The council has also declared a climate emergency and developed a Green Economic Development Strategy to create a greener, more sustainable and inclusive economy, in line with its ambition for the Winchester District to be carbon neutral by 2030.
There have been dramatic changes recently in the economy related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global and European economic situations. The effect of recent events are still evolving and there are likely to be further changes to the economy of the country and locally, which are as yet unknown.
Some shops and town centre uses have closed and working patterns have changed. In addition, there have been a number of changes to the planning system, which make it easier to switch between various town centre and business uses as well as government encouragement for residential development in town centres through changes to Permitted Development Rights.
With this background, it is vitally important that Local Plan policies are flexible to allow for the changes that may occur and support a green and robust economy.
Why is it important for our Local Plan to deal with this?
Economic prosperity and supporting the needs of the local economy so that it can continue to be competitive whilst moving towards a lower carbon economy, is seen as a key issue for the Local Plan.
The Local Plan therefore has an extremely important role in ensuring a suitable amount of land and premises are available for economic development and by having policies with sufficient flexibility to accommodate the needs of a changing economy.
This includes helping to support and promote and sustain the viability and vitality of town centre it also needs to create the conditions where businesses can invest, expand and adapt.
What evidence have we commissioned?
Various key evidence studies have been undertaken in relation to economic issues:
- Employment Land Study (April 2020)
- Retail, Leisure and Town Centre Uses Study (August 2020)
Creating a Vibrant Economy Topic
Please find a link to the Creating a Vibrant Economy topic here. (pdf, 1.2mb)
The full Regulation 18 draft Local Plan can be viewed in the box below.
Regulation 18 Consultation Plan (full document)
Please find the link to the Regulation 18 draft Local Plan (pdf, 24.7mb)