The Relationship between the Garden Community and Hart’s Local Plan

We are here to answer questions you might have about the Shapley Heath Garden Community project. If we haven’t answered your question here, please send it to us from our Contact us page

How does this work on the Garden Community fit in with the Local Plan?
Following guidance and advice from MHCLG (Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government) and Homes England, the Council, alongside the community, will consider how a Garden Community could evolve.
The information collected from this Garden Community project would be considered, alongside other potential development options in any future review of the Local Plan.
Why is brownfield land not being identified for new housing?

Hart District Council is promoting development on brownfield land. Look at the successful development at Hartland Village, the former Pyestock facility between Fleet and Farnborough, where 1,500 homes are being delivered.

Why are you exploring developing on green fields?

Whether we build a Garden Community or not, it is likely that we will need to build on green fields as there simply isn’t enough previously used/brownfield sites to deliver the homes that are needed in future years.

Many of Hart’s current developments are on green fields at the edge of our existing towns and villages, and several were built after the Council’s objections were overturned by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.

Please watch the video where Lord Taylor of Goss Moor explains this in more detail.

Watch the Video

The Local Plan has no policy for a new settlement, so why continue with a Garden Community?

Exploration under the Garden Community Programme does not commit the Council to deliver a Garden Community, and nor does it establish that permission will be granted for development.
MHCLG (and Homes England) have provided an opportunity to consider a new community, with full community involvement, under the Garden Communities Programme. Planning a Garden Community takes time, and this provides the Council the opportunity to undertake this work without pressure from speculative developments.

What about alternatives to a new settlement?

The Council will rigorously investigate all development options, including a Garden Village, as part of any Local Plan review.

The Government’s expectations of the number of houses each council must provide varies over time, so why continue with this project?

Garden communities are strategic projects that could provide a sustainable solution to meeting our long-term housing needs. The process we are currently undergoing does not commit the Council to deliver a Garden Community. It does, however, allow us to consider it, with full community involvement. If the project does go ahead, it will take many years to complete and could deliver much needed infrastructure like a new secondary school and local shops – something that is less likely to happen with housing developments on the edges of our existing towns and villages.

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