Statement regarding Hart District Council’s Local Plan Examination 

On 26 February, Hart District Council received a letter from the Inspector, Jonathan Manning, with some feedback relating to the examination of the Hart Local Plan – Strategy and Sites document.  

Speaking about the letter, Cllr Graham Cockarill, Cabinet Member for Planning Services at Hart District Council, Said: “The letter gives us a clear indication that, subject to the Council agreeing a couple of important modifications, we are close to having in place a sound Local Plan.  

This is great news for both the Council and its residents because at long last it will give us a sound basis to make future planning decisions and it removes the threat of planning by appeal.  

The Inspector has accepted our assessment of what is our objectively assessed housing need at around 388 dwellings per annum and recognised our positive approach to meeting that need. It is for this reason that the Inspector recommends that we agree to meet Surrey Heath’s unmet need because it can be done within our projected targets without changing our plan or having to find further sites. 

The Inspector’s other key recommendation is that we do not, at this time, pursue Policy SS3. In his view the new settlement approach is not sufficiently developed to be included within the Plan particularly as the numbers of new homes it may deliver are not necessary to meet our housing numbers within this Plan. The important point is that the inspector does not rule out a new settlement option for the future and accepts that it would be good for the Local Plan to retain the Council’s aspirations to plan for long-term needs beyond the Plan period, which could include the delivery of a new settlement.  

Updated 10:20 am 1 March 2019

You can find more information, including the the Inspector's post hearing letter on our Local Plan Examination webpage

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