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September Report Pre-Submission Local Plan

 Pre-Submission Local Plan- Public Comments
On the 25th July, at a Full Council meeting, a draft Local Plan (LP) up to 2029 was agreed.   Although it commanded a majority, the decision was by no means unanimous, with Councillors on all sides failing to support the plan for a number of reasons.
 As many will know the process has been subject to much delay mainly caused by attempts by some Councillors to exclude Manydown (proposed 3080 homes in this LP). Their actions and earlier Local Plan was ruled unlawful at Judicial Review, costing Council Tax Payers close to £1M.   Sadly, in the debates over the summer, some Councillors continued to press for more homes east of Basingstoke
SOLVE's goal has been to minimise development to the East of town which bore the brunt of major development over the last plan period and where there are already clear signs of over-development. In doing so we seek to protect the Loddon Valley and its eco-system for the enjoyment of all in Basingstoke.  At the start of the process we were concerned that 9,000 homes would be built across the Loddon Valley. For this Local Plan the recommended number is 1050. 900 homes at Pyotts Hill, (East of Chineham) and 150 at Redlands Farm (adjoining Pyotts Hill to the north). The larger areas around Lodge Farm and Poors Farm encircling Old Basing to the North and East are not featured in the plan. This does not mean they are safe from development, as current proposals open up a gateway to the Loddon Valley.
The next stage is the public consultation on the Local Plan, has just been announced (23rd August) on the Basingstoke and Deane Council website at:-
This gives us all one more chance to comment on all aspects of these weighty documents. Comments should be in by 4th October. Following that, the Plan has to be approved by the Planning Inspector, next spring. 
SOLVE will be working with CountryWatch on our submissions using professional support as necessary and will publish a summary on this website.  This may help some of our supporters with their own comments. Submissions to the public consultation should include any points you may wish the Inspector to see. It cannot be assumed that Inspectors will see everything that has gone before in this long process.  However, the Council are seeking comments on ‘Legality’ and ‘Soundness’ which is explained on the Council website.
Given the number of adverse comments and criticisms from the public and local pressure groups during the preparation, in particular infrastructure deficits, it is difficult to see how the plan will get past the Inspector without some modifications. Privately, some Councillors think the Inspector will reject the plan.
To donate to the SOLVE fighting fund click on “What can you do?”. 
Peter Bloyce, SOLVE
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