By the time you are reading this, the Plan will have been submitted to Hart who will be undertaking another round of consultation before it goes to an Independent Examiner. In truth, there are one or two loose ends but hopefully these will not materially impede progress.

Space constraints prevented me from bringing to your attention in my previous update a number of recurring themes in our Parish consultations about the Plan:

• A maximum of 50 dwellings on a single development: This does seem a bit inconsequential given that the Plan recommends around 23 dwellings only. It does, however, lay down a marker and reflects the overwhelming wish expressed during our consultations to maintain the scale, style and setting of the Parish settlements and avoid any disproportionate developments. This has been incorporated as a Policy which gives it weight within the Neighbourhood Plan and in addition the aesthetics of any developments fall within the scope of the Design Guide.


• Nursing & Care Homes: It’s well documented that the number of older people in Hart is growing – it seems that the number of over-85s is growing faster than the over-65s. The Neighbourhood Plan recognises in principle the need for various types of accommodation for older people, including sheltered homes, extra care homes and nursing homes. On site facilities have the potential to mitigate the demand on local services.

• Affordable housing: this embraces accommodation for those born and bred in the village and who want to remain here in later life. A potential solution is a Rural Exception Scheme where a landowner provides land at below market value on the basis the land is used to build affordable homes for local people. Typically, these sites are small patches of agricultural land outside a village boundary that would not otherwise get planning permission for housing. There is, of course, a strict process that covers developments of this nature.

Chris Farrance
Chairman, Steering Group.