Planning Update Delays
As a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, the United Kingdom entered a nationwide lockdown on the 23rd of March 2020. This meant that all non-essential services were required to either close or work remotely where possible. This resulted in a number of local authority services being suspended.
With the current easing of the lockdown, we can confirm that our planning team in the UK are engaging with all the relevant authorities to ascertain the progress of all our sites.
We are treating this as a matter of urgency and we hope to have some updates to share with you in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Lindford, Hampshire, UK
The site lies on the northern edge of the village of Lindford, in East Hampshire. It extends to just under 2.5 hectares of open countryside. The village lies approximately 1 mile north of Boden, 7 miles east of Alton and 8-10 miles south of the larger towns of Farnham and Aldershot. The village has good highway connections, with the A325 providing access to the A31 to the north and the A3 to the south. The nearest railway station is in the town of Liphock, approximately 4 miles to the south east of the village.
The village of Lindford is home to around 2,700 residents. It is part of a collection of several small settlements inkling Borden, Headley and Whitehill. It has a range of services including a local shop, post office, dentist, hairdresser, church and village hall.
The site lies north of an existing residential area, with mature woodland to the north east and west. The site boundary is defied by the River Wey. The site appears to be free from any major physical constraints aside from an area of mature planting which bisects the site.
Our Planning Department Comments
- The vast majority of the site lies in Flood Zone 2, this is considered suitable for residential development that would not require compensation land but would require any residential units to be built a certain amount above the flood level. Access to the site will be via the neighbouring residential street. The site is however largely enclosed from the wider landscape and physically would appear to be a logical direction for growth.
- The National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework) sets out the presumption in favour of sustainable development. Paragraphs 14 and 49 in particular dictate that where a plan is out of date policies relating to the supply of housing should be considered out of date. In this case, given the recent appeal decision (ref APP/M1710/2226723) which concluded that East Hampshire does not have a deliverable five year land supply in place, the Core Strategy should be considered out of date, with a presumption in favour of sustainable development. The Council has not published an updated land supply report since the appeal decision, but given the defence of their position at the inquiry and the request to submit additional information to the Inspector, it is likely that they would still try to maintain they have a robust land supply position.
- Overall, the site is in an area identified for significant local growth. There can be no argument that in sustainability terms the site is in a good location with access to jobs, services and the wider transport network.
Latest Planning Update
The draft Local Plan that was originally planned for submission mid this year and timetabled for examination in September 2020 has unfortunately been delayed due to the nationwide lockdown in the UK but is scheduled to recommence imminently.
Our engagements with the LPA during hte course of Q2/3 this year has clarified the council's position that they strongly consider the site suitable for care provision, in particular a C2 care home and we are working with them to achieve this inclusion.
Complications of the Covid pandemic within the case home industry in the UK meant that the care home provider we were working with had to withdraw their assistance but we have had interest expressed from several other providers and we are currently firming this up with two parties in particular.
Promotion of our site for residential development will continue when the examination process commences as well as ongoing work preparing an application for C2 care home provision and we hope to have some feedback in early 2021.