New Alresford Town Council

The Local Plan Process

Needs Group Reports

This page contains a summary of the Local Plan Needs Groups reports prepared during the Spring of 2013.

The full reports can be found below.

New Alresford Town Council - Needs Summary Local Plan Part 2

Needs Re-assessment

Following intervention from a local resident WCC discovered that an error had been made in 2013 of its estimation of the population over the period to 2031, the end of the period addressed by the Local Plan.

In view of this error the Town Council has been exploring with members of the Needs Groups whether or not the groups need to be re-convened to review the impact of the revised population forecasts.

In all four cases the Needs Groups were re-convened and the final reports together with any interim meeting notes are published below.

Housing

Infrastructure

Employment

Recreation and Open Spaces

The original Needs Group reports, which were subject to review, are listed on the sidebar to the left.

Establishment of Needs Groups

Over the six year prior 2013 a plan for managing development and change within the whole of Winchester District, Local Plan Part 1 (LP1), evolved. The final version was adopted by Winchester City Council (WCC) in March 2013.

LP1 sets the framework for a more detailed plan, Local Plan Part 2 (LP2), which will highlight areas for development and tailor the general polices in LP1 to local circumstances.

This work is particularly crucial in New Alresford because the town is so small - about 1 sq. mile.  The town is required to accommodate about 500 new homes between 2011 and 2031, support economic and commercial growth, and retain and improve local shops and community facilities. At the same time we must maintain and enhance the special character of the town and its setting.

The City Council’s approach to this work was to invite the Town Council to work with its residents and businesses to identify the future ‘needs’ of the town in a document to be submitted to WCC by the end of May 2013.  These needs were to be used to assess the various sites offered for development, and the suitability of each site to meet these needs.

Well over 100 people worked in four ‘Needs Assessment Groups’: Infrastructure, Open Spaces, Housing, and Employment and the Local Economy.  Group meetings were held between February and April 2013 and consisted of elected town councillors, residents and business owners from the Town.

This paper is a summary of the reports produced by each group.

 

Space required is referred to in various parts of this paper in hectares (ha); one hectare is 10,000 square metres, i.e. 100m x 100m or 2.4 acres.

Infrastructure

The Group looked at the facilities and services in the town to determine what additions or improvements would be needed as the town develops to ensure that it supports the residents and economic community.

Education

Car parking in town centre

Services

Transport

Open Spaces

The Group investigated the provision of open space in the town against the standards established in LP1.  In considering how any identified needs might be met,  the Group recognised the serious impediments to acquiring that land for open space and protecting it for posterity.

According to the open space standards set in LP1, Alresford has an existing shortfall in Open Space of 15.37 ha.  Given planned population growth, the need in 2031 will be 20.37 ha.  It is expected that a significant proportion of this additional 5 ha will be provided as part of the development of the larger housing sites, and it will be necessary to identify land to meet the remainder of the needed land as part of the Strategic Housing Land Area Assessment (SHLAA).  Specific suggestions for satisfying the general requirement include:

Housing

The Winchester Local Plan Part 1 sets a housing requirement for Alresford of 500 additional dwellings in the period April 2011 until March 2031, of which some 79 have already been built or have planning permission.

The Local Plan requires that at least forty per cent of all new dwellings (roughly 170) should be affordable, either social rented or intermediate affordable.

It is projected that the average size of households will fall to just over 2 people per household during the plan period and that the numbers aged 75+ in the town could double over the next fifteen to twenty years.

In the light of evidence, the Group concluded that:

This equates to approximately the number of new houses shown below:


Number of
Bedrooms

Market
Housing

Affordable Housing

Overall
Total

Social Rented

Intermediate
(shared equity)

Total

1

40

20

10

30*

70

2

60

35

15

50*

110

3+ #

110

60

30

90

200

Sheltered

40

 

 

 

40

Total

250

 

 

170*

420

 

 

* Will also include sheltered housing

 

# Current assumptions are that only a small percentage will be four bedroom or more

Accommodation for the elderly has specific requirements and can be provided at a higher density than the equivalent sized general housing because of lower car parking requirements (especially if close to the town centre facilities) and smaller garden areas.

Although no specific sites were considered, the Group concluded that where redevelopment opportunities arise within or adjacent to the town centre, any scheme should achieve the highest density compatible with policies for conservation and enhancement in order to support the economic viability of the retail centre.

The present assumption is that no more than 56 dwellings can be provided on brownfield sites within the current settlement boundary. Sites beyond the current town centre should be developed at a density of 30 per ha.

If industry re-locates, that would provide significant brownfield sites close to the town centre, in an ideal position for higher density development.

Employment and the Local Economy

The Group has investigated the current employment opportunities in the town, including retail, tourism, professional, commercial and industrial. Currently some 38% of the existing population also works in Alresford, excluding teleworkers and home-based businesses (a further 9% or so).. Given the expected population growth over the plan period, opportunities would need to be provided for the creation of 200 or so additional jobs to maintain a similar proportion.  This will retain the characteristics of Alresford as a working market town.

It was concluded that:

Land Requirements

The approximate land requirements over the period to 2031 can be summarised as follows:


Housing *

14 ha

Commercial

3 ha

Open Space – new development

5 ha

Open Space – existing population

15 ha

Burial ground

5 ha

Total

39 ha

* Assuming 400 houses are to be built at a density of 30 houses per hectare beyond the town centre and at higher densities in the centre.

Landowners have already submitted various proposals to the City Council, the SHLAA sites, and these and any others that may seem appropriate will be objectively considered by Town and City Council with a view to devising the best possible plan for the town that not only meets the needs identified but respects the character of the town.