Monday's Cabinet Meeting approved the Draft Local Plan going to public consultation from January 8th to February 16th. Summary assessments of the proceedings and outcomes by HIRA's and WDRA's (Warblington & Denvilles Res Assocn) Committee members, who were present, are as follows:
* probably no more than 20 people attended in the much extended public gallery; but this may be because of an unsuitable timing so close to Christmas plus the public's increasingly jaundiced perception of a 'fait accompli'.
* Langstone Res Assocn's David Pattenden and Save Our Island's Dave Parham were 2 of the 4 Deputations, and both addressed the A3023 limitations for any further development and certainly on the scale proposed by the Draft Local Plan. Dave Parham's referred to a "doubling of housing allocation to 1000 units from the previous revision" and the proposed major expansion of the Tech Park and Hayling seafront to attract tourism on an already overstretched road network.
* The Transport Assessment, an integral part of the Evidence Base, will not be completed until at least February, perhaps end of March 2018, and consequently how can public consultation be effective? The Council's response was that any delay in consultation risks speculative and uncontrolled development plus the 2018 election period prevents other political activity. Whilst there may be a second public consultation on the pre-submission Draft Local Plan the scope for comment may be severely reduced at this stage, so the public is not being provided with the full and necessary transport assessment.
* Further questions asked included a) how could gaps beween settlements be maintained and Andrew Biltcliffe (Chief Planning Officer) replied by good quality planning b) forward funding for infrastructure being made on the basis of the future number of people rather than the current number - apparently positive planning will the driver on this c) the paucity of funding for the perceived increase in older people care but this was not satisfactorily answered d) the means of publicising the consultation which will be by social media, press, exhibitions.
* The 2 chief Planning Officers stated that Alan Mak MP will take to the Government that residents and the Council are behind the Draft Local Plan.