Planning inspectors rebuff Havant Borough Council's plan for 900 homes on Hayling Island

PLANNING inspectors have rebuffed a council’s plans to allocate 900 homes on Hayling Island.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:55 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:47 pm
Alex Rennie in Havant at the general election count on December 12 in 2019. Picture: Byron Melton

It comes as Havant Borough Council’s local plan was found not to be sound and legally compliant.

Proposed housing sites were ruled not viable and inspectors said the council did not comply with the law when carrying out a public consultation.

The plan allocates around 900 new homes on Hayling Island.

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But the report said this isn’t viable due to congested traffic network

It said: ‘Without an understanding of the potential impacts from the proposed development in the Plan during the tourist periods and weekends we are unable to conclude that as a result of the Plan, there would be no unacceptable impacts on highway safety, or that the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would not be severe.

‘Based on the current evidence we are therefore unable to find the level of proposed development on Hayling Island sound.’

In Havant town centre, 750 new homes were proposed but the report said there is not enough interest from the private sector and 450 would be more ‘reasonable’.

A further four housing sites were found to be unviable, suggesting most if not all dwellings are removed from the anticipated supply.

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Inspectors have said the plan should be withdrawn, worked on again and resubmitted.

But borough council leader Alex Rennie has opposed the rulings.

He said: ‘This is the right local plan for our area.

‘Although we may need to make some tweaks to it we believe it's far and away the best solution for our borough because it will provide homes alongside vital infrastructure - while avoiding speculative piecemeal development.

‘As a local authority, we have a collective responsibility with central government to make sensible decisions about housing and get much-needed homes built in our area.

‘That’s why we believe this is the right local plan for our borough.’

The inspectors said a public consultation did not comply with the a statement of community involvement (SCI) as leaflets and displays were not provided at libraries, and a newsletter was not produced quarterly.

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