Test Valley Group
Current issues: Major development area (Andover), local plan development, wind turbines, Romsey superstore.
Update (Spring 2013)
We are at risk from unscheduled development due to failure to have in place a new Local Plan. The first version failed to get the endorsement of the Planning Inspectorate and was withdrawn. We will argue strongly against any increase in the previous build rate, thus delivering a growth rate for the Borough in line with past trends and somewhat above the rate for the South East of England as a whole.
There have been a number of applications made, which we have regarded as damaging to the countryside without offering sufficient benefit to the community. These include:
- Proposals for a large Tesco 'out of town' store for Romsey. We argued that this would draw further business away from the town centre, exacerbating current trends.
- 64 houses above the wetlands at Oxleaze introducing a suburban development to an unspoilt stretch of country.
- Proposals for 14 400ft Wind Turbines on land in the north east quadrant between the A34 and the A303. Sited here the turbines would be highly obtrusive, very visible from much of the adjacent North Wessex Downs AONB and visible from much of that part of Test Valley. We are working with other CPRE groups affected and the Keep Hampshire Green Alliance.
We have organised a visit to Trinley Farm Estate Visit and a coach Trip to Avebury Manor - see events page.
Update (Spring 2012)
We have responded to Test Valley's Core Strategy which is the final consultation stage prior to the document being adopted by the Council as their Pre-Submission Core Strategy. We raised serious concerns over the continuing population decline in our villages and therefore the viability of many rural services, as well as the future of the borough's town centres. We believe that the plan should contain positive measures to encourage the vitality of the town centres and resist any further shift towards out-of-town or edge-of-town retail development. We also raised concerns about the implications of the awaited NPPF and how this should reflect with a future draft Core Strategy. Our full comments can be viewed elsewhere on this our website (see news item below and link on right).
We are also organising a coach trip to Tyntesfield National Trust Estate. Please see the events page for details.
Response to Test Valley Draft Core Strategy (February 2012)
We have recently responded to the Test Valley Borough Council Core Strategy Consultation. This sets out proposed locations for development until 2031 as well as planning policies and philosophies. Our response provides details of our support or opposition to various proposals. Particular concerns include the mix of housing types, the vitality of town centres, the viability of rural services and the critical state of water supply and discharge.
News (Spring 2011)
The radical changes being made to the planning system are delaying work in the Borough in developing its long term strategy. One consequence of the Government's decision to abolish regional housing targets has been the Borough's decision to reduce its new build housing targets by 10%. There are a number of strategic developments in the North of Test Valley; the major housing estates to the NE of Andover are rolling forward and anyone travelling along the A303 sees the huge impact of the CoOp 'megashed' site, which is far removed from the Andover Business Park which we originally accepted.
There have been a number of industrial scale solar power proposals. These developments are a direct response to financial incentives offered by Government towards its target of generating 15% of our energy from renewable sources by 2015. Our view is that we should urge use of brownfield land, otherwise we need to consider the quality of the immediate landscape, the visibility of the structures, the extent to which it might be impacted by existing developments and the extra infrastructure needed to link it to the National Grid.
The LDF in Test Valley has been put back because the Options Strategy that went through local consultation was rejected by the Planning Inspector after local enquiry. The announcements from the new Government have slowed the amended version of that Strategy which is now expected in the Autumn of 2010.
Earlier news for the predecessor group can be found in our newsletter archives.
This page last updated 14th May 2013.
For more information about the Test Valley Group please contact Moya Grove mgrove
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