The Emsworth Forum has finished preparing the desired blueprint for the town’s future – taking into account more than 200 responses received from residents, businesses and statutory bodies during a public consultation.
A forum statement said: ‘We have, as a community, created the Neighbourhood Plan because we wanted to make sure that any future development would not damage the social, economic and environmental sustain-ability of Emsworth.
‘This Neighbourhood Plan will become part of the statutory planning guidance for the town that must be taken into account in decisions on planning applications.”
Some of the highlights of the revised document are:
- Protection of green spaces such as Horses Field and the Ems Valley corridor, so valued by locals and important to the environment.
- An ambitious affordable homes target of 40 per cent for all developments of more than ten units. This was recommended by the government appointed planning consultants Aecom in the Emsworth Housing Needs Assessment and would help ensure more affordable housing for young people.
- The designation of a community and public service hub in the town centre, including protection of the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital for health or community use. This has also been also reflected in the council’s emerging Local Plan.
The forum has had backing from Emsworth Residents’ Association in attempts to create design policies that will protect Emsworth’s character.
There are now proposals to improve traffic flow and conditions for pedestrians and cyclists – in particular along the A259 and in the town centre.
The plan has begun a six-week public consultation, running to June 7, during which it can be viewed at www.havant.gov.uk (search Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan), www.emsworthforum.com, the council’s Public Service Plaza in Civic Centre Road, Havant, or at Emsworth Library.
Comments on the revised plan must be received by June 7 and must be made in writing to [email protected] or to Planning Policy, Havant Borough Council, Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant, PO9 2AX. Following consultation, responses go to a government planning examiner.