Winchester Local Plan adopted

Winchester City Council adopted the Winchester District Local Plan Review on 7 July after the Government decided not to intervene in the adoption process.

The Plan provides planning policies to protect the character of the District and allocates land for development requirements up to the year 2011. The Plan has been in production for several years, having been first published in 2001, and has undergone several stages of formal consultation, including a public inquiry.

The Plan includes policies and allocates land to enable the development needs of the District to be met, including the housing requirements of the County Structure Plan. Much of the new development needed will be on brownfield sites within existing settlements, with greenfield development generally limited to a Major Development Area at West of Waterlooville and various 'reserve' sites.

The reserve sites are held back in case additional housing is needed, although the City Council's monitoring shows that sufficient housing development is taking place to ensure that these sites will not be needed, at least in the short term.

Planning and Transportation Portfolio Holder Barry Lipscomb said "I am delighted that the Council now has robust statutory planning policies that will help us to protect the wonderful environment of our District whilst delivering affordable housing and other development that is needed.

"I am particularly pleased that we have been able to avoid allocating more greenfield land for development than is necessary and that most, at least, of the Local Reserve Sites can be held in reserve until we know whether they will be needed. It is important that we keep the need for those sites under review to minimise local uncertainty and to ensure that none is retained unnecessarily, not least by meeting our house building targets on a rolling basis.

"We now move forward to begin producing the successor document, the Local Development Framework, and I am determined to use that to further strengthen the protection afforded by our local planning policies and to produce future policies which are truly responsive to local needs and aspirations."

Copies of the Local Plan can be viewed at libraries, the City Council's offices and at  The Plan is being published and printed copies will be available to purchase during August.