Havant Borough Council criticised for not telling Hayling Island residents about large planning applications

A council has been criticised for not consulting Hayling Island residents enough about large planning applications.

By Toby Paine
Monday, 7th March 2022, 4:55 am

Havant Borough Council has been called out for going against its own Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and The Town and Country Planning Order 2010. Both control how planning applications are publicised.

Paragraphs 3(b) and 4(b) of The Town and Country Planning Order 2010 state planning applications should be publicised in a newspaper circulating in the area where the proposed site is located.

The council’s SCI says that public consultation will meet and exceed, wherever possible, the requirements set out in the statutory instrument.

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The council uses The Hampshire Independent to advertise applications across the borough however, the circulation of the newspaper in Hayling Island is negligible.

Co-owner of Hampshire Media, which owns The Hampshire Independent, Jez Walder said: ‘We’re not directly on Hayling Island but there’s a Tesco on Solent Road - it is available to pick up.

‘It’s minimal - there’s nothing on Hayling Island but there are hundreds of copies going into Havant.’

The population of Havant Borough is approximately 130,000 with Hayling Island said to have around 18,000 residents.

Mike Owens, local resident, said the council's consultation process has not been legally compliant for many years.

‘Possibly as far back as 2012 when the Hampshire Independent was first published,’ he said.

‘As such, many large scale planning applications over the past years have been approved (especially on Hayling Island) for which the community has received questionable legally compliant publicity and community engagement.

‘This is obviously a very serious problem for our community because many citizens were not given the opportunity to publicly comment.’

‘Havant Borough Council does not even meet the legislation's minimum requirements and is therefore demonstrably non-compliant.’

Councillor Alex Rennie, leader of the council said: ‘I’m aware of the concern and it’s something that we’re reviewing.’