As part of the requirements set out in Policy SS5 – Neighbourhood Planning of the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan it is ‘necessary to identify sites/opportunities to deliver at least 10 homes within or adjacent to each of the settlements with a defined Settlement Policy Boundaries‘. North Waltham has been identified (Local Plan paragraph 4.66) as a settlement with a defined Settlement Policy Boundary and therefore through Neighbourhood Planning it is expected that North Waltham will have to meet the requirements set out above.

Call for Sites

As part of its work in assessing opportunities for future development and potential sites to bring forward to meet the requirements set out in Local Plan – Policy SS5, the Parish Council’s Plan Project Team issued a Call for Sites notice in August 2017 calling upon landowners and managers of land within the Parish of North Waltham for expressions of interest in applying for future development permission. This was an opportunity for landowners and developers to propose sites within the North Waltham Neighbourhood Plan area for development. This exercise did not itself decide whether a site would be allocated for development by the Neighbourhood Plan nor did it commit the proposer(s) to apply for planning permission, but the aim was to enable the committee to better understand which land within the Parish could be available for development.

Submitted Sites

Nine sites across the North Waltham Neighbourhood Plan Area were submitted through the Call for Sites described above, one of which the landowner subsequently withdrew from the process leaving eight. In addition to the sites submitted directly to the Neighbourhood Plan, there are six sites that were submitted to the Basingstoke and Dean local plan for assessment through SHELLA process and therefore should also be considered in the context of Neighbourhood Planning.

The map below shows the 14 sites that have been submitted to the North Waltham Neighbourhood Plan.

Site Assesment

Allocating sites is one of the most powerful, but also most controversial aspects of neighbourhood planning. it is therefore important that a robust process of site assessment is carried out on any sites submitted. Carrying out site assessment will provide evidence that any sites selected for potential development are the most appropriate – that they are in the most suitable location, they are in general conformity wi the strategic policies of the Basingstoke and Deane Local plan and that there is a good prospect that they will be developed. The aim is to determine which site(s) may be the most suitable for proposal for allocation in the neighbourhood plan and at the end of the process demonstrate to an independent examiner that the site(s) have been thoroughly and impartially assessed for suitability. It is hoped that in the end, the process will allow a ‘story to be told’ of how any site(s) were chosen for allocation, and why others were not. Demonstrating to the community and to landowners and developers, the basis on which the decisions were reached.

To secure the assessment of the sites submitted to North Waltham Neighbourhood Plan is robust and defensible it was felt that independent, objective technical advice was necessary. To achieve this Neighbourhood Plan Group, through MHNLG funding, have engaged Urban Vision Enterprise CIC to carry out the initial site apprisals on our behalf. This work was started in mid-October 2019 with result expected by the end of 2019.