Deputation on Local Plan
Deputation by Mike Owens
to Havant Borough Council’s Extraordinary Meeting 9th Sept 2020
The Local Plan is required to demonstrate a cogent response to the NPPF’s demands for adequate infrastructure to support any development ambitions in a sustainable way. The Local plan is also required to fully consider the best interests of residents in a way that does not adversely affect their community. The government expects exacting community consultation.
For Hayling Island, the Local Plan has abjectly failed to fulfil any of the above requirements and therefore is unsatisfactory and not fit for purpose. There are several demonstrable fundamental flaws; I will concentrate on just a few as these really do demonstrate high concentrations of myopic ineptitude as applied to Hayling Island.
The council has also failed to recognise and address the uniqueness of Hayling in its Local Plan.
The Transport Assessment (TA) is supposed to demonstrate that the road network could be reasonably/economically modified to meet the future transport infrastructure demands of proposed development. It fundamentally cannot do this...
The council’s TA has abjectly failed to recognise or account for...
1. The A3023 arterial road is already beyond its design limit.
2. The longevity or current condition of the bridge which is not considered at all.
3. The clear fact that the bridge is the bottleneck of our arterial road
4. The effects of all windfall development on road infrastructure loading - council has failed to consider around 1000 windfall homes!
5. The fact that the island population increases by 25% in the summer
6. The micro-simulation modelling was fundamentally flawed and cannot demonstrate a data-driven benefit to residents. A3023 Flow/capacity limits are still not determined.
7. The Hayling Island Infrastructure Advisory Group (HIIAG) has, for three years, presented credible and highly detailed arguments as to why the TA is flawed. The Satchwell amendment clearly demonstrated that the TA was flawed/unacceptable to full council; and the TA, even at this late stage, has “still” not been modified to appease the amendment. The TA was subsequently put before the scrutiny board by councillors; Councillor Pike dismissed the Scrutiny Board and HIIAG’s objections & bulldozed through the TA unchallenged/unscrutinised. The constitutional instrument of the scrutiny board was effectively bypassed/dismissed by Councillor Pike. This IMHO is not constitutionally sound and frankly shocking behaviour!
The Council’s response to clear and unequivocal evidence that the island’s road cannot support such high levels of development was the “prettification” (window dressing) of several junctions. The council’s assessments do not demonstrate any net improved journey times to/from Havant! The council deliberately obfuscated the fundamental issue of the bridge bottleneck with pointless, expensive and conveniently “distracting” junction modifications.
Perhaps worse, the council machine has been delinquent in ensuring the TA has been subjected to appropriate public and constitutional scrutiny.
Living on an island presents us with obvious challenges from the sea. The NPPF requires any planned development to be protected from flooding for its lifetime (defined as 100 years); the Local Plan does not consider this!
The Local Plan is not informed whatsoever by any current flood and erosion risk strategy. Moreover, the “guiding-light” of a coastal strategy is not due for another 2 years having been commissioned just months ago!
And yet the Local Plan does not consider…
1. Effects of global warming and the 1.4m increase in sea level
2. Viability to defend the bridge and several places on the island where roads are just 1-2m above today's high tides.
3. 50% of Hayling will be submerged or subject to serious and frequent coastal flooding including the bridge
4. Seafront Regeneration sites will be clearly seriously threatened by coastal flooding and erosion
How can the council effectively plan without this information?
Most of the borough’s 126,000 toilet users’ processed, or often unprocessed, human waste gets dumped into Langstone Harbour. As a consequence, the Warblington Farm nitrate credit scheme benefits only the waters of Chichester Harbour and will inevitably make Langstone Harbour far more polluted than it is now! This is clearly misguided; Nitrate credit schemes must offset the pollution locally and not benefit some other place!
I am satisfied that this deputation will be put in front of the Secretary of State’s appointed inspector.
The local plan must not proceed blindfolded with zero input from coastal strategy and an incompetent TA.
I urge Councillors to DELAY the Local Plan’s publication until such times as it is properly informed by a
· Competent TA,
· Published coastal flooding and erosion strategy,
· Credible nitrate credit scheme that benefits the currently polluted spaces.