Plan for 10,000 homes in Havant delayed by almost a year because of nitrates deadlock and Hayling island infrastructure fears

CONCERNS over strained infrastructure on Hayling Island and nitrogen damaging the Solent’s seabed have delayed plans for 10,000 new homes by almost a year.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 9:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 8:18 pm
An aerial picture of Hayling Island, looking south. Picture: Shaun Roster
An aerial picture of Hayling Island, looking south. Picture: Shaun Roster

Havant Borough Council’s local plan was due to be sent to government for examination in September, but will now be lodged by ‘summer 2020’.

The document highlights sites across the borough that could be developed to meet hefty government targets for new housing.

Councillor Tim Pike, the authority’s planning boss, said issues with nitrates and the potential impact of new homes on Hayling mean it can not yet be submitted to the housing, communities and local government secretary.

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Councillor Tim Pike. Picture: Sarah Standing (020519-7853)

‘Our planning team is being asked to undertake a number of things at the moment – those are the two that have needed the most staff resources over recent months,' he said.

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‘It would be ideal to be able to move forward with everything straight away, but as many people know local government isn't like that.

‘We are keen to get these things right before we publish a plan.’

Havant is among a number of councils across the south looking for a solution to overturn a halt on housebuilding triggered by Natural England.

It comes after the government body raised concerns over the negative effect nitrates from residential wastewater are having on the environment.

Like Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Pike said Havant Borough Council has found a short-term solution – with a strategy to be published 'shortly’.

‘We have now issued quite a few permissions – probably a couple a week,' he said.

‘But these are only small one or two-home developments. That does not concern the big house builders.’

A bumper cabinet meeting next Wednesday is expected to address some of residents' main issues with Havant’s local plan, including fears of chronic congestion and strained local services if proposals for 1,000 new homes on Hayling Island go head.

Housing allocations for the centre of Havant, Waterlooville and Leigh Park will also feature, after residents told the council they are ‘not sufficiently ambitious’ in a public consultation on the plan.

Havant town centre had been earmarked for 750 new homes, while it was suggested 600 could be built in Waterlooville and 75 could be built in Leigh Park.

The cabinet meeting was due to take place tomorrow but was rescheduled because of general election purdah.