF THE CENTRE AND TO PROVIDE ACCESSIBLE ACCOMMODATION, AREA F6 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE PRIMARILY FOR RESIDENTIAL USES, BUT ALSO FOR BUSINESS USES.

This area is currently mainly in residential use, providing homes within easy reach of the town centre. This use will continue to be encouraged, but the area also provides opportunities for small scale business development.

F7 Fleet Town Centre – Area F7

F7 IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE ECONOMIC VITALITY OF THIS CURRENT BUSINESS AREA, AREA F7 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR BUSINESS (B1) USES. PROPOSALS FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR BUSINESS USES WILL BE PERMITTED.

This area is currently dominated by business uses, which contribute to the diversity and economic vitality of the town centre without adversely affecting retail or residential uses. The continued development or redevelopment of existing units will be encouraged.

F8 Fleet Town Centre – Area F8

F8 AREA F8 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR BUSINESS, CIVIC, LEISURE AND COMMUNITY USES.

This area currently forms the civic centre of the town, incorporating the Civic Offices, Library, Harlington Centre and Gurkha Square. Proposals to use the area for civic, community and business uses, replacing outworn buildings and enhancing the area's general environment, will normally be permitted. The Views Meadow to the rear of the area, on the other side of the proposed Fleet Inner Relief Road, is an important area of open space within the town and will be protected from development, in accordance with advice in PPG17 on Sport and Recreation.

F9 Church Road Car Park

F9 THAT PART OF THE CHURCH ROAD CAR PARK SITE NOT REQUIRED FOR COMPLETION OF THE FLEET INNER RELIEF ROAD IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR USES AS A DECKED CAR PARK, TOGETHER WITH A MIX OF OTHER USES provided the proposal is sympathetic in design, massing, layout, siting and density both in itself and in relation to adjoining residential areas.

Construction of the Fleet Inner Relief Road will create an opportunity for the local planning authority to deal comprehensively with the Church Road car park. The local planning authority is keen to see better use made of this town centre site and for it to include uses that will strengthen the role of the town centre. A development brief will be prepared for this area.

F10 Victoria Road Car Park

F10 THAT PART OF THE VICTORIA ROAD CAR PARK SITE NOT REQUIRED FOR COMPLETION OF THE FLEET INNER RELIEF ROAD IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR REDEVELOPMENT, ALONG WITH NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES FRONTING FLEET ROAD, FOR A MIXTURE OF DECKED CAR PARKING, RETAIL, BUSINESS, RESIDENTIAL AND LEISURE USES provided the proposal is sympathetic in design, massing, layout, siting and density both in itself and in relation to adjoining residential areas. PRIOR TO REDEVELOPMENT, EXISTING PROPERTIES ARE CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR RETAIL (A1), PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (A2), FOOD & DRINK (A3), BUSINESS (B1), RESIDENTIAL AND LEISURE USES PROVIDED THAT THEY DO NOT RESULT IN A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF NON-SHOPPING USES IN THE TOWN CENTRE.

Construction of the Fleet Inner Relief Road will create an opportunity for the local planning authority and adjoining owners to deal comprehensively with the Victoria Road car park and neighbouring properties. Hampshire County Council is expected to withdraw the policy for the Fleet Inner Relief Road from the next review of the structure plan. When that happens, it will be withdrawn from the local plan by way of an alteration to the plan. In the meanwhile, the proposal will remain as a technicality to keep the local plan in general conformity with the currently adopted structure plan.

The local planning authority is keen to see better use made of this town centre site and for it to include uses that will strengthen the role of the town centre. A development brief will be prepared for this area. Redevelopment could include an Edwardian arcade at ground floor level that incorporates walkways linking Gurkha Square, Fleet Road, Victoria Road, together with suitable low cost units for small businesses.

Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.

To ensure there is no disproportionate cluster of any one use that might undermine the vitality and viability of the town centre and for the purpose of this policy, “disproportionate” is taken to mean no more than 25% of the total shopping frontage within the area marked F10 on the Fleet Town Centre Inset Map.

F11 Fleet Town Centre – Rear Servicing

F11 PLANNING PERMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT, REDEVELOPMENT OR CHANGE OF USE OF PROPERTIES BETWEEN FLEET ROAD AND THE INNER RELIEF ROAD WILL NOT BE GRANTED UNLESS PROVISION IS MADE FOR STRICTLY LIMITED VEHICULAR ACCESS TO THE FLEET INNER RELIEF ROAD IN A WAY THAT IS COMPREHENSIVE RATHER THAN PIECEMEAL AND WHICH MEETS SERVICING AND OPERATIONAL NEEDS ONLY. WHERE ACCESS IS TO BE PROVIDED, THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY WILL SEEK A LEGAL AGREEMENT TO PREVENT THE CREATION OF A RANSOM OVER ACCESS TO NEIGHBOURING PROPOERTIES IN ORDER TO KEEP ACCESS ONTOTHE RELIEF ROAD TO A MINIMUM. DEVELOPMENT WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO MAKE PROVISION FOR AN IMPROVED PEDESTRIAN ACCESS LINKING CHURCH ROAD CAR PARK TO FLEET ROAD AND TO PROVIDE FOR NON-OPERATIONAL CAR PARKING REQUIREMENTS ON A CENTRAL SITE IN THE TOWN CENTRE.

Hampshire County Council is expected to withdraw the policy for the Fleet Inner Relief Road from the next review of the structure plan. When that happens, it will be withdrawn from the local plan by way of an alteration to the plan. In the meanwhile, the proposal will remain as a technicality to keep the local plan in general conformity with the currently adopted structure plan.

Y1 Yateley Town Centre – General Policies

Y1 WITHIN YATELEY TOWN CENTRE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS, WHICH ARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH OTHER PROPOSALS IN THIS PLAN AND WHICH DO NOT DETRACT FROM THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF YATELEY AS A LOCAL SHOPPING CENTRE, WILL BE PERMITTED.

Y2 Yateley Town Centre: Harpton Parade

Y2 WITHIN HARPTON PARADE, CHANGES OF USE AT FIRST FLOOR LEVEL TO FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OR BUSINESS USES WILL BE PERMITTED.

Y3 Yateley Town Centre: Gayton House

Y3 PROPOSALS FOR THE CHANGE OF USE OF GAYTON HOUSE TO FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OR BUSINESS USES WILL BE PERMITTED.

Y4 Yateley Town Centre: Uses

Y4 IN AREA Y4, CHANGE OF USE AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL TO BUSINESS USE (B1) WILL BE PERMITTED.

Y5 Yateley Town Centre: Redevelopment

Y5 WITHIN THE AREA SPECIFIED "Y5" ON THE YATELEY TOWN CENTRE INSET MAP, PROPOSALS FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR RETAIL UNITS AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL, WITH BUSINESS, FINANCIAL OR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES ABOVE, WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE:

(i) Buildings do not normally exceed 2 storeys in height;

(ii) The scale and appearance of the development reflects its surrounding environment;

(iii) Car parking is provided in accordance with adopted standards;

(iv) Landscaping schemes are incorporated;

(v) New premises for the Women's Institute are secured either on the site or at another appropriate location in the town centre.

Where redevelopment is proposed in the interim changes of use of existing buildings will be permitted where this would add to the range and quality of shops, services and facilities available and thus foster employment and the vitality and viability of the centre.

Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.

Y6 Yateley Town Centre: Martins Parade

Y6 CHANGES FROM RETAIL (A1) USE AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL IN MARTIN'S PARADE WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE THIS DOES NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF THE TOWN CENTRE.

The local planning authority is keen to see the frontage of this purpose built parade retained primarily for retail (class A1) uses, together with other uses such as a cafeteria or restaurant that could add life to the area in the evenings as well as during the day. The local planning authority wishes to avoid the sterilisation of the retail frontage with office (B1) uses. It accepts that financial & professional services (A2) uses may have a place here, but it will have regard to the effect that particular proposals will have on the number of people heading for, or passing by this parade: this is because the parade is on the very edge of the town centre, and the local planning authority would not wish to see it "sidelined" by uses that fail to draw customers into that part of the town.

Y7 Yateley Town Centre: Rear of Royal Oak

Y7 AREA Y7 AS DEFINED ON THE YATELEY INSET MAP IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR a police station, fire station and 100% AFFORDABLE HOUSING, HAVING REGARD TO SITE AND MARKET CONDITIONS AND THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

(i) Development is for affordable housing by a registered Housing Association or other appropriate body supported by the Council;

(ii) Premises for the Citizens' Advice Bureau are provided either on site or at another appropriate site in the town centre;

(iii) Access to the Police and Fire stations is not adversely affected;

(iv) Development does not intrude into the open and undeveloped character of the Royal Oak Valley.

The site is in public ownership (Hart District Council and Hampshire County Council) and is located close to shops and services. There is an ongoing shortage of housing association property in Yateley, so the public ownership of this site provides an opportunity to provide this kind of housing in the area.

Y8 Yateley Town Centre: South of Reading Road

Y8 PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE AREA TO THE SOUTH OF READING ROAD BETWEEN THE "DOG AND PARTRIDGE" PUBLIC HOUSE AND TINDAL CLOSE, FOR RETAIL USE AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL WITH RETAIL OR BUSINESS USES ABOVE, WILL NORMALLY BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THEY DO NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE CHARACTER OF THE CONSERVATION AREA.

Proposals should provide appropriate access and servicing arrangements with a minimum number of access points onto Reading Road. Landscape buffers to adjoining residential properties will be requested.

Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.

Redevelopment of the site should complement the scale and character of the historic buildings opposite in Reading Road, the White Lion and Saddlers Court, and respect the privacy and amenity of the adjoining residential properties. Proposals should provide appropriate access and servicing arrangements, keeping the number of access points onto Reading Road to a minimum.

B1 Blackwater Town Centre: Retention of retail uses

B1 IN ORDER TO SAFEGUARD THE VITALITY AND NEIGHBOURHOOD SHOPPING FUNCTION OF THE TOWN CENTRE, DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS INVOLVING THE LOSS OF RETAIL USES FROM THE EXISTING SHOPPING AREA (FRONTING THE NORTHERN SIDE OF THE A30, BETWEEN THE WHITE SWAN PUBLIC HOUSE AND THE SUPERMARKET ON THE CORNER OF ROSEMARY LANE INCLUSIVE) WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

Proposals for Redevelopment

In order not to exacerbate Blackwater's existing car parking problem, all redevelopment proposals should comply with policy T14 (iii), by satisfying adopted car parking standards.

B2 Blackwater Town Centre: Redevelopment of Green Lane Car Park

B2 PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE PUBLIC CAR PARK AT GREEN LANE FOR BUSINESS (B1) USE WILL BE PERMITTED, PROVIDED THAT ADEQUATE AND SATISFACTORY PUBLIC CAR PARKING HAS BEEN SECURED ELSEWHERE IN BLACKWATER.

B3 Blackwater Town Centre: Redevelopment of White Hart Parade

B3 PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF WHITE HART PARADE FOR RETAIL (A1) AND CATERING (A3) USES AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL, WITH BUSINESS (B1), FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES ABOVE, WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:

(i) Catering (A3) uses do not exceed 50% of the retail frontage;

(ii) Design, massing and density are appropriate for this prominent location.

Access and servicing should be from the side of the development fronting the A30, rather than from the rear, so that the amenity of neighbouring residential properties is not affected.

Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.

B4 Blackwater Town Centre: Redevelopment of garage site

B4 PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE GARAGE SITE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE A30 WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE DESIGN, MASSING AND SCALE ARE APPROPRIATE IN THIS VISUALLY PROMINENT SITE, AND THAT APPROPRIATE ACCESS ARRANGEMENTS ARE PROVIDED.

H1 Hook Village Centre: Area H1

H1 WITHIN AREA H1, CHANGES OF USE TO FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (A2) AND CATERING (A3) WILL BE PERMITTED. CHANGES OF USE TO BUSINESS (B1) WILL BE PERMITTED ON UPPER FLOORS.

H2 Hook Village Centre: The Acorn

H2 Mixed uses, together with use OF THE ACORN FOR BUSINESS (B1) AND FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (A2), WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE LOCAL AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT:

(i) Rear access and adequate parking is available for the Acorn;

(ii) The design and landscaping of the development is in keeping with the character of the Village and surrounding residential area.

The Council will encourage the retention of the Acorn, a building of local interest, which contributes to the appearance and vitality of the village centre.

H3 Hook Parade: Redevelopment

H3 IN ORDER TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF HOOK VILLAGE CENTRE, PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF HOOK PARADE FOR RETAIL USES (A1), FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL USES (A2) AND CATERING USES (A3) ON THE GROUND FLOOR WITH RESIDENTIAL, OFFICE, DENTAL AND MEDICAL USE ABOVE, WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE DESIGN AND LANDSCAPING ARE APPROPRIATE TO THE VILLAGE CENTRE.

Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.

H4 Hook Village Centre Area: Area H4

H4 IN ORDER TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF HOOK VILLAGE CENTRE, AREA H4 AS DEFINED ON THE HOOK VILLAGE CENTRE MAP, IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR MIXED RESIDENTIAL, LEISURE [Class D] AND COMMERCIAL [CLASSES B1 (a), B1 (b), A2 AND A3)] USES. ANY REDEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE ON A DOMESTIC SCALE.

It is considered that an unfettered B1 (business) use incorporating light industry would be wholly inappropriate on this village centre site, as it would adversely affect the vitality and viability of the centre. Moreover, the site is on a visually important entrance to Hook where office buildings are more likely to be appropriate. In granting planning permission therefore, the local planning authority may impose conditions limiting the development to B1 (a) and (b) uses.

By "domestic scale" the local planning authority means that buildings should not exceed 3 storeys unless it is an architectural feature (turret, clock tower etc.). Frontages should not exceed 20 metres without a break or defined architectural feature.

The local planning authority will encourage the retention of Hazelcroft and Hursley.

H5 Hook Village Centre: Area H5

H5 AREA H5 AS SHOWN ON THE HOOK VILLAGE CENTRE INSET MAP IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT FOR BUSINESS (B1) AND INDUSTRY (B2) USES.

This site is centrally located with respect to public transport and other employment and residential uses. Its development provides the opportunity to make more effective use of this brown field site and create more employment opportunities within the village centre. There is a particular need for more sites for industry (B2) in Hart.

T1 Land Use and Transport

T1 PROPOSALS TO ASSIST THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTEGRATED TRANSPORT NETWORK, A CHOICE OF TRANSPORT MODES AND THE OPERATION OF EFFICIENT PUBLIC TRANSPORT MODES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THEY ACCORD WITH OTHER RELEVANT PROPOSALS OF THIS PLAN.

North East Hampshire Transport Strategy

The transportation objectives, in line with Government advice, promote the development of integrated transport systems and greater co-ordination between land use planning and transport planning. Hampshire's approach is to implement integrated transport strategies in order to address the transport objectives in the most satisfactory way. This approach co-ordinates land use with transport planning, identifying the transportation requirements for an area, taking into account its economic, environmental and social needs.

The County Council has prepared the North East Hampshire Transportation Strategy (NEHTS), including the Districts of Hart and Rushmoor. However, as the area's urban conurbation extends into Berkshire and Surrey, a comprehensive transportation strategy will need to involve all three counties. (The Blackwater Valley Network is co-ordinating transportation initiatives over the wider area.)

Development of the Strategy is expected to lead to a future package submission in the County Council's Local Transport Plan. Some proposals will be brought forward by developer contributions. The strategy will identify specific proposals and the local plan should safeguard land where necessary.

It should also be noted that PPG13 seeks to promote the widespread use of travel plans amongst local businesses, schools, hospitals and other organisations. It is the local planning authority’s practice to require a travel plan with the submission of planning applications for significant development proposals.

In addition, Hampshire County Council is reviewing its approach to car parking in the light of guidance in PPG13: Transport. It is, therefore, no longer appropriate to include standards in appendices to the plan. Supplementary Planning Guidance incorporating the new standards will be issued as soon as the new standards are adopted. In the meantime applicants and developers should note the standards in PPG3 & PPG13. For further information and advice, contact the Highway Authority.

T2 Public Transport: General

T2 PROPOSALS WHICH:

(i) PROMOTE IMPROVEMENTS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT INCLUDING IMPROVEMENTS TO THE LOCAL HIGHWAY NETWORK TO PROMOTE PUBLIC TRANSPORT;

(ii) REDUCE THE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF ROAD TRAFFIC, WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THEY ACCORD WITH OTHER RELEVANT PROPOSALS OF THIS PLAN.

Contributions towards improvements to the public transport system will be sought under Policy T16 where appropriate.

The use of public transport can help to reduce the overall level of vehicle emissions and hence control pollution levels within the atmosphere. The location of new development where it is well related to the public transport system can therefore be an important element in reducing the need for travel by car.

T3 Public Transport: Fleet Town Centre

T3 BUS PRIORITY MEASURES WILL BE IMPLEMENTED IN FLEET TOWN CENTRE.

T5 Highway Network

T5 PROPOSALS WHICH MAINTAIN THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE STRATEGIC ROAD NETWORK WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY:

(i) Encourage local traffic to use alternative modes through the development of integrated transport strategies;

(ii) Improve capacity on roads administered by the County Council where they meet safety, economic and environmental objectives of area and route strategies, provided that they accord with other relevant proposals of this plan.

Proposed road improvements will be subject to further public consultation at the planning application and/or detailed design stage. At this time details of the environmental impact and proposed mitigation measures relating to the proposal will be required.

T6 Safeguarding land for Schemes

T6 PENDING A REVIEW, LAND WILL BE SAFEGUARDED FOR:

(i) A33 corridor between the Berkshire County Boundary and the Basingstoke District Boundary;

(ii) A327 Eversley bypass.

A33 Strategy

The need for major improvements on the A33 is being reviewed as part of the route/corridor study currently under way. Construction of the A33 major highway scheme from Basingstoke to Riseley is subject to the development of the Strategy. The study is looking at road and rail links in the Reading/Basingstoke corridor and will examine travel needs and the environmental consequences of any infrastructure proposals (See Hampshire County Structure Plan Review Policy T21).

A327 Eversley Bypass

The County Structure Plan Review initially proposed the abandonment of a bypass for Eversley because its benefits were limited and there were serious environmental concerns associated with its construction. However it is now recognised that there are significant environmental concerns for local residents concerning the volume, type and speed of vehicles which travel through Eversley. T19 of the adopted Hampshire County Structure Plan Review confirms, subject to review, that the Eversley Bypass scheme will be safeguarded. Before any scheme is implemented a study will take into account the environmental and visual impact of improvements on the environment and approaches from Hart to Wokingham. It will also have regard to road safety and highway issues within Wokingham District in the vicinity of these improvements (See Hampshire County Structure Plan Review Policy T19).

T7 Fleet Inner Relief Road

T7 A FLEET INNER RELIEF ROAD WILL BE CONSTRUCTED BETWEEN READING ROAD NORTH AND CHURCH ROAD, AND LAND WILL BE SAFEGUARDED TO COMPLETE THE RELIEF ROAD TO FLEET ROAD, NORTH-EAST OF CHURCH ROAD.

The proposed route is indicated on the Fleet Town Centre Inset Map. The route follows a public consultation exercise in July 1989, during which representations were made which included the proposed junction of Church Road with the proposed Relief Road. The proposed route has been subsequently re-examined and the revised route has now been incorporated into the Proposals Map.

The completion of the Relief Road will enable environmental improvements and traffic management measures to be secured within the centre. These will include traffic management measures to make through and town centre traffic use the Relief Road and Albert Street rather than the surrounding roads. This proposal remains, in principle, in the currently adopted Hampshire County Structure Plan 1996 to 2011 and so must stay in the local plan by way of conformity. However, Hampshire County Council is expected to remove this proposal from a future review of the Hampshire County Structure Plan; when that happens, the local plan will be altered to take account of that.

The improvements to the road network east of Fleet, as set out in Policy T8 below, will also minimise traffic and improve the environment in Fleet Town Centre. An assessment of the environmental implications of the Relief Road will be submitted as part of the design process.

It is intended that environmental improvement works on Fleet Road will be carried out to provide safety and comfort to pedestrians in the shopping centre. Bus priority measures will also be considered within the shopping area.

Construction of the Inner Relief Road will be dependent upon developer contributions and consideration of the results of wider transportation studies.

Appropriate and adequate access will be retained for the existing telephone exchange to meet ongoing operational requirements. If part or all of that site should become available for development, vehicular access will continue to be provided to the site to meet the development needs of this key town centre site. This will be possible because the proposed route of the inner relief road will be no closer to the exchange than that shown on Inset Map 10.1 of the Plan. A flexible approach will be adopted to the future of the telephone exchange site so as not to hold up the completion of the relief road.

Prior to the implementation of any traffic management measures the County Council will consult all interested parties, including local residents and businesses. In all situations, any vehicular restrictions imposed will not apply to those requiring essential access, particularly recognised security purposes.

Construction of the Relief Road is likely, as a consequence, to be undertaken in stages rather than in its entirety straight away. Consequently, consideration will be given to carrying out environmental and safety improvements by way of traffic management or other means in the interim before the Relief Road is completed.

(See also Policy T19 of the Hampshire County Structure Plan Review).

T8 Highway network east of Fleet

T8 THE FOLLOWING IMPROVEMENTS TO THE HIGHWAY NETWORK EAST OF FLEET WILL BE CARRIED OUT:

(i) Upgrading of Kennels Lane (road improvement);

(ii) A327 Summit Avenue/Kennels Lane (junction improvement);

(iii) U239 Ively Road/Kennels Lane (junction improvement);

(iv) Upgrading of U239 Ively Road, between Kennels Lane and the A323 Fleet Road (road improvement);

(v) A323/U239 junction, Norris Bridge (junction improvement).

A proposed sixth junction improvement at A323/C8 Aldershot Road lies just outside Hart District.

These improvements together with traffic management measures in the town centre are intended to minimise traffic and improve the environment in Fleet Town Centre. They will also serve future development at Queen Elizabeth II Barracks, Church Crookham and at Farnborough Aerodrome in Rushmoor Borough.

It is expected that developments coming forward in the plan period in the areas served by this route will make a significant contribution to the cost of implementing these schemes. In accordance with policy T16, where improvements to this route are made necessary by new development or redevelopment, contributions to the funding of the works will be sought and, where appropriate, developers required to enter into a legal agreement for their contributions.

Proposed road improvements will be subject to environmental appraisal and further public consultation at the planning application and/or detailed design stage. At this time details of the environmental impact and proposed mitigation measures relating to the proposal will be required.

(See Policy T19 of the Hampshire County Structure Plan Review, Fleet Eastern Bypass).

T9 Road and junction improvements

T9 THE FOLLOWING ROADS AND JUNCTIONS WILL BE PROVIDED OR IMPROVED TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ROAD SAFETY IN ASSOCIATION WITH DEVELOPMENT.

(i) A30/Holt Lane (junction improvement);

(ii) A30/Dilly Lane (junction improvement);

(iii) A287/Redfields Lane (junction improvement);

(iv) Queens Road, North Warnborough Street (junction improvement);

(v) Beacon Hill Road (roundabout);

(vi) A327/M3 eastbound (junction improvement);

(vii) A327/M3 westbound (junction improvement);

(viii) Spine Road with associated junction improvements within the Elvetham Heath Development;

(ix) Ewshot Lane/Redfields Lane (junction improvement);

(x) Ewshot Lane between its junction with Redfields Lane and the link road to the Queen Elizabeth II Barracks Development (road improvement and junction with T17);

(xi) Fleet Road/Fleet Station/Waterfront Business Park (junction improvement).

The above schemes are dependent on development coming forward in the plan period. Developers will normally be expected to enter into a legal agreement for contributions to fund the work as set out in Policy T16.

The environmental impact of all schemes will be considered, together with the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.

Local plan development proposals are designed to make the best use of the existing highway and public transport network to serve existing community facilities, but it is recognised that some further road improvements may be undertaken to maintain road safety.

Proposed road improvements will be subject to further public consultation at the planning application and/or detailed design stage. At this time details of the environmental impact and proposed mitigation will be outlined.

T10 Safeguarding land for cycleway & footpath networks

T10 AS OPPORTUNITIES ARISE, LAND WILL BE SAFEGUARDED FOR THE PROVISION OF THE CYCLE NETWORK IDENTIFIED IN THE APPROVED CYCLEWAY STRATEGY FOR HART AND FOR A PEDESTRIAN NETWORK.

Land will be safeguarded for the provision of cycle way and footpath networks identified in the Hart Cycling Feasibility Study and for proposals to meet the needs of people with mobility impairments. The proposed strategic cycle network is identified in Appendix F.

The local planning and highway authorities will seek opportunities to improve provision for pedestrians and cyclists, and thereby enhance road safety for these users. In particular the local planning authority would like to see improved routes for cyclists between Hook and Odiham to encourage greater use of the bicycle in preference to the car. The encouragement of walking and cycling as modes of transport for short journeys is part of the overall strategy for reducing the level of use of private cars which contribute towards environmental pollution. Almost all journeys include a pedestrian element, making walking an essential part of the total transport system.

The Councils are currently preparing a strategy for cycleways in the District. Potential routes identified so far include:

(i) Fleet Station to Fleet Town Centre;

(ii) Fleet Town Centre to Hart Leisure Centre;

(iii) A route linking the Velmead Farm and Queen Elizabeth Barracks areas with the town centre, avoiding Reading Road South;

(iv) Fleet to Farnborough;

(v) Footpath/cycle way linking Blackwater with Sandhurst along Marshall Road;

(vi) Eversley Street to Yateley.

Further routes in Yateley, Odiham, Hartley Wintney, Hook and rural leisure routes are likely to be proposed within the strategy. Cycle links with the town centre will be sought on the major developments such as Elvetham Heath and Queen Elizabeth II Barracks.

Specific proposals will be included in the plan when they have been identified and funding is available.

T11 Public access for mobility impaired

T11 DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY IF THE DESIGN AND LAYOUT OF PUBLIC ACCESS TO BUILDINGS, CAR PARKS, PEDESTRIAN WAYS AND OPEN SPACES MAKES PROVISION FOR THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE WITH MOBILITY IMPAIRMENTS.

Almost all journeys include a pedestrian element, making walking an essential part of the total transport system. However, about one in every ten of the adult population has some form of physical handicap which restricts their ability to get about.

Additionally, a large proportion of the population has its mobility restricted by using pushchairs and prams, carrying shopping or luggage, illness, dealing with small children and by the normal ageing process.

The County Council will do all it can to make sure that the needs of mobility-impaired people are considered when planning and designing the street environment.

T12 Public car parking: safeguarding

T12 LAND WILL BE SAFEGUARDED FOR THE PROVISION OF PUBLIC OFF STREET CAR AND MOTORCYCLE PARKING AND CAR PARKS WILL BE MANAGED TO PROVIDE PRINCIPALLY FOR USE BY SHORT STAY USERS TO SUPPORT THE ECONOMIC WELL BEING OF THE SHOPPING CENTRE.

(i) Land will be safeguarded at Victoria Road, Fleet;

(ii) Land will be safeguarded at Church Road, Fleet.

The provision of additional off-street parking spaces in Fleet Town Centre will compensate for the loss of on-street parking places. This loss will result from the implementation of traffic management measures in the town centre.

The allocation of land for off street parking provision in Fleet Town Centre is in line with Government policy set out in PPG6, "Town Centres and Retail Developments". This guidance emphasises the important contribution retail activity can make to securing the vitality and viability of town centres.

T13 Traffic management

T13 ON ROADS NOT FORMING PART OF THE STRATEGIC ROAD NETWORK, TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT MEASURES WILL BE PROMOTED WHERE NECESSARY TO IMPROVE ROAD SAFETY AND REDUCE THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF TRAFFIC, PARTICULARLY HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES. WHERE SERIOUS SAFETY OR ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS CANNOT BE SOLVED BY SUCH MEASURES, NEW ROADS OR ROAD IMPROVEMENTS MAY BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THEY ACCORD WITH OTHER POLICIES OF THIS PLAN. THE FOLLOWING IMPROVEMENTS ARE PROPOSED:

(i) A30 Blackwater (road and environmental improvement);

(ii) A30/A287 junction Dorchester Arms, Hook (junction improvement).

The local planning authority is keen to see further traffic management measures introduced where they will improve road safety and the living environment. General traffic management measures are subject to separate procedures and therefore not included in this plan.

A30 Strategy

These improvements will be carried out as part of the County Council's comprehensive strategy for the A30 in Hart.

The overall strategy for the A30 between Basingstoke and Blackwater is to seek a reduction in the number of long distance vehicles using the route. This will be achieved by modifying directional signing and by implementing schemes, which will discourage long distance traffic from passing through the villages on the A30 and encourage use of the M3.

(See also Hampshire County Structure Plan Review Policy T8, land safeguarded for improvement schemes on non-strategic roads.)

T14 Transport and Development

T14 DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WHICH ACCORD WITH OTHER POLICIES OF THIS PLAN WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:

(i) Within existing or proposed built up areas they are, or could be, served effectively by public transport, cycling and walking;

(ii) Those of type likely to attract a large number of trips are located where choice in transport mode can be provided, including a significant proportion by public transport;

(iii) They make adequate provision for highway safety, access and internal layout and parking.

Concentration of development close to existing urban centres provides the best opportunity to reduce the need for travel, encourage increased use of public transport, cycling and walking and mitigate the wider environmental damage brought about by dependence on the private car. Development should be sited where it can contribute to minimising travel demand and where the potential for walking and cycling is optimised or where public transport systems can serve it effectively: such an approach is in keeping with the general principles of PPG13 on Transport.

In considering the adequacy of provision for highway safety and access regard will be had to the latest edition of the Department of Transport's "Design Manual for Roads and Bridges", as well as the local highway authority's own standards, as set out in "Movement and Access in Residential Areas".

Parking requirements will be based on the maximum parking standards set out in Supplementary Planning Guidance once adopted or the revised Hampshire County Standards. As part of an overall package the Council may seek "Transportation Payments", in accordance with PPG13 paragraphs 83 to 86 and Circular 1/97, towards improvements to public transport, walking and cycling provision. This is in order to influence travel patterns to the site and improve local accessibility without substantially adding to pollution and congestion problems.

Operational car and lorry parking requirements generated by proposed developments and re-developments should normally be met on site. Non-operational parking requirements will be met either on site by the provision of an equivalent car parking area close to the development site, or by the making of a payment (commuted payment) towards the provision of public car parking spaces close to the development sites.

Where commuted payments are made the Council will negotiate a legal agreement with the developer. Payments will only be accepted if the merits of a particular proposal warrant it and if the Council believe it is able to provide public car parking spaces that are easily accessible and convenient to the development site within a reasonable time.

As part of overall packages, the Council may seek commuted payments towards public transport and cycling provision, in order to improve accessibility without substantially adding to pollution and congestion problems.

Where an equivalent car parking area is provided, this should be close to the site, under the control of the developer and subject to a legal agreement with the Council.

Where predominantly night-time uses such as restaurants are proposed within walking distance of public car parks (which are not heavily used outside shopping hours), parking may not be required adjacent to the development.

T15 Development requiring new or improved access

T15 DEVELOPMENT REQUIRING NEW OR IMPROVED ACCESS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IF IT WOULD:

(i) Interfere with the effectiveness of, or significantly reduce the safety, function and standard of service of the strategic road network;

(ii) Adversely affect the safety and character of the non-strategic road network.

The Department of Transport's policy is to oppose development which would result in the overloading of the motorway and trunk road network, unless it can be satisfied that improvements can be undertaken to provide additional capacity for a 15 year life-span. A detailed traffic impact assessment addressing the situation at the year of opening and 15 years later should be provided. Development should take account of current Department of Transport guidance.

Advice in the Department of Transport Note TD 41/95 links number of accesses onto roads with safety and advises against accesses.

For reasons of road safety, the highway authority considers that it is also important that such policy is also applied to County Distributor Roads. Accordingly, any net increase in the number of accesses onto these roads will be resisted.

Development included in this plan can be accommodated by the transport improvements proposed. Developers of other sites will need to demonstrate that they can overcome highway objections related to proposed developments, based on the transport policies of the plan.

T16 Improvements made necessary by development

T16 WHERE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE LOCAL TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE ARE MADE NECESSARY BY NEW DEVELOPMENT OR REDEVELOPMENT, THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY WILL SEEK PLANNING OBLIGATIONS FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO FUND THE WORK WHERE IT CAN BE SHOWN TO BE NECESSARY AND REASONABLY RELATED IN SCALE AND KIND AND MEETS ALL THE OTHER POLICY REQUIREMENTS OF DETR CIRCULAR 1/97. CONTRIBUTIONS MAY BE SOUGHT TOWARDS THE IMPROVEMENT OF LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT FACILITIES OR SERVICES, HIGHWAYS, CYCLEWAYS, FOOTPATHS, PUBLIC CAR PARKING OR OTHER PROVISIONS FORMING PART OF AN INTEGRATED LOCAL TRANSPORT STRATEGY.

Where off-site highway works and/or other transport-related improvements are necessary to enable the proposed development to go ahead, developers will be expected to negotiate with the local highway authority for the provision of such infrastructure. In situations where highway improvements are also required to the trunk road network as a result of development proposals, the Highways Agency of the Department of Transport has agreed to implement such improvements: developers should enter into a Section 278 Agreement under the Highways Act 1980 with the Secretary of State for Transport, in accordance with current Government advice.

Where appropriate, agreements may include provision for the dedication of necessary land to enable highway works to proceed and for the provision of any necessary environmental mitigation measures associated with the highway works. Agreements for the provision of highway works will be sought in accordance with Government advice.

The highway authority will seek contributions which are fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the proposed development in order to seek the early implementation of any highway and other transport-related improvement schemes, including land and landscaping works, particularly those set out in proposals as outlined in the Local Transport Plan, particularly section 6.7 dealing with the North East Hampshire Transport Strategy (NEHTS). Contributions towards public transport and cycle/pedestrian provision will be sought either as an alternative to, or in addition to, highway improvements.

The approved Cycleway Strategy for Hart indicates the routes which will be funded by these financial contributions. Plans showing the routes can be found in Appendix F.

Improvements should normally be phased in line with development, and subject to a legal agreement completed in association with any planning application.

T17 Ewshot/QE II Barracks

T17 LAND MARKED T17 ON THE PROPOSAL MAP WILL BE SAFEGUARDED TO ENABLE A LINK ROAD TO BE PROVIDED FROM EWSHOT LANE TO JOIN WITH THE ROAD NETWORK WITHIN THE QEII BARRACKS DEVELOPMENT (DEV2). THE PROVISION OF THE LINK ROAD WILL BE REQUIRED AS PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SITE.

This link road provides the first leg of a link from QEII Barracks to Redfields Lane. It is dependent on development coming forward in the plan period. Developers will be expected to enter into a legal agreement to carry out the works at no cost to the county council. The environmental impact of the scheme will be considered together with the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. This road scheme will be subject to further consultation at the planning application stage. At this time details of the environmental impact and proposed mitigation measures relating to the proposal will be required.

DEV 2 Queen Elizabeth II Barracks area, Church Crookham

DEV 2 74 HECTARES OF LAND IN CRONDALL (EWSHOT) PARISH, TO THE SOUTH OF CHURCH CROOKHAM, KNOWN AS QUEEN ELIZABETH II BARRACKS AND WAKEFORDS COPSE, IS PROPOSED FOR COMPREHENSIVE MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT AS FOLLOWS.

A) ON NO MORE THAN 32 HECTARES OF PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED LAND (OR AN EQUIVALENT AREA) WITHIN THE SITE:

i) Housing, at an average density of 40 dwellings per hectare, on up to 25.4 hectares, of which up to 550 units will be developed during the current local plan period and any remainder after 2006;

ii) Combined home/employment units or employment on approximately 2.6 hectares;

iii) A site for a school on approximately 1.1 hectares;

iv) A local centre (including shops and a supermarket for local needs) on up to 1.5 hectares;

v) A site within the local centre for primary medical care services (with the ability to accommodate a single storey surgery building of approximately 740 square metres and associated car parking and delivery space); and

vi) A community centre incorporating sports changing facilities on approximately 0.2 hectares (juxtaposed with formal open space);

vii) Children’s play areas on approximately 1.2 hectares;

viii) Other leisure and employment uses, should the opportunity arise within this overall area.

B) ON AT LEAST 34.7 HECTARES OF OPEN SPACE, WOODLAND AND PREVIOUSLY UNDEVELOPED LAND (OR AN EQUIVALENT AREA) WITHIN THE SITE:

ix) Open space for formal recreation on at least 7.6 hectares;

x) Open space for informal recreation on at least 10.1 hectares;

xi) Land, comprising Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation within the site set aside and managed for nature conservation on 17 hectares.

C) THE BALANCE OF THE SITE IS REQUIRED TO SECURE A MEANS OF ACCESS AND TO PROVIDE A RURAL SETTING ON THE EDGE OF THE SITE.

THE OVERALL SCALE OF HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IS SUBJECT TO:

1) Adequate protection, in perpetuity, from the impact of recreation pressure and disturbance from people and pets arising from the development of the site, of the nearby part of the Thames Basin Heaths proposed Special Protection Area for Birds (comprising the Bourley and Long Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest);

2) Adequate protection and management of the following Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation – Soanes Copse, Wood Copse, Wakefords Copse, Soanes Field, Riddings Copse, Ewshot Marsh, Long Gut Copse, Greendane Copse and Beacon Hill/Parkhurst Hill;

3) Sufficient provision to offset the effects of development on other habitats and nature conservation interests, including replacement or substitution of the habitats or features lost and conservation of ecological networks;

4) Siting of essential services and facilities to ensure that they are not subject to unacceptable “societal” risk arising from flying at Farnborough Aerodrome;

5) Capacity of the surrounding highway network and transportation systems to accommodate growth.

DEVELOPMENT MUST SECURE:

6) Improvements to the public highway needed to accommodate the development;

7) Off-site provision of cycleways, as appropriate, to integrate the development with the wider area;

8) Improvements to public transport to integrate the development with Fleet Town Centre, Secondary Schools and the Railway Station and, where appropriate, with employment opportunities in Farnborough;

9) Buffer strips to minimise the risk of adverse visual impact on the open countryside beyond the site; and

10) If necessary, the provision of public access, in perpetuity, to open countryside to the south to meet the needs of the development and provide for the proper management of nature conservation interests affected by the development.

EXCHANGE BETWEEN PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED AND PREVIOUSLY UNDEVELOPED LAND

Having regard to the phrase “(OR AN EQUIVALENT AREA)” in section A of the policy, the local planning authority will permit the development of previously undeveloped land provided that an equivalent (or larger) area of previously developed land is restored to open space or open countryside within the site. The effect of any such exchange of land must:

a) Not lead to harm (indirectly) to the Thames Basin Heaths proposed Special Protection Area; and

b) Secure a net benefit for nature conservation; and

c) Secure a more sustainable design and layout of the development.

Strategic Justification

In accordance with the definition in Annex C of PPG3: Housing, the Queen Elizabeth II Barracks is a previously developed ("brownfield") site, formerly in M.o.D. use as the Gurkha Barracks but vacated as surplus to requirements in August, 2000. Although actually located in Crondall Parish, the Barracks are situated adjacent to the southern edge of Hart’s main settlement of Fleet / Church Crookham. Prospective residents should therefore be able to take advantage of the existing shopping, leisure and other facilities available within the town centre, subject to improved access by public transport.

Similarly, Wakefords Copse is a very low density residential area under M.o.D. control, also released as surplus to requirements and as such qualifies as a previously developed (“brownfield”) site. It has similar locational advantages to the nearby Barracks with which it has strong relationships. It is proposed that this area should be redeveloped for housing at higher densities than the existing housing.

Paragraphs 57 to 62 of PPG3 set out the Government’s guidance on housing density and car parking standards with the objective of making the best use of land. Paragraph 9 of PPG3 points out that the majority of projected household growth will be in one-person households. In the light of this advice, the LPA considers that it is reasonable to seek an average density of 40 dwellings per hectare. The LPA’s objective is to make best use of this site, whilst having regard to its location on the southern edge of the Fleet/Church Crookham urban area some 3 – 4 kilometres from Fleet Town Centre and Fleet Station.

The reference to 550 units in criterion (i) is intended to inform housing supply calculations and is not intended as an arbitrary restriction on development rates.

Strategic Constraints to Development

It is essential that the Queen Elizabeth II Barracks and Wakefords Copse should be planned comprehensively through preparation of a Master Plan for the whole area. However, as advised in PPG3, Annex C, this does not mean that the whole area of the curtilage is appropriate for development because:

1) The site contains playing fields, open land and nature conservation interests, much of it in a single block forming a sizeable open area. There is a need for the site to preserve its considerable attraction, its recreational value and its contribution to the amenity of the southern part of Church Crookham. These considerations set limits on the extent that development could be permitted to impinge on this central part of the site.

2) Furthermore the eastern boundary of the main Barracks area is in places under 1.6 kilometres from the edge of the Bourley and Long Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest, which is part of the proposed Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (pSPA) for Birds. Wakefords Copse is much closer. Having regard to Policy E10 of the adopted Hampshire County Structure Plan (Review) 1996 – 2011 and Government policy in PPG9: Nature Conservation, it is the view of the local planning authority that the need for development cannot be said to outweigh any adverse impact. Therefore, the scale and layout of development must be such that there will be no significant permanent adverse impact on the pSPA/SSSIs.

3) The site also contains locally designated Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) at Soans Copse, Wood Copse, Wakefords Copse and Soans Field and is close or adjacent to SINCS at Riddings Copse, Ewshot Marsh, Long Gut Copse, Greendane Copse and Beacon Hill/Parkhurst Hill. In accordance with Policy E11 of the adopted Hampshire County Structure Plan (Review) 1996 – 2011, sufficient provision should be made to minimise potential damage and provide appropriate compensatory measures to offset any damage that does occur.

4) There are other habitats and areas of nature conservation interest within the site that, although not up to the standard of SINCs, are covered by Policy E12 of the adopted Hampshire County Structure Plan (Review) 1996 - 2011. Sufficient provision must be made to offset the effects of development, including replacement or substitution of the habitats or features lost and conservation of ecological networks.

This means that development of the site must take place within a framework set by the need to protect nature conservation interests. In particular, planning permission will not be granted for development unless the Competent Authority (the local planning authority) is satisfied that it will not result in an adverse effect on the integrity of the Thames Basin Heaths proposed Special Protection Area. English Nature has indicated that it would be seriously concerned about proposals to increase the capacity of the site beyond 550 dwellings and indeed has concerns even at that level.

Other than the constraints described above, the site as a whole should be capable of development, subject to appropriate boundary treatments, without directly harming any specific landscape interests (based on visual appearance) outside the site.

However, the site is in line with the runway of Farnborough Aerodrome and so may be affected by height restrictions and a requirement to address “Societal Risk”. This should not affect the location of housing to such an extent that the site cannot deliver its full potential. However, it might place a restriction on where types of uses can locate, where large numbers of people may be expected to gather, such as a school, community-building etc.

Comprehensive Package of Proposals

A Master Plan will be required for the whole of the Queen Elizabeth II Barracks and Wakefords Copse site because the combined scale of development makes it imperative that these two sites are planned comprehensively.

A comprehensive package of proposals is required for the redevelopment of this site as a whole, including:

(i) Primary medical care facilities involving expansion and relocation of the GP Surgery to cope with the increased population;

(ii) A local centre including shops and a supermarket for local needs;

(iii) Land for a school (subject to the overall scale of housing development);

(iv) Affordable housing;

(v) “Live-and-work" units or employment space;

(vi) A community centre & sports changing facilities juxtaposed with land for formal recreation;

(vii) Provision of (or a contribution towards) synthetic athletic facilities;

(viii) Appropriate contributions towards enhancement of existing off-site leisure facilities to meet additional pressures arising from the development;

(ix) Provision of public art;

(x) Safeguarding of land of importance for nature conservation;

(xi) Securing the proper management of nature conservation interests affected by the development;

(xii) Provision of sufficient land for informal open space (including open countryside off-site if necessary) to meet the needs of the development and divert pressure away from the Thames Basin Heaths proposed Special Protection Area;

(xiii) Appropriate means of access linking the site to the highway network;

(xiv) Appropriate boundary treatments to minimise the risk of adverse visual impact on the open countryside beyond the site.

The Primary Health Care team of the North Hants Health Authority (now contained within the Rushmoor and Hart Primary Care Group) identified a need for increased primary medical care facilities to serve the population resulting from this new development.

Similarly, subject to the overall capacity of the site, a new primary school will be required to cope with the potential scale of development proposed (including that beyond the end of the plan period). Land will need to be reserved within the site to accommodate these facilities. It is acknowledged that if the capacity of the site is substantially reduced below 1,150 dwellings due to nature conservation issues, a school may not be appropriate and only contributions would be required.

The development will be expected to contribute a proportion of affordable housing, as set out in policy URB 13.

The LPA considers that the site of the former Motor Transport Depot may offer an ideal opportunity to provide home/employment units (the dwelling units to be taken into account in the global housing figure for the Barracks site). However, through preparation of the Master Plan there is scope to identify an alternative area of equivalent size in its place, integrated with the rest of the development. In the event that the home / employment units are not forthcoming, an employment (not residential) use will be considered as an alternative somewhere within the overall site.

Wakefords Copse will be accessed from the spine road running through the whole area and, as part of the overall development, will be expected to contribute to infrastructure, facilities and affordable housing requirements.

Part of the site forms an important local gap or "green lung" between the Barracks and Wakefords Copse development areas. It has the potential to provide for formal recreation needs for the residents of the new development and for residents elsewhere in Church Crookham. The woodlands on the site also provide informal recreation areas, are of local nature conservation value and provide a landscape setting for the new developments.

In the light of Annex C of PPG3: Housing, the local planning authority would prefer not to release existing woodland and open land on the site for built development. This area has the potential to provide good quality open space and recreation land to satisfy the needs of the development. In particular land that is flat can provide for the formal recreation needs. Nor does the local planning authority wish to see any overall loss of recognised habitats. However, the need for some flexibility over the disposition of open space is acknowledged in order to secure the proper planning of the site and at the same time minimise adverse impacts on interests of acknowledged importance.

The woodland SINC should be retained around the boundaries of Wakefords Copse to provide buffer strips between the housing and the adjacent industrial estate and road. This buffer strip is also important in its contribution to the setting and approach into Church Crookham and for its amenity value on the surrounding area. Its value in terms of nature conservation will require proper management of the woodland in association with the development.

In the interest of the comprehensive planning of the wider area of Church Crookham, there is also benefit in consolidating existing playing field provision with that to be provided as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Barracks development, should the opportunity arise. Also, if possible, the opportunity should be taken to enhance leisure facilities further to meet an existing local deficit in provision.

It is essential that the Ewshot Marsh Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) to the south is protected from any impact of development (including drainage), and that the woodlands adjacent to the site are retained. Both the meadow and the woodlands require active management to benefit their ecological value and safeguard them from detrimental effects of recreation demands. In general, appropriate management of open countryside to the south of the site must be secured to:

a) Provide effective mitigation to prevent any adverse impact of development on the Thames Basin Heaths proposed Special Protection Area through provision of recreational access to the open countryside; and

b) Secure the long-term future of nature conservation interests on this land and protect those interests from the effects of development.

Access for walkers to the wider countryside to the south may also be an important aspect in the planning of the site. If access to open countryside is required to enable the proper management of nature conservation interests, it must be secured in perpetuity before planning permission is granted.

The area covered by this policy includes two areas, which are outside the Fleet/Church Crookham settlement boundary. These include the access point from Ewshot Lane and the triangular apex of the site to the south and are excluded from the settlement boundary because it is not envisaged that they will contain development per se (other than the access road). They are included within the policy area because of the need to resolve their future within the Master Plan and any subsequent planning exercises associated with the development of the Barracks. However, they remain outside the settlement boundary.

DEV 3 Land Adjacent to Redfields Industrial Estate, Church Crookham

DEV 3 2.7 HECTARES (6.7 ACRES) OF LAND BETWEEN REDFIELDS INDUSTRIAL ESTATE AND REDFIELDS GARDEN CENTRE IS PROPOSED FOR BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIAL USES.

This development would form a logical extension to the existing Redfields Industrial Estate and is well related to proposed housing development at the Queen Elizabeth II Barracks. A means of access shall be provided to the boundary with the site known as Redfields Garden Centre in order to secure a link to provide an integrated transport network for bus and cycleways. The purpose of the linkage to the adjacent site (DEV15) is to ensure that an integrated transport network is secured for future bus services and to enable residents working in the industrial estate to travel to work without using cars. A mix of small and medium-sized units would be appropriate for this site in order to provide for local needs.

DEV 4 Martin Lines, Church Crookham

DEV 4 5.4 HECTARES (13 ACRES) OF LAND AT MARTIN LINES, CHURCH CROOKHAM, IS PROPOSED FOR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT. DEVELOPMENT OF THE PLAYING FIELDS AREA WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED ONCE THE PLAYING FIELDS HAVE BEEN FULLY REPLACED WITHIN THE FLEET/CHURCH CROOKHAM AREA.

The Martin Lines site was allocated for housing development in the Hart District Local Plan Second Alteration. It is a previously developed ("brownfield") site, currently in M.o.D. use but released as surplus to requirements in 2000. In view of the release of the Queen Elizabeth II Barracks and Wakefords Copse from M.o.D use, also in 2000, and their proposed redevelopment for housing, it is considered that this site would be more appropriate for development for employment uses. It is close to existing employment uses at Fleet Business Park on Sandy Lane. A mix of small and medium-sized units would be appropriate for this site in order to provide for local needs.

An area of existing playing fields, adjacent to Martin Lines, is also proposed for inclusion in this allocation. This part cannot be developed until the playing fields use has been fully replaced. This area is currently separated from the main residential area of Church Crookham by the main Beacon Hill Road. Whilst it is the Council's policy (and that of Central Government in PPG17 on Sport and Recreation) to avoid the loss of open space or recreation land, in this case the playing fields will be replaced by new playing fields in the vicinity. In the event of relocation, Fleet Athletics Club will be fully compensated for all costs in connection with the transfer of their huts, porta-cabins and equipment to the new site.

Buildings on the site should be set back from the road, behind a landscaped area, in order to safeguard residential amenities to the west and the setting of Fleet on the approach along Beacon Hill Road.

DEV 5 West of Hitches Lane, Fleet (Recreation)

DEV 5 70 HECTARES (173 ACRES) OF LAND TO THE WEST OF HITCHES LANE, FLEET IS PROPOSED TO BE DEVELOPED FOR FORMAL AND INFORMAL RECREATIONAL USES INCLUDING SPORTS PITCHES AND A RIVERSIDE FOOTPATH WITH LINKS TO EXISTING PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY.

Within Fleet and Church Crookham there is a current deficiency of 16ha / 40A of formal playing pitches against the National Playing Field Association standards / Playing Pitch Strategy participation rates. In addition the provision of sports facilities on a single large site creates economies of scale. As Fleet is the major settlement in the District it is the preferred location for this facility, which would be in easy reach of a large proportion of the District's population. The proposal will be an opportunity to provide a "centre of excellence" for sports, which would benefit the whole District. Buildings required in conjunction with the formal recreation use will be sited adjacent to the road, close to the existing Hart Leisure Centre, and in a position where they can be well screened by trees and new landscaping. The open character of the landscape will be protected.

This area of land already provides an essential open space buffer to Fleet. Its allocation for recreational use will contribute to the informal recreational needs of the population and protect the setting of Fleet. The majority of this land use would be capable of reverting back to agricultural use should the land no longer be needed for recreation. Land of ecological value within the site will be protected as part of the informal country park. The creation of a riverside footpath could be incorporated into the proposal.

The area includes the flood-plain of the River Hart and drainage issues will be discussed with the Environment Agency.

DEV 6 East of Holt Lane, Hook

DEV 6 10.9 HECTARES (27 ACRES) OF LAND EAST OF HOLT LANE, HOOK IS PROPOSED FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT. SUBSTANTIAL BOUNDARY PLANTING WITHIN THIS AREA IS PROPOSED IN ORDER TO CREATE A DEFENSIBLE EASTERN BOUNDARY AND TO PROTECT THE SETTING OF THE RIVER WHITEWATER.

Hook is situated in the west of the District and is further from the Blackwater Valley towns than Fleet. It has a railway station providing links to Fleet, London and Basingstoke and very good links to the M3 motorway at junction 5. A range of employment developments have occurred, including the Bartley Wood Business Park, and further employment land is allocated at Bartley Wood Phase 2. Shopping and leisure facilities are available in the village centre. A supermarket within the village centre was granted planning permission in 1996 and is allocated within this plan (it has since been constructed). The major centre of Basingstoke is 5 miles away.

This site has good pedestrian access to Hook Village Centre and railway station, together with the existing and permitted employment development at Bartley Wood. Pedestrian and cycle links will be provided and junction improvements will be necessary where Holt Lane meets the A30. Contributions towards improvements to public transport facilities, needed as a result of this development, will be expected to be provided by the developer.

The site itself is relatively unconstrained but it is adjacent to the Whitewater Valley, which is an important landscape and ecological feature. It is essential to create well-defined boundaries to the site, especially on its eastern side, in order to screen development and maintain the integrity of the Whitewater Valley. Boundary planting is therefore proposed within this area, whilst a larger area of open space within the adjacent Whitewater Valley is proposed in DEV 7. Enhancement works and the adoption of appropriate management techniques, including management of access, may run into significant problems if they occur after the time adjacent new housing developments are occupied. Therefore, legal agreements will be required that this site is in an appropriately managed condition, taking full account of its setting in the Whitewater Valley, and that paths, open spaces and treatment of boundaries between the open space, the adjoining countryside and the housing areas are (all) in place (before adjacent parts of the housing area are occupied).

The site will be expected to contribute a proportion of affordable housing, as set out in policy URB 13, and include a children’s play area within the development. Contributions towards improvements to local community facilities would be expected from the site developers to meet the needs of the increased population.

The Holt Lane Planning Brief was approved in April 2000, and outline consent for residential and open space in accordance with the local plan proposals was granted on 24th November 2000.

DEV 7 Holt Lane, Hook and Whitewater Valley

DEV 7 13.36 HECTARES (33 ACRES) OF LAND WITHIN THE WHITEWATER VALLEY, ADJACENT TO THE PROPOSED HOUSING DEVELOPMENT EAST OF HOLT LANE, IS PROPOSED FOR INFORMAL OPEN SPACE AND NATURE CONSERVATION PURPOSES.

The Whitewater Valley is an important landscape and ecological feature of this area and the River Whitewater is noted for its high water quality. The flood-plain in this area is of significant potential nature conservation interest, with unusual calcareous peat soils.

The securing of this land as open space will protect the Whitewater Valley from development and enable sensitive management to enhance its nature conservation value, as well as increasing public access to this area. It is important that the area is protected as natural open countryside rather than formal recreation or suburban parkland uses in order to protect the existing character of the Whitewater Valley. The flood-plain and copse should be managed primarily for nature conservation, with an open space buffer area immediately adjacent to the development.

A restoration and management plan for the flood-plain and Holt Copse will be requested from the developers. The aims should be the creation of a species-rich meadow within the flood-plain, maintained in the long term by grazing, and the restoration of the original coppice structure of Holt Copse. Existing hedges and pollarded trees should be retained, while additional woodland planting north-west of Holt Copse would assist in screening development. A network of footpaths should be established in order to facilitate and control public access, and interpretative facilities would be valuable to enhance people's appreciation and understanding of the proposed Whitewater Valley Heritage Area.

The local planning authority wishes to be sure that DEV 7 land will be secured in public / trust ownership and managed appropriately. To secure its long-term management in the interests of nature conservation and public access, the Proposal DEV 7 site will be conveyed to Hook Parish Council and / or an appropriate conservation trust to be agreed between the Council and Parish Council.

Enhancement works and the adoption of appropriate management techniques, including management of access, may run into significant problems if they occur after the time adjacent new housing developments are occupied. Therefore, legal agreements will be required that this site is in an appropriately managed condition taking full account of its setting in the Whitewater Valley and that paths, open spaces and treatment of boundaries between the open space, the adjoining countryside and the housing areas are all in place before adjacent parts of the housing area are occupied.

DEV 8 Land South-East of Queens Road, North Warnborough

DEV 8 2 HECTARES (4.89 ACRES) OF LAND SOUTH-EAST OF QUEENS ROAD, NORTH WARNBOROUGH IS PROPOSED FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, PROVIDED THAT AN OPEN USE OF LAND TO THE SOUTH-EAST IS SECURED.

North Warnborough has local retail, social and recreational facilities. It is close to the local centre of Odiham which has a wider range of shops and a secondary school. This site is well related to existing facilities within both settlements, including Robert Mays Secondary School, which is easily accessible by public footpath. The site is within the previously defined strategic gap between Odiham and North Warnborough, the boundary of which has now been amended and defined as a local gap. This open land could be in the form of the existing agricultural use or other open uses appropriate to the local gap. Appropriate landscaping, both within and outside the site boundary, will be needed to screen the development and provide a firm boundary. Planning permission will not be granted unless the maintenance of land to the south-east as open land is secured and that suitable arrangements will need to be made to ensure this.

The development will be expected to contribute a proportion of affordable housing, as set out in policies URB 13 / RUR 21.

The Queens Road Planning Brief was approved in November 2000.

ALT DEV 9 Dilly Lane, Hartley Wintney

ALT DEV 9 8 HECTARES (19.46 ACRES) OF LAND AT DILLY LANE, HARTLEY WINTNEY IS PROPOSED FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT.

THIS SITE IS HELD IN RESERVE TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE RESERVE HOUSING PROVISION SET OUT UNDER POLICY H4 OF THE HAMPSHIRE COUNTY STRUCTURE PLAN 1996 TO 2011. THE SITE WILL ONLY BE RELEASED FOR DEVELOPMENT IF MONITORING OF THE STRUCTURE PLAN AND LOCAL PLANS IN HAMPSHIRE INDICATES THERE IS A COMPELLING JUSTIFICATION TO DO SO, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE PRODUCED BY THE STRATEGIC AUTHORITIES, ENTITLED ‘IMPLEMENTING H4’. THIS POLICY REPLACES POLICY DEV9 OF THE HART DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN (REPLACEMENT) 1996 TO 2006.

This site is well contained by mature field boundaries, except on the southern edge where planting would be needed to reinforce the boundary. The settlement of Hartley Wintney includes neighbourhood shopping facilities, community facilities and primary schools: the village centre is within 1,100 metres of the site. Secondary schools, leisure facilities and a wider range of shopping facilities are available in the nearby settlements of Fleet, Yateley and Odiham.

There is a railway station 1km away at Winchfield: improved pedestrian/cycle access to the station and to the village centre would be essential to serve the new development. Improvements to local bus services to link them to the train timetables may be sought. The carriageway of Dilly Lane does not need to be widened and other necessary improvements can be carried out within highway land without encroaching on common land.

Trees on common land bordering Dilly Lane should be fully protected. It is also important that any proposed road improvements do not have a detrimental effect on the nature conservation interest of the surrounding area. Existing common land to the west of the site will be protected and further open space and landscaping provided adjacent to it in order to provide informal open space for residents, create new wildlife habitats and continue the pattern of open, lightly wooded commons within the settlement of Hartley Wintney.

The proximity of the Church House Farm Conservation Area and the attractive rural landscape surrounding this site means that it is particularly sensitive. A detailed landscape assessment has now been carried out, together with an assessment of ecological, archaeological and agricultural importance. The development will be expected to contribute a proportion of affordable housing, as set out in Policy ALT GEN 13 of the First Alterations.

The Dilly Lane Planning Brief was approved in April 2000.

DEV 10 Guillemont Barracks, Hawley

DEV 10 13 HECTARES (32 ACRES) OF LAND AT THE FORMER GUILLEMONT BARRACKS, HAWLEY AS SHOWN ON INSET MAP 12, IS PROPOSED FOR A MAXIMUM OF 30,000 sq. m. OF CLASS B1 BUSINESS USE (WHEN TAKEN TOGETHER WITH THAT PART OF THE SITE IN NEIGHBOURING RUSHMOOR BOROUGH). IN ADDITION, OTHER ASSOCIATED USES WILL BE PERMITTED ON THE SITE PROVIDED THAT A SUITABLE MEANS OF ACCESS CAN BE FOUND THAT DOES NOT LEAD TO OVER LOADING OF M3 JUNCTION 4A.

This site was formerly in M.o.D. use and still contains large areas of hard standing. It is environmentally unconstrained and is well related to the Blackwater Valley Towns and Fleet. It is also well connected with junction 4a of the M3 motorway.

The site is considered suitable for redevelopment for a high quality office development of no more than 30,000 sq. m. of floor-space. Constraints on the local highway network at present impose this ceiling of 30,000 sq. m. of Class B1 business use (when taken together with that part of the site in neighbouring Rushmoor Borough), although this might be varied if it could be shown that road capacity could be sufficiently increased or measures to restrain the use of the private car by workers and visitors to the site would be effective in preventing a significant increase in the peak period loadings of junctions in the vicinity. Associated ancillary retail and leisure uses could be incorporated in order to serve new employees on the site and to provide local facilities to adjacent residential areas and residents in the locality. An area of approximately 2 ha of windfall residential land could be incorporated into the overall mixed-use scheme. The adjacent heathland around Hawley Lake forms a highly attractive setting to the business development, and should be protected from any adverse impact on its landscape or ecology.

Public transport links to Blackwater, Yateley and Fleet Town Centres should be provided for employees. Neighbouring residential areas should be linked to the site by footpaths and cycleways. In order to support Government guidance in PPG13, a transportation and commuter plan has been prepared by the developer and submitted with the outline planning applications. These plans demonstrate how the aims of PPG13 are met by the overall development. A traffic impact assessment has also been prepared for the development.

The Council will discuss the principles of development with Rushmoor Borough Council as part of the total site lies within Rushmoor.

Outline consent was granted for 29,740 sq. m. gross B1 use in 1997 with Phase 2 13,000 sq. m. B1 granted outline consent in 1999. Development is currently under construction.

DEV 11 Land on B3014 Fleet to Cove Road

DEV 11 1.6 HECTARES (4 ACRES) OF LAND BETWEEN THE B3014, FLEET TO COVE ROAD, AND THE M3 JUNCTION 4A ACCESS ROAD IS PROPOSED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ROADSIDE FACILITIES.

The need for improved roadside facilities within the County has recently been identified in Hampshire County Council's Strategy for Roadside Facilities. Roadside facilities are defined as including a petrol filling station, restaurant and possibly some bed spaces, so long as the site is not overdeveloped in relation to the strategic gap. This site is well placed to serve both local traffic between Fleet and Farnborough and traffic joining or leaving the M3 motorway at junction 4a. This was recognised by the Inspector into the Hart District Local Plan Second Alteration and, as such, it is being given exceptional treatment in order to meet a need in the area that cannot be met on land elsewhere.

The site is however still within the strategic gap between Fleet and Farnborough and it is important that the impact of the development on the gap is minimised. A high quality, unique design is required to reflect its position in a Strategic Gap and open countryside. The retention of the wooded areas of the site, and the provision of substantial structural landscaping elsewhere on the site, will help to soften the impact of the development and reinforce the strategic gap.

DEV 12 Pyestock Area A

DEV 12 WITHIN "AREA A" OF THE TEST AND EVALUATION ESTABLISHMENT AT PYESTOCK, REDEVELOPMENT FOR EMPLOYMENT USES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT NEITHER THE RURAL CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY, NOR THE OPEN NATURE OF THE STRATEGIC GAP, IS ADVERSELY AFFECTED.

This area (shown on the proposals map) forms the main part of the Defence Research Agency's Pyestock complex, comprising a variety of office, administrative and research buildings as well as industrial and engineering buildings. Should redevelopment of the site occur, it will be important to maintain existing employment levels whilst retaining the rural and open nature of the strategic gap between Fleet and Farnborough. The site is currently well treed and screened from public vantage points: these characteristics should be retained. The woodland on the northern boundary is particularly important as a buffer to the adjacent SSSI. A significant increase in floor-space would therefore be inappropriate.

The Council has made a “minded to grant” decision on proposals for further research and development facilities and realignment of Ively Road under this proposal.

Reference should also be made to Policy DEV1 iii) r) where allowance is made for the potential windfall of approximately 100 units of accommodation at the DERA estate.

DEV 13 Pyestock Area B

DEV 13 WITHIN "AREA B" OF THE TEST AND EVALUATION ESTABLISHMENT, PYESTOCK, REDEVELOPMENT FOR EMPLOYMENT USES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THIS DOES NOT RESULT IN ANY NET INCREASE IN FLOOR SPACE, AND THAT NEITHER THE RURAL CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY, NOR THE OPEN NATURE OF THE STRATEGIC GAP IS ADVERSELY AFFECTED.

The existing buildings on this area (see proposals map) are highly visible, detracting from the rural nature of the strategic gap. Environmental improvements and the provision of landscape buffer strips will be necessary in order to reduce the impact of any future redevelopment.

The LPA will expect the development of these two sites (DEV12 & DEV13) to include appropriate ancillary uses such as leisure, training, local retail, ancillary accommodation and hotel accommodation etc. in order to provide a full range of facilities on site and thereby minimise the need for users of the site to travel off-site for facilities. The exact mix and disposition of uses will be determined through a revised development brief showing how the two sites will be developed to take account of the new link road (that has now been opened).

Planning consent has been granted for the Centre for Human Sciences on Ively Road (now built) and the Council has made a “minded to grant” decision on proposals for further research and development facilities to the rear of that development and for the realignment of Ively Road.

DEV 14 Blackwater Industrial Estate

DEV 14 LAND AT BLACKWATER INDUSTRIAL ESTATE IS PROPOSED FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR PREDOMINANTLY B1 (BUSINESS) USES. IN ASSOCIATION WITH THIS DEVELOPMENT, PEDESTRIAN AND CYCLE ACCESS TO BLACKWATER WILL BE REQUESTED.

This site is adjacent to Blackwater Town Centre and forms a gateway to the District from the north-east. The redevelopment of the site for higher quality business uses would enhance the vitality of the town centre and improve the environment of the surrounding area. The Blackwater Town Centre Management Plan has identified the need for pedestrian and cycle access along the A30. This site is adjacent to the Blackwater Valley SSSI and the local planning authority will need to be satisfied that the development will not harm the SSSI and that there is satisfactory buffering between the development and the SSSI.

DEV 15 Redfields Garden Centre, Church Crookham

DEV 15 THE SITE KNOWN AS REDFIELDS GARDEN CENTRE IS PROPOSED FOR DEVELOPMENT COMPRISING BUSINESS (B1) AND INDUSTRIAL (B2) USES. ACCESS TO THE SITE WILL BE PROVIDED FROM THE EXISTING ROUNDABOUT AT REDFIELDS LANE. SOME LIMITED HIGH DENSITY HOUSING MAY BE PERMITTED ON ABOUT 20% OF THE SITE AREA, ADJACENT TO HUMPHREY PARK, PROVIDED THAT THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT IT WOULD SECURE A BETTER OVERALL DESIGN AND LAYOUT OF DEVELOPMENT. A LINK WILL BE PROVIDED TO EWSHOT LANE AND THE ADJOINING DEVELOPMENT (PROPOSAL DEV3) IN ORDER TO SECURE AN INTEGRATED TRANSPORT NETWORK FOR BUS AND CYCLEWAYS.

Access to the site shall be by means of a road linking Redfields Lane roundabout to Ewshot Lane, with a link to the DEV3 site. The purpose of the linkage is to ensure that an integrated transport network is secured for future bus services and cycleways.

The LPA will prepare a comprehensive development brief in partnership with the County Surveyor and landowners for the QEII Barracks/Redfields area to integrate all the elements of the development.

English Nature will require the completion of a "Shadow Appropriate Assessment" to ensure that any housing development proposed on this site will not affect the Thames Basin Heaths proposed Special Protection Area.

DEV 16 Waterfront Business Park

DEV 16 THE SITE KNOWN AS WATERFRONT BUSINESS PARK, FLEET IS SUITABLE FOR HIGH QUALITY DEVELOPMENT FOR LARGER (RATHER THAN SMALL-SCALE) BUSINESS (B1) USES. DEVELOPMENT SHOULD HAVE REGARD TO THE SETTING OF FLEET POND LOCAL NATURE RESERVE.

Redevelopment of this site has already started and the local planning authority is keen to secure development of the balance of the site for quality business use, given the proximity of the site to Fleet Station. There is a strong need for employment development, given the severity of imbalance between workforce and employment in Hart and advice in PPG13 “Transport”. This site is adjacent to the Fleet Pond SSSI / Local Nature Reserve and as a consequence it is important to ensure that development at this site does not detrimentally affect the water quality of Fleet Pond.

ALT DEV 17 Clarks Farm, Darby Green

ALT DEV 17 THE SITE KNOWN AS CLARKS FARM, DARBY GREEN, AS SHOWN AS AREA A) ON THE PROPOSALS MAP IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR CLASS B1 EMPLOYMENT USE UP TO 2,500 SQ. M. OR OTHER EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT WITH SIMILAR LEVELS OF EMPLOYMENT. DEVELOPMENT SHOULD TAKE PLACE IN A LANDSCAPED SETTING, SUBJECT TO THE REMOVAL OF THE EXISTING USES TOGETHER WITH THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

(i) THE SCALE OF REDEVELOPMENT SHALL ACCORD WITH THE OBJECTIVES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE SITE’S ACCESSIBILITY AS A LOCATION, ITS STATUS AS A PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED SITE OUTSIDE ANY IDENTIFIED SETTLEMENT, AND ITS EXISTING AND POTENTIAL LAWFUL USES;

(ii) THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE (INCLUDING CAR PARKING, THE CURTILAGES OF BUILDINGS, ROADS AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS) SHOULD AIM TO REDUCE THE FOOTPRINT OF THE EXISTING DEVELOPED AREA. IN RESPECT OF ANY NEW BUILDINGS, THEY SHOULD NOT EXCEED THE BULK AND HEIGHT OF THE EXISTING MAIN BARN BUILDING GRANTED PLANNING PERMISSION IN 1964;

(iii) NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE LOCATED IN A WAY WHICH APPEARS TO WIDEN THE NARROW GAP BETWEEN THE SOUTH-EASTERN TIP OF YATELEY AND THE WESTERN EDGE OF DARBY GREEN AND WHICH GENERALLY ENHANCES THE PERCEPTION OF THIS AREA AS A STRATEGIC GAP BETWEEN SETTLEMENTS;

(iv) NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE SENSITIVELY DESIGNED TO PRESERVE AND ENHANCE THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE STRATEGIC GAP AND THE DARBY GREEN CONSERVATION AREA;

(v) DEVELOPMENT MUST NOT HAVE AN OVERBEARING IMPACT ON NEARBY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES AND MUST AVOID ADVERSE VISUAL IMPACT ON THE LISTED BUILDINGS OF CLARKS FARMHOUSE AND POND FARMHOUSE;

(vi) DEVELOPMENT MUST INCLUDE A COMPREHENSIVE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE INFORMAL PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE OPEN SPACE AND THE PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE HABITATS ON THE LAND AND LAKES BETWEEN THE SITE AND THE RIVER BLACKWATER AND THE LAND BETWEEN THE SITE AND RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES TO THE EAST;

(vii) ALL CABLES ON THE SITE AND ON THE PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE OPEN SPACE MUST BE PLACED UNDERGROUND;

(viii) THE CAPACITY OF THE HIGHWAY NETWORK MUST NOT BE EXCEEDED AS A RESULT OF DEVELOPMENT ON THIS SITE;

(ix) FOOTPATHS AND CYCLEWAYS WILL BE PROVIDED TO LINK THE SITE WITH THE PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE OPEN SPACE, THE RIVER BLACKWATER, DARBY GREEN LANE AND THE FROGMORE SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY CAMPUS;

(x) A COMMUTER PLAN AND A TRANSPORT STRATEGY, INCLUDING THE PROVISION OF CAR AND CYCLE PARKING WILL BE PREPARED TO ENCOURAGE JOURNEYS TO WORK BY MEANS OTHER THAN THE PRIVATE CAR.

THIS POLICY REPLACES POLICY DEV17 OF THE HART DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN (REPLACEMENT) 1996 TO 2006.

The site is in a very narrow part of the "Blackwater Valley Towns (Aldershot to Yateley) to County Boundary (the Blackwater Gap)" Strategic Gap under Policy G1 of the adopted Hampshire County Structure Plan (Review). The local planning authority is particularly concerned to maintain a sense of separation between Yateley and Blackwater and to maintain a sense of separation between the urban areas on either side of the River Blackwater in this location.

If a sense of separation between Yateley and Blackwater is to be maintained, then the bulk, height, character and appearance of new buildings and the area they cover including the curtilages of any new buildings must be strictly controlled. Visual impact on the strategic gap, the Darby Green conservation area and impact on listed buildings will be assessed having regard to the impact of what is currently on site and the opportunities for improvements to the environment. It is anticipated that the employment use will therefore take the form of small scale units for small or starter firms to meet these objectives.

The local planning authority wishes to promote and support initiatives that seek to conserve, restore or enhance the natural elements of river valleys and the water environment. The River Blackwater is on the opposite side of the lake from the composting plant. An improvement to the environment of the Mushroom Farm would be beneficial in this context, especially where provision could be made for a cycleway linking the footpath along the River Blackwater with the site and with the nearby school and community campus.

English Nature are of the view that this site (in part) may contain habitats of ecological value and therefore recommend that up to date ecological information is obtained before a decision is made on any application for development. In the opinion of the local planning authority this reinforces the need to manage the lakes for wildlife and informal public open space.

The local planning authority is particularly concerned about the highway capacity of roads in the area and will require a transport plan.

The local planning authority would also draw developers’ attention to the following sensitivities which are themselves generally covered by policies elsewhere in the plan:

a) Means of access to the site and the road layout within the site should not result in rat running through the site or inappropriate use of Darby Green Lane.

b) Government guidance in PPG13: Transport, seeks a reduction in car parking standards. The LPA will have regard to this policy when considering applications for planning permission.

c) This site is in open countryside and impacts on a strategic gap, listed buildings and the conservation area. As a result, the LPA is concerned that lighting should be strictly controlled to prevent light pollution unduly affecting these interests of acknowledged importance.

d) Development (including car parking) should not encroach within 10 metres of the boundary of Clarks Farm because the LPA does not wish to see the farm visually dominated by new development.

e) The site contains a site of importance for nature conservation (SINC).

*On the Proposals Map, this Proposal is depicted to indicate the two distinct areas a) the area for redevelopment, and b) the area for recreational use and structural planting.

DEV 18 RAF Odiham

DEV 18 THE AREAS OF LAND AT RAF ODIHAM SHOWN ON THE PROPOSAL MAP ARE CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR BUILT DEVELOPMENT TO MEET OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH MILITARY FLYING AT THE AIRFIELD. DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED OUTSIDE OF THIS AREA UNLESS IT IS REQUIRED, EXCEPTIONALLY, IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE AND AIR SAFETY AND NO SUITABLE LOCATION EXISTS WITHIN THE DELINEATED AREA.

The local planning authority recognises the interests of national and international defence and the part that RAF Odiham plays in this. Many of the existing buildings on site have reached the end of their useful life and need to be redeveloped to meet modern operational defence needs.

Efforts will be made to establish a liaison group involving RAF personnel and the Council in order to guide development proposals at RAF Odiham made under DEV18.

DEV 19 Land between Dunley’s Hill, North Warnborough and Robert Mays School, Odiham

DEV 19 APPROXIMATELY 6HA OF LAND ADJOINING DEV 8, AND BETWEEN DUNLEY'S HILL AND ROBERT MAYS SCHOOL, ODIHAM, IS PROPOSED TO BE DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE FOR PUBLIC RECREATION AND ADDITIONAL PLAYING FIELDS FOR THE SCHOOL.

The provision of land for informal recreation and sports pitches could help to meet the shortage of public recreational provision in Odiham and North Warnborough and other settlements in the vicinity and specifically the shortfall of playing fields experienced by Robert May's School. The land is at a critical point in the Odiham/North Warnborough Local Gap and it is the intention of the plan to protect the separate identity of the two settlements. The uses to be made of the land will be assessed against their possible effect on this important local feature.

DEV 20 Jubilee Fields, Hartley Wintney

DEV 20 LAND AT JUBILEE FIELDS AND MEMORIAL FIELDS ADJACENT TO GREENFIELDS JUNIOR SCHOOL IS PROPOSED TO BE DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE FOR PUBLIC RECREATION AND ADDITIONAL PLAYING FIELDS FOR THE SCHOOL. IN ADDITION, FURTHER PROVISION WILL BE SOUGHT IN THE LOCALITY TO MAKE UP ANY REMAINING SHORTFALL IN REASONABLE PROXIMITY TO THE SCHOOLS AND PLAYING FIELDS.

The provision of land for informal recreation and sports pitches could help to meet the shortage of public recreational provision in Hartley Wintney and other settlements in the vicinity.

DEV 21 Land off Sandhurst Road, Yateley (Employment & Leisure)

DEV 21 THE SITE MARKED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP EAST OF SANDHURST ROAD, YATELEY IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR LEISURE USES INCLUDING PUBLIC GOLF DRIVING RANGE, FISHING LAKE, SPORTS HALL PROVIDED THAT DUE REGARD IS PAID TO THE AMENITY OF THE SURROUNDING AREA AND SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA.

1 Development should be located in a way which does not diminish the perception of the gap between Yateley and the county boundary and which generally retains the perception of this area as a strategic gap when viewed from Darby Green to the east, and along the proposed riverside footpath to the north;

2 Development should secure additional woodland planting to the north of the proposed access to the site in order to reinforce the perception of a green corridor along Sandhurst Road;

3 Development must avoid adverse visual impact on the River Blackwater and its setting;

4 Development should secure sensitive management and enhancement of the existing lake and the Blackwater riparian corridor adjacent to the site;

5 Development should provide, and be linked to, a riverside footpath running from Sandhurst Road to the west;

6 Development should retain existing species and retain, replace and enhance habitat diversity;

7 The capacity of the highway network must not be exceeded as a result of development of this site;

8 Development must avoid undue reliance on use of the private car and, in this respect, contributions will be sought towards the improvement of local public transport, walking and cycling facilities and services.

DEV 22 Sandhurst Road, Yateley

DEV 22 THE SITE INDICATED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP OFF SANDHURST ROAD, YATELEY THAT IS SITUATED BETWEEN THE EDGE OF YATELEY AND LAND ALLOCATED FOR LEISURE DEVELOPMENT IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (B1) IN A LANDSCAPED PARKLAND SETTING, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

1 Development should be located in a way which does not diminish the perception of the gap between Yateley and the county boundary and which generally retains the perception of this area as a strategic gap when viewed from Darby Green to the east, and along the proposed riverside footpath to the north;

2 Development should secure additional woodland planting to the north of the proposed access to the site in order to reinforce the perception of a green corridor along Sandhurst Road;

3 Development should not have an overbearing impact on nearby residential properties and must avoid adverse visual impact on the River Blackwater and its setting;

4 Development should secure sensitive management and enhancement of the existing lake and the Blackwater riparian corridor adjacent to the site:

5 Development should provide, and be linked to, a riverside footpath running from Sandhurst Road to the west;

6 Development should retain existing species and retain, replace and enhance habitat diversity;

7 The capacity of the highway network must not be exceeded as a result of development of this site;

8 Off-site improvements will be required to improve pedestrian and cycle access to Yateley Town Centre and Sandhurst railway station;

9 A commuter plan will be prepared and car parking controlled to encourage journeys to work by means other than the private car.

Planning permission has been granted for the leisure site. The intention is that development of the employment site should be subsidiary and fully integrated into the overall design and that the employment part of the site could be developed as a well landscaped employment park for the benefit of Yateley while helping to enhance the appearance of the site, its contribution to the objectives of the Blackwater Valley Strategy and to preserve its gap function. The employment site is close to Yateley town centre and, as a result, can augment the daytime population of, and so contribute to, its vitality and viability.

Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic leisure development during the plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of nearby Yateley Town Centre in the leisure hierarchy. Therefore, leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of Yateley in the leisure hierarchy.

PPG13 seeks to minimise use of the private car and enable people to make sustainable transport choices. The site’s proximity to Yateley town centre, and it being on the edge of Yateley, therefore makes it appropriate for the provision of on-site car parking to be minimised and contributions sought towards the improvement of local public transport facilities and services, cycleways and footpaths, or other provisions forming part of an integrated local transport strategy.

PPG13: Transport was issued after the end of the Public Inquiry into objections to the local plan. Paragraph 6 seeks to focus major generators of travel demand in city, town and district centres and near to major public transport interchanges and, with paragraphs 19, 20, 26 and 32 emphasises the need for accessibility by means other than the car. Paragraph 21 includes advice that the LPA should allocate or reallocate sites unlikely to be well served by public transport for uses which are not travel intensive. Note also PPG6: Town Centres and Retail Development, where paragraph 1.15 states that the sequential test approach as indicated in PPG6 (paragraph 1.11) should apply to all key town centre uses which attract a lot of people, including offices. On the basis of new government guidance, the LPA considers that unfettered office uses should not predominate on this site and that industrial uses of a more local scale would best meet the objectives of this proposal and be in accordance with government guidance.

DEV 23 Reserve Housing Site, West of Hitches Lane, Fleet

DEV 23 9.1 HECTARES (23 ACRES) OF LAND TO THE WEST OF HITCHES LANE, FLEET ARE RESERVED FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF APPROXIMATELY 260 DWELLINGS DURING THE PLAN PERIOD. PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED ONLY IF MONITORING PROJECTS THE AVAILABILITY OF LESS THAN FIVE YEARS’ HOUSING LAND DURING THE PLAN PERIOD.

This site is held in reserve, to be released only if monitoring of the housing land supply projects the availability of less than a 5-year supply of housing land within the plan period. The site has been selected from the sites categorised A, B and C by the Inspector to the Local Plan Inquiry. It is considered that land to the west of Hitches Lane scores highest in terms of its sustainability, with the fewest constraints. It is well related to Fleet town centre, Fleet railway station, schools and leisure, but before the site can be released a comprehensive development brief shall be prepared setting out how the proposed planning of the wider area shall be secured, including proposals for leisure detailed elsewhere in the local plan.

 

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