Your Place, Your Plan

Winchester City Council is inviting public feedback on the potential Strategic Issues and Priorities for a new Local Plan which will cover the district outside of the South Downs National Park.  

To reach as many people as possible, there are a range of ways that local people can have their say. Parish Councils have been briefed and provided with information to help them spread the word in their communities, and a series of online events for members of the public, businesses and community groups are being arranged for 2pm on 4 March, 7pm 9 March, 10am 12 March and 10.30am on 20 March.  Registration for these events will be on the new Local Plan website where you will also be able to provide comments on the Strategic Issues and Priorities document.

In response to the climate emergency declared by the council in 2019, carbon neutrality targets will be at the centre of the new Local Plan, alongside other key themes addressing the need for housing, jobs, shopping, transport and other infrastructure, and community facilities as well as how best to protect our rich built and natural heritage.

This initial consultation seeks to determine the high level priorities the Local Plan is to address, before consulting further on more detailed proposals as the plan evolves, so we are not proposing any sites for development at this point. Therefore the council is inviting views from residents, businesses, parish councils, community groups, and from anyone with an interest in the district, including those living or working in the South Downs National Park, about what is important to them. The new Local Plan will help shape future development in our city, market towns, villages and countryside so we are seeking comments from as many people as possible which will feed into the plan making process.  

The Local Plan will cover nine interlocking areas: 

  • Carbon Neutrality
  • Biodiversity and the Natural Environment
  • Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment
  • Homes for All
  • Creating a Vibrant Economy
  • Promoting Sustainable Transport and Active Travel
  • Living Well
  • Low Carbon Infrastructure and Local Plan Viability
  • Delivery and Success of the Local Plan

There will be an opportunity for everyone to comment on the Strategic Issues & Priorities document and an Integrated Impact Assessment as part of this phase of consultation which launched on 15 February and will run to midnight on 12 April 2021. Alongside the consultation there will be a ‘Call for sites’ for brownfield land, sites for housing, self-build/custom build, gypsy and travellers, employment, renewable energy generation, biodiversity offsetting, carbon offsetting, nutrient offsetting and green infrastructure. This is to make sure we have the most up-date information about the availability land for development when we move on to the next stage of developing the new Local Plan, which will involve identifying sites for development, having considered all the feedback received from the Strategic Issues and Priorities consultation.

Anyone without access to the internet who would like to have the information in hard copy can call 01962 848 508 and the document will be sent to them in the post. There will also be announcements on Wave FM about the Local Plan consultation and posters will be displayed at a wide range of locations across the district.  

Cllr Jackie Porter, Cabinet Member for Built Environment and Wellbeing, said:

“The importance of this early stage in the development of our new Local Plan for everyone who works and lives in the district, as well as anyone that visits Winchester, our market towns and countryside, cannot be over stated. The way we live our lives, travel, work and enjoy our spare time are all influenced by the environment and the Local Plan will be part of shaping this for the future, as well as helping us tackle the climate emergency . We are dedicated to making this the very best environment for everyone with an interest in Winchester district.

I really hope people will take the time to help shape the future of the district by sending their comments to us.”