Since the adoption of the previous Local Plan, there has been a range of new evidence produced to support the development of the new plan (the evidence base). The council declared a climate emergency in 2019, work has taken place at a local level on a Winchester Town Vision, and local communities have commenced work on a number of neighbourhood development plans in Denmead, New Alresford and Hursley along with new and updated village design statements. In addition, economic change and uncertainty has taken place following Brexit and the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in changes to shopping and working patterns, and there is a requirement to consider and address nutrient pollution affecting nationally protected sites within and around the district at both a plan making stage and when determining planning applications.
The vision will be delivered by the application of the spatial objectives and policies across the plan area. These collectively will ensure that proper consideration is given to the impact of development on the environment, economy and society to achieve sustainable development.
The objectives have been developed from the previous adopted Plan, taking into account the revised vision set out above and relevant themes in the Council Plan.
The Local Plan Vision
Winchester District has unique natural, cultural and historic assets which means it is an attractive place to live work and visit. The challenges of changes to the environment, economy and lifestyles will be met in a positive manner. The natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural heritage will be enhanced. Key assets such as chalk streams and the setting of the national park will be protected.
New development will address the needs of the area and enhance the sustainability of communities, natural environment and the economy and respond to the wider relationship with neighbouring areas. The District will be better placed to adapt, be resilient to and mitigate climate change and help the council to address its climate emergency declaration through the introduction of energy efficiency standards to ensure that residential development is built to net-zero carbon. We are also promoting the concept of 15 minute neighbourhoods and active travel ensuring that development is connected to public transport, rights of ways and cycleways.
Development in the area will be delivered in a way which achieves the following outcomes –
- The County Town of Winchester will continue to be the cultural and economic centre of the district with a significant range of services, facilities and employment, and as such will be a centre for growth. The high-quality environment will attract a range of new uses as the role of the town evolves. The visitor and tourism economy, and creative and education sectors will be increasingly important. Regeneration will make the best use of previously developed land, which will be delivered while protecting and enhancing the character and the wealth of historic assets.
- Areas in the south including Whiteley and West of Waterlooville, including Newalnds, will continue to grow forming part of the wider south Hampshire economy. Significant housing and employment development will be delivered while protecting and enhancing natural assets. Physical and social infrastructure will be provided to reinforce and maintain a strong sense of community and identity.
- The market towns and rural villages will remain attractive settlements, accommodating changes to support evolving communities and the economy, with modest growth to meet their needs underpinning the resilience of local services and facilities whilst retaining their individual identity, historic assets and rural character.
Tackling the climate emergency and creating a greener district
i. In recognition that there is a climate emergency, which sits at the heart of the Regulation 18 Local Plan, Energy efficiency standards that have been developed by the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) are embedded in policy. The inclusion of these energy efficient standards will ensure that most new residential developments permitted under the plan are built to be net-zero carbon.
ii. Maximise the use of land as a resource which is needed to accommodate growth through the promotion and prioritisation of brownfield land, making best and most efficient use of available land which is suitable for development, and achieve high quality design which makes a positive contribution to the public realm.
iii. Maintain and enhance Winchester District’s valuable environments including both the urban and rural areas as well as the built and natural environments and improve wildlife assets through the Biodiversity Action Plan.
iv. Ensure that development is designed to provide biodiversity net gain, and does not have an adverse impact on landscape character and historic environment and the unique and special characteristics of the South Downs National Park.
v. Provide, protect and enhance blue/ green infrastructure to include open spaces, green links and wildlife corridors with support from the Biodiversity Action Plan.
vi. Mitigate and protect the area from the impacts of, and adapt to the effects of the climate emergency, by promoting design, lifestyle and business to reduce carbon emissions, promote recycling and minimise waste.
vii. Maximise the use of low carbon infrastructure and construction methods and drainage systems and encourage the use of locally sourced materials, to protect the integrity of the natural systems and resources.
i. Promote health by improving air quality, increasing opportunities for walking and cycling and enhancing access to outdoor recreation and the natural environment.
ii. Delivering inclusive communities with a range of services and infrastructure in sustainable neighbourhoods, including community infrastructure, blue/green1 infrastructure and employment.
iii. Supporting measures which encourage sustainable and active transport and minimising the need to use the private car to travel.
Homes for all
iv. Delivering high quality and adaptable new housing to meet local needs, including a range of sizes, types of residential accommodation and tenures.
Vibrant local economy
v. Ensuring the economy is able to grow and respond positively to legacy of COVID-19 and other challenges by accommodating changing business needs and opportunities, including supporting agriculture and other rural businesses, growing the visitor and tourism economy the food and drink and creative and education sectors.
vi. Identify sufficient sites and premises to meet business needs and support the delivery of the infrastructure required to support it, including transport and fibre broadband.
vii. Supporting the cultural, visitor and tourism economy, including links and access to destinations including Winchester City and the South Downs National Park.
viii.Support green growth, including the low-carbon economy through encouraging energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
Regulation 18 Consultation Plan
Please use the following link to view the Regulation 18 draft Local Plan (pdf, 24.7mb)