Winchester District Local Plan Part 1 – Joint Core Strategy

Winchester City Council’s Local Plan Part 1 has been found ‘sound’ by a Government Planning Inspector. This follows several years of preparation with extensive participation and public consultation, including the award-winning “Blueprint” exercise. This means Winchester is now in control of development across the District and able to realise the growth and prosperity the District wants.

Planning Inspector Nigel Payne published his final report this week which concludes that Local Plan Part 1 reflects the changes to national planning law, policies and guidance that have taken place since the plan was first published. He concluded that the Plan “provides for a sustainable pattern of new development across the District”.

The Inspector supported the Council’s overall development strategy and approach to achieve sustainable communities across the Winchester District. He recognised that one of the key priorities is providing affordable housing and, acknowledging the nationwide priority for delivering new homes, has concluded that the Council should aim to see development consistent with the upper level of the range of houses communities had sought in the market towns and larger villages. He also said there was capacity for additional houses to be built in the proposed extension of the community at Whiteley.

The Inspector has drawn on local evidence, regional and national planning policy to conclude that Winchester should deliver 12,500 new homes across the District by 2031, adding 500 new homes at Whiteley to the figures the Council submitted. His recommendations are binding and will now be put to the City’s Cabinet and Council to allow final adoption of the first part of Winchester’s new Local Plan.

Taking into account houses completed, planning permissions granted and strategic allocations at Barton Farm, North Whiteley and West of Waterlooville, the Winchester district already has identified locations for 10,500 of its allocation just a couple of years into the 20-year plan period, leaving around 2,000 to find through Local Plan Part 2 which has recently started.

Cllr Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning for Winchester City Council, said:

"I am delighted that the Inspector has found our Local Plan sound, one of only a handful across the country since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework in March 2012. This will provide the certainty that the District needs to plan positively. It will ensure that the right amount and type of development is delivered so that the District remains prosperous. The Council has listened to its communities throughout the preparation of the plan and we now have a local plan that reflects local views, and which puts Winchester in control of its future."