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Test Valley

Autumn/Winter 2018

Latest update from our district group in the Test Valley. This update was produced for our twice yearly newsletter, Hampshire Views. Please check the rest of the News section of the website for more recent updates.

Although Test Valley’s Local Plan was only formally adopted in 2016, the borough council is already thinking about its successor and, to this end, has published an “Issues and Options” paper. This paper discusses a wide variety of land use matters and poses 46 questions, about different options, to which the public have been invited to respond and we shall of course be putting forward CPRE’s views.

The amount of future housing development is largely going to be determined by government planning rules which stipulate the formula to be used to determine the borough’s housing requirement. In the case of Test Valley, this will result in a number of houses that is about 40% above official house-hold projections for the area.

One of the more contentious issues raised in Issues and Options is how to distribute the new housing, with the choice being between putting the vast majority of it on the periphery of Andover and Romsey, or whether a significant proportion should also be distributed amongst the rural parishes.

Your committee believes that the future of rural villages needs to be considered from the point of view of the social and economic health of the villages themselves with their great strengths of social cohesion. So whereas parishes should be encouraged to think about the amount and type of development they might need to retain a viable community with thriving societies and institutions, there should not be any element of compulsion. Planning policy should not view villages primarily as a potential repository for meeting housing targets out of scale with the needs of the village.

Despite representations by CPRE and many parish councils, Goodman’s appeal against the HGV routing restrictions from part of Andover Business Park was upheld. However, the inspector ruled that the ban on HGVs (to/from the Business Park) should be maintained on the A343 north of Andover and on the A3057 south of Andover. It is not currently clear how the ban will be monitored or enforced.

The remarkable weather over the summer has posed a number of problems for the countryside. It remains to be seen how much long term impact the intense tourist activity has had on riverside sites, and what the impact will be on farming.

John Moon, Acting Chairman, Test Valley District Group – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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