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At CPRE Hampshire we spend much of our time responding to demands for housing numbers beyond what is needed locally. But one aspect that we have been pursuing recently is the provision of affordable housing in rural communities.

The Issues

The main issues that concern us are:

  • The former South East Plan called for 33,000 additional homes per year to be built in the South East (6,685 in Hampshire). This increases road traffic and congestion, and puts more strain on water sources, in an area where this could cause supply problems in future.
  • There is always pressure from developers to build on lower cost 'greenfield' sites, thus putting more of our countryside at risk; PPS (Planning Policy Strategy) 3, for example, is a policy which overturned the previous PPG3 guidance that severely restricted development on greenfield sites in the countryside.
  • Particular proposals for large scale developments, including the proposed Bordon-Whitehill 'eco-town' and a proposal for 2,300 dwellings at Barton Farm, Winchester.
  • The need to provide affordable housing in rural communities.

Our Position

We are not opposed to house-building per se. Indeed, we supported a large part of the proposals in the South East Plan as it was based on a carefully structured plan, which attempted to take into account environmental constraints and quality of life. In summary, we:

  • Recognise the need to create more affordable housing, especially in rural communities.
  • Encourage good design, commensurate with local character.
  • Support better use of existing land, particularly on brownfield sites and high housing densities in urban areas (the development at Petersfield is a good example of increased density and improved quality).
  • Expect future housing provision to be sustainable, with high levels of energy and water efficiency.

What We Are Doing

Among our recent and current activities are:

  • Promoting the CPRE guide How To Respond to a Planning Application (PDF 657Kb)
  • Katherine Snell, a student who did a placement with us in 2009, has written a booklet Guidelines on Sustaining Thatched Roofs (PDF: 2.4Mb).
  • A carefully considered and thoughtful response to the new housing proposals in the South East Plan - read our response.
  • Actively following proposals for the Bordon-Whitehill 'eco-town', to make sure the new development does not harm the surrounding countryside and villages - see Whitehill, Bordon - An Eco-town?
  • Highlighting the encroachment of housing close to the Thames Basin Heaths SPA (Special Protection Area) - see Hugh Sheppard's article in The Odiham Society Journal (March 2007).
  • Encouraging local communities to build a few homes for rent or shared ownership on an 'exception site' in rural communities - see Chris Griffin's article The Need for Affordable Housing in Hampshire

This page last updated 12th April 2011.

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