The EHDC Joint Core Strategy local plan was adopted in May 2014 and new Government legislation requires local plans to be reviewed at least every 5 years, so the current local plan – the Joint Core Strategy – will become out-of-date in May 2019. To try and meet that deadline the council has prepared a draft version of the proposed new local plan and the first public consultation phase on this begins tomorrow, Tuesday 5th February with a drop-in session at Ropley Village Hall, starting at 3.30pm until 8.30pm. If you cannot make this meeting, there are nine other drop-in sessions scheduled around the district including two in Alton and one in Four Marks – please see the attached flyer for details.
There will be display panels outlining the main features of the new plan, including the proposed infrastructure and housing allocations covering the period up to 2036. There will also be a number of EHDC Planning Policy officers present to help you understand the proposals, answer your questions and listen to your feedback.
As the new Local Plan together with the Ropley Neighbourhood Plan will dictate the direction of development in the parish for the next 15 to 20 years it is really important that you come along and see the proposals, and give your views so that you can shape the plan to meet your family’s needs.
Some parishioners have asked about the interaction between the Neighbourhood Plan and this new Local Plan, and whether the new Local Plan renders the Neighbourhood Plan obsolete. The new Local Plan will cover the areas of East Hampshire outside of the SDNP, and is currently expected to be adopted during the second half of 2020, while the Ropley Neighbourhood Plan is expected to be adopted (“made”) during the second half of 2019.
All Neighbourhood Plans integrate with their Local Plan to provide a finer level of detail as well as specific local policies, and the Ropley Neighbourhood Plan is written to integrate with the existing Joint Core Strategy. Once the new Local Plan is adopted it will have supremacy over the Ropley Neighbourhood Plan in policy areas where there is a conflict, but in areas where the new Local Plan is silent – for example Local Green Spaces – or where the Neighbourhood and Local Plans are aligned, then the Neighbourhood Plan will retain its influence on local planning decisions.
The Neighbourhood Plan will need to be reviewed to be conformant with the Government’s new review requirement, as well as with the new Local Plan, but that work is unlikely to take place before 2021, and should be much quicker than the current Neighbourhood Plan has been as much of the policy development work will not need to be repeated.
Please come along tomorrow and see what the draft Local plan contains for Ropley and the rest of the District!