Housing Outside Settlement Boundaries – Supplementary Planning Document ( SPD)

Note from the parish chair…
Let me try to reassure you: in fact apart from one typo (where Lower Wield is not named)  Wield is well served by this document.
  • The impetus behind this EHDC paper is a requirement to deliver increased housing stock. Whilst the preferred option is clearly that development takes place with existing settlement areas, the paper outlines the circumstances in which housing development locations beyond existing  settlement boundaries could be considered.
  • Current guidance on approval of applications for housing outside settlement boundaries is based on 4 key (and rigid) tests.
  • The document under review (SPD) is an attempt by EHDC to clarify and expand the level of evidence that would be required to accompany an  “out of area” planning application. In addition, the SPD also lists key criteria to be met – including,  crucially, “ support by the local community”.
  • Finally, the SPD refers to a “ settlement hierarchy “ which has been created with 6 categories of settlements, ranging from those well served by facilities and services ( the highest category) to those with only limited or no access. The higher categories are considered more suitable for development. As Upper Wield ( it is presumed that “Upper Wield” includes Lower Wield: this is being verified with “Wield” being suggested ) falls into the lowest category, it seems reasonable to suppose that there is unlikely to be a housing allocation requirement for our village.
I believe that the SPD is a helpful document ( but remember is still only a draft)  in which with regard to any imposed housing allocation, EHDC are trying to develop a realistic  and pragmatic process which aligns local wishes, concerns and access ( or not) to facilities with planning requirements and housing construction obligation legislation.
Alwin Hutchinson