Local News

Draft Local Plan 2040 on agenda for Test Valley Full Council meeting

The first full draft of the Local Plan to 2040 will be discussed at January’s Full Council meeting next week. If approved, it will go on to public consultation.

The Local Plan sets out the polices and principles by which planning decisions will be made and development undertaken, across the borough. It is produced by Test Valley Borough Council in its role as the local planning authority, informed by extensive evidence and following strict national guidance as well as wide-ranging consultation with residents.

The plan balances the requirements of development that will provide jobs and affordable, sustainable housing for residents, with the need to provide necessary supporting infrastructure, whilst taking care to protect the countryside, open spaces and ecology. It preserves local gaps between settlements where possible and brings forward new energy efficiency measures.

It has been carefully tailored to make sure the varying needs of all communities within the borough are recognised and met. New sites are identified within the plan, through careful consideration of constraints, in order to reduce the risk of speculative planning applications on sites where development should be resisted.

Rural settlements will need to accommodate localised demand for different types of housing. This will be achieved through working with parish councils, and by empowering rural communities to develop bespoke neighbourhood plans or community-led schemes. The council will increase support available to communities by measures including updating the Community Planning Toolkit.

National government has stated that 11,000 homes in total be created between 2020-2040), in line with the latest household projections and affordability measures. This is the minimum required and the plan seeks to provide resilience in terms of future supply.

A significant level of development is already underway, and the shortfalls in housing are set out below.

In the North 6,270 homes are required. An existing housing supply of 3,098 homes, with 40 homes required through neighbourhood plans, leaves 3132 homes to be developed.

In the North the local plan is allocating sites at:

  • South of London Road, East Andover (90 homes)
  • Manor Farm, North of Saxon Way, North Andover (800 homes)
  • Bere Hill, South East of Andover ( 1,400 homes)
  • Two sites at Ludgershall in Test Valley, at east of Ludgershall (350 homes) and south east of Ludgershall (1,150 homes).

In the South 4,730 homes are required. An existing housing supply of 3,773 homes, with 70 homes required through neighbourhood plans, leaves 887 homes to be developed.

In the South the local plan is allocating sites at:

  • South of Ganger farm, East Romsey (340 homes)
  • South of bypass, South Romsey (110 homes)
  • Velmore Farm, Valley Park (1070 homes)
  • Land at King Edwards Park, Chandlers Ford (44 extra care units)
  • Land at Upton Lane, Nursling (80 homes).

The Local Plan also identifies the amount of land required for employment uses. This is produced in line with national policy that requires an assessment of current and future economic needs. This has been identified as 71.7 hectares overall.

In the North, these needs are currently met by 31.3 hectares allocated. An additional, unique opportunity to deliver high quality employment land for uses associated with the Aerodrome site assessment has been identified at the site south of Thruxton Aerodrome.

In the South TV, 40.4 hectares are required, some of which is met by existing supply. The plan proposes additional sites at Abbey Park (5.9 ha), south of Botley Road, Romsey (1.2 ha), Test Valley Business Park (2.2 ha), Kennels Farm, North Baddesley (3.9 ha), by providing an extension to University of Southampton Science Park and at Upton Lane, Nursling (8.5 ha).

Leader of the Council, Phil North, said: “Producing a new Local Plan always includes very difficult decisions, balancing the need for new homes, including affordable homes with the impact those decisions will have on existing residents’ lives.

“Ultimately, though we are required by central government to provide sites for 11,000 new dwellings across the borough by 2040. If we don’t, there is a huge risk of developers getting permission for speculative plans, which are unlikely to include the significant amount of new infrastructure we are demanding through the Local Plan process.

“If approved by Full Council next week, I would encourage residents to have their say in the forthcoming consultation.”

Councillor Phil Bundy, Cabinet Member for Planning and Building, said: “Test Valley must be a borough that embraces sustainable development, providing an environment where all can flourish. It’s essential that our new Local Plan creates opportunities for growth and prosperity, while preserving the natural environment. This draft Local Plan will help make that vision a reality.”