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New Local Plan moves forward: draft Regulation 18 plan for public consultation

Winchester City Council is moving to the next stage of producing its new Local Plan which will shape development across the district (for areas outside the South Downs National Park) for the period up to 2039. Following feedback from stakeholders and communities across the Winchester district, the council is about to publish the draft Regulation 18 Local Plan for public consultation. The feedback from consultation has been fundamental in shaping the plan to date and will be equally important into the next stages.

The draft document reflects a significant change from previous plans in that it addresses major challenges including:

  • Responding to the climate emergency, setting the highest possible standards for environmental design for homes and making it attractive, safe and easy to walk, cycle and use other low carbon methods of transport
  • Affordable housing – recognising it’s more difficult for all ages (especially younger generations) to find homes they can afford, for the first time, the plan replaces an ‘expectation’ for affordable housing that was too often missed, with a minimum requirement that developers have to achieve
  • A ‘brownfield site first’ approach across the district.  All sites put forward in the plan have been assessed to have the best sustainability and have the least environmental impact on the district. 90% of sites submitted by developers have not been included.

The draft plan looks to ensure the district remains an attractive and successful place which caters for the needs of the district’s economy and communities, whilst protecting the rich heritage, biodiversity and landscape. The draft Regulation 18 Plan builds on last year’s consultation on the Strategic Issues and Priorities document. The city council received over 2,200 responses which have been crucial to informing and shaping the draft plan.

Cllr Jackie Porter, Cabinet Member for Place and the Local Plan said:

“We’re really grateful for the input people have given so far. It’s helped make the draft plan better.  It’s also helped us tackle three critical priorities – setting the highest environmental standards we can for housing and commercial development – making sure we have tougher standards for affordable housing that developers have to achieve – and going for brownfield first development to protect our countryside. We’re looking forward to hearing from residents to help us improve the plan still further.”

The draft plan will be discussed at a Scrutiny Committee and Local Plan Advisory Group meeting on Thursday 29 September 2022 in the King Charles meeting room in the Guildhall between 9:30am – 5pm. Members of the public are warmly welcomed to attend this meeting and anyone wishing to speak should register by 5pm on Monday 26 September. Members of the public are encouraged to email democracy@winchester.gov.uk or to call (01962) 848 264 to register to speak. More information can be found here: Agenda for The Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 29th September, 2022, 9.30 am - Winchester City Council

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