In 2024, it seems crazy that all over the UK, new homes are still being built with gas boilers. These brand-new houses will pump out greenhouse gases and cost their new owners thousands of pounds to retrofit.
So, it is very good news that EHDC’s new draft Local Plan wants any new homes built in East Hants to be heated without the on-site use of fossil fuels.
As residents, we can show that we support policies like this and that we want a climate-resilient Local Plan.
Comment on the draft Local Plan consultation until 4 March here.
Please set aside some time to send in your comments. The more of us that write in to support a climate-resilient Local Plan, the stronger the case for the Government’s planning inspectors to sign it off.
PeCAN trustees have reviewed the draft Local Plan. We think it contains many strong policies concerning climate and nature and we hope to see these adopted, although there are still some gaps to fill.
Some standout features include that new homes should be built to a much higher energy efficiency standard and should produce the same amount of renewable energy as they use.
We also support the main aims of the nature section, for example, its presumption against development in the countryside; its recognition of our legally protected sites and landscapes; the important role for Natural England; of the value of our natural environment and the need to look after our natural resources, soil and water in particular.
However, we found some anomalies, possible omissions and potential “loopholes” and have made some suggestions as to how these can be addressed.
Download the full set of PeCAN’s comments here.
Please note we have only responded to the sections relevant for climate and nature, which includes the build environment and transport.
What is covered
The draft East Hants Local Plan identifies sites for about 3,500 new homes, on top of 6,225 already completed or approved, for the period 2019 to 2040.
The plan also sets out policies for how these new homes, as well as non-residential buildings and renovations should be built, taking into account their location, energy efficiency, transport connections, impact on the natural environment, mix of tenure, impact on communities, and many other things.
If the plan is adopted in late 2025, as EHDC hopes, it will become the main planning document for developments in East Hants outside the National Park.
Petersfield is inside the National Park and so not covered by this document. But it will be affected by it. The South Downs National Park Authority is updating its Local Plan, which covers Petersfield, right now. It will be influenced by the East Hants document so it is important to show support for a strong East Hants plan. The first public consultation on the new SDNPA Local Plan is expected in early 2025 – so you can use your comments twice!
Responding to the consultation
The draft East Hants Local Plan is divided into 12 sections, with supporting documents, all available at the link above. You can read the sections individually or as a single document, they are all searchable. There is also a short version called “Local Plan Made Easy” which is a good place to start and get oriented.
Each section can all be found on its own “tile” on the consultation page. To make a comment, click on a tile and scroll down to the questions. This is a substantial document so you would need to set aside some time to read and comment.
You can also respond to other people's comments with a thumbs up or a thumbs down. We've included the word "PeCAN" in all our responses so you find them easily, just in case you want to give any of them a thumbs up :-)
Remember the deadline to respond is 4 March 2024!