Havant nature lovers will unite to ‘toughen up’ council’s green policies for 10,000-home local plan

ECO-ACTIVISTS will scrutinise a council’s green policies as it plans for the construction of more than 9,000 new homes.

Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 1:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 3:21 pm
Campaigners set to meet on Wednesday say environmental policies need to be 'toughened up' as Havant Borough Council seeks to progress its Local Plan for 2036 - which outlines sites it deems suitable to take on more than 9,000 new homes

In a meeting at the Wheelwright’s Arms from 6.30pm tomorrow nature lovers will trawl through the Environment section of Havant Borough Council’s Pre-Submission Local Plan for 2036. 

The 70-page extract sets out the authority’s 24-policy strategy to promote biodiversity through future development – lining up with guidelines published in a 2018 update to the National Planning Policy Framework.

Havant Friends of the Earth chairman Ray Cobbett will coordinate the gathering – but stressed it is open to all concerned with the green policies in the local plan. 

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The Wheelwright's Arms public house in Emsworth Road, Havant. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151540-381)

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‘Keeping biodiversity in mind as the council progresses with the local plan is absolutely critical,’ he said. 

‘We need to do two things – we have to provide the homes, but we have to protect the environment.

‘It’s about striking the right balance and the council has a lot of work to do to achieve that.

‘We will not be arguing over the sites in the plan – that’s over – it’s all about now getting these policies toughened up.’

Low-carbon design, protection of existing open space, protected species and air quality are all among the 24 environmental policies set out in the local plan. 

Mr Cobbett and Havant Friends of the Earth see these policies, and six more, as subjects of high importance and will be analysing their soundness against evidence the council cites in the plan tomorrow night. 

The Pre-Submission Local Plan for 2036 is currently out for public consultation until Monday, March 18 before it gets submitted to government.

Wednesday’s workshop at the Wheelwright’s Arms, in Emsworth Road, Havant, is free for members of the public to attend, is expected to last until 9pm and materials will be provided. 

To read all 24 of the council’s environmental policies in its local plan for 2036, visit tinyurl.com/y4hywsrk