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2. The Key Issues

Based on what you told us when we launched the new Local Plan process in 2018, and the evidence we have been compiling since then, we believe there are nine key interlocking topic areas which the new Local Plan needs to address. Each of these nine issues is discussed more below.

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The 9 key areas of focus

1. Carbon Neutrality

The Government has made a commitment that will require the UK to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. At a local level, Winchester City Council has declared its own climate emergency and is committed to becoming a carbon neutral council by 2024. The ambition for the wider district is that it should become carbon neutral by 2030.

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Carbon Neutrality

2. Biodiversity and the natural environment

The district covers around 250 square miles of beautiful and diverse landscapes which support numerous important species. Around 40% of the district is within the South Downs National Park which has the highest landscape protection. The district covers a large and diverse area of wildlife habitats, including the Rivers Itchen and Meon, the Forest of Bere and the estuary of the River Hamble - some of which are internationally protected sites.

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Biodiversity and the natural environment

3. Conserving and enhancing the historic environment

There is a rich wealth of historic assets in the district (designated and undesignated) including over 100 Scheduled Monuments, 2,267 listed buildings, 110 Scheduled Ancient Monuments, 11 historic parks and gardens and 37 Conservation Areas. These heritage assets contribute towards the character, diversity and distinctiveness of the district.

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Conserving and enhancing the historic environment

4. Homes for all

The Government wants to boost the supply and delivery of new homes and has introduced a ‘Standard Methodology’ which sets the housing requirement for Winchester District. The number of ‘dwellings’ required (this term covers houses, flats and specialist accommodation) is one of the most important and controversial issues that Local Plans deal with.

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Homes for all

5. Creating a vibrant economy

Winchester District has historically had a strong economy with low unemployment. Winchester town centre is a vibrant retail and commercial centre, with a growing leisure and tourism economy. Large numbers of people are employed in major office areas, in particular around Winchester town and in the southern part of the district around the M27 at Whiteley.

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Creating a vibrant economy

6. Promoting sustainable transport

Transport is one of the highest sources of carbon emissions in the district. The Council has set ambitious targets for carbon neutrality as a Council by 2024 and as a district by 2030. Therefore promoting sustainable and active transport (public transport, cycling and walking) is a key objective of the new Local Plan.

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Promoting sustainable transport

7. Living well

The ‘Living Well’ topic of our Local Plan is about creating places where people want to live, and ensuring those places do as much as possible to support our health and wellbeing and reduce inequality. The places we build today, will influence the health and wellbeing of our residents in the future.

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Living well

8. Low carbon infrastructure and local plan viability

It is important that we plan for our infrastructure needs over the life of the new Local Plan (up to 2038). ‘Infrastructure’, in this context, includes three main categories: • Physical Infrastructure • Green and Historic Infrastructure • Social and Community Infrastructure

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Low carbon infrastructure and local plan viability

9. Delivery and success of the local plan

Monitoring the Local Plan is important to ensure that the policies are working efficiently and development targets are being met.

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Delivery and success of the local plan

The STRATEGIC ISSUES & PRIORITIES DOCUMENT

Read the full document

From the 1st April 2020, Winchester City Council’s operational buildings will be supplied by electricity provided by sustainable sources – reducing our carbon emissions by 15%

3. Discover your area

The interactive map on the next page enables you to see how the new Local Plan will influence your local area of the district.

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