The Localism Act 2011 introduced a new type of Community Led Plan. Communities now have the right to produce a Neighbourhood Plan, setting out policies on the development and use of land.

Developing a Neighbourhood Plan is a way for communities to play a greater role in determining the future of their area.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan is a new type of planning document which gives local people a much greater say in the future of their communities and if approved and adopted it will be a statutory document, meaning it has to be taken into account when planning applications are submitted either by individuals or developers.

A Neighbourhood Plan must reflect local needs and the final stage is a local referendum when local people who are entitled to vote get to say whether they agree with the Plan and want it to go ahead.

Why do we need a Neighbourhood Plan?

In 2006 Hart’s Local Plan which set out future development needs expired. The replacement Local Plan was criticized by the Inspectorate on various counts and is currently being rewritten. The new Local Plan when complete, will cover the period up until 2032.

The 2006 Local Plan contained specific policies which set out the nature and character of development and where it should occur. Hart’s response to current development proposals is still to quote these policies as the only ones available. However developers are arguing that these are now out of date. So we have the so-called ‘planning vacuum’ when developers have a free hand to build and councils, with central government encouraging building and development, have very little power to stop them.

In 2011 the Localism Act stated that local areas could, to an extent, determine their own futures through Neighbourhood Plans. Once ‘made’ through community referendum these documents would have statutory value and developers will be required to adhere to their policies.

Through Planning workshops we became aware of these Plans, and as a result the Hartley Wintney Neighbourhood Plan is now being developed.

We are not alone in this, our neighbouring parishes of Odiham, Winchfield, Blackwater, Dogmersfield, Rotherwick and Crookham Village, and Fleet Town Council are all at various stages of writing their own Neighbourhood Plans.

What goes into a Neighbourhood Plan?

The Plan must conform to strategic planning policy, which includes the plans currently being made by Hart District Council, so this will be taken into account by the Steering Group who will lead the process.

The Neighbourhood Plan will consider what sort of homes should be provided in and around Hartley Wintney in future and what sort of infrastructure should be put into place to support both new development and the existing community.

The Hartley Wintney Neighbourhood Plan will set out a vision for the future of the parish until 2032 and will consider issues including both development and the infrastructure needed to support it.

What is the overall process

The process that we are following is below. This will ensure that the final plan represents the views and input of the Hartley Wintney parish community. Click on the image to view it in more detail


The above is a high level summary of the Neighbourhood Plan process. For more detailed information click on the link below

Neighbourhood Planning