Deputation on Local Plan by Anne Skennerton
Section 2.43 references NPPF’s “sustainable development” as a key requirement for Havant Borough Council’s Local Plan so that it “fully contributes to all three pillars of sustainable development: economic, environmental and social.” With regard to Hayling’s 1000 new homes proposed together with hundreds of windfall developments to 2037, where is the employment on Hayling for the majority of those new home owners without the need for at least half of them to travel off Island? Hayling’s Regeneration plans don’t provide this solution on the Island. Regarding Hayling’s transport system, principally the A3023 and associated road network, that is essential for commuters and the much touted tourism revenue, the Council’s Hayling Island Transport Assessment 2020 has failed to resolve 2 fundamental issues for that road’s physical security and emergency access: the integrity of the supposed flood mitigation sites; proper routine access for emergency vehicles without using the Billy Trail which is a long-standing major attraction as pedestrian, cycling and horse-riding route. Equally important for truly sustainable transport for the 80-100 year planned lifetime of ‘sustainable’ new homes is, at this time of real climate change, the provision of a robust transport system that recognizes the Government’s requirement for safe cycling travel. The Council’s Transport Assessment’s roundabouts and traffic lights do not solve these shortfalls.
Under Water Quality EX1, the so-called nutrient neutrality proposal raises more questions than it solves. Whilst farming practices reducing nitrates have long been stringently monitored & radically reduced, it is disturbingly difficult to find any scientific, independent study of the nitrates we know result from every domestic dwelling, motorised transport and our roads.
Section 5.226 –7 propose developers’ payments to the Council paying, as compensation for the nitrates their building creates, for another location, currently Warblington Farm and Isle of Wight land supposedly providing nutrient neutrality for our surrounding waters. Can a distant nature reserve across the Solent compensate for the south coast’s loss of its own natural habitat, not intensively farmed, which will then be intensively built up with 1000s of individual homes and their cars? Will Warblington Farm’s loss as a traditional farm, providing local milk and farming employment be worth the short-term cash benefits to the Council?
What about the true environmental sustainability of Hayling’s new homes? Barratts’ proposed Sinah Lane Development promises homes’ restricted water use but these can & likely will be altered by homeowners. How do the individual homes’ emissions ratings stack up against the Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP 2012) for assessing buildings’ energy performance: where is the evidence of calculated emissions and running costs? Why are solar panels not fitted as standard, utilising Hayling’s solar energy and supporting the Island’s infrastructure? Only a fraction of the properties have a car charging point yet Government’s target for electric cars is 50% by 2030. Barratt’s own new home design is zero carbon from 2030 – this is well past the 2012 SAP. Are Hayling and Havant being short-changed?
Despite residents’ pressure for radical improvements by Southern Water to Budds Farm’s Wastewater Management, Hayling’s coastal seawater frequently contains high, unsafe faecal proportions. The Council’s expert Ricardo Review’s Executive Summary (June 15th 2020), states: “ New housing development... generating ...significant volumes of wastewater discharge .. is leading to continued and increased inputs of nitrogen and phosphorous into the wastewater treatment system and contributing via direct runoff....there is insufficient evidence to conclude with certainty that new housing development in the Budds Farm WwTW (Waste Water Treatment Works) catchment will not cause a deterioration in condition or hinder the improvement in condition of the designated sites.” It adds, the impact of new homes plus other existing factors on Budds Farm efficiency and ability to successfully manage nitrogen, could be exceeded somewhere between 2030 and 2036.
Therefore the HBLP to 2037 has not ensured this fundamental infrastructure provides for Havant’s housing developments.
In contrast, Sinah Lane Development land is not nutrient intensive. Its historic crop rotation and spontaneous function as a bird refuge reduced fertiliser and pesticides. Creating a bird refuge to compensate for development requires the same or similar crops annually, necessitating fertiliser and pesticides - increasing nutrient runoff into the harbour. Soil structure deteriorates with mono-cropping, worsening runoff. This water will drain (unmanaged) into Langstone Harbour, ancient drainage ditches and even the underground fresh water aquifers; unleashing decades of fertiliser and pesticide build-up into these important waterways, in conflict with HBLP policy.
HBLP does not meet NPPF and Government’s stated requirements for fundamental social and environmental sustainability – please send it back for further work.