A PLAN to determine future applications for planning permission across Hart has formally been adopted by the District Council.

The Hart Local Plan 2032 sets out a number of criteria that will help the council to decide whether planning permission should be granted in future applications.

It was approved by the planning inspector in February, who concluded that it provided “an appropriate basis” for the planning of the district, being rubber-stamped by the council last night (April 30) in its first ever ‘virtual meeting’, held on Microsoft Teams.

There had been concerns and confusion during its development regarding the potential for the new Shapley Heath settlement near Winchfield.

However, the policy relating to that development was removed from the plan by the inspector, meaning that any decision on the new settlement “would need to be fully considered and evidenced in a future review of the Plan or a subsequent DPD [Development Plan Document]”.

Speaking after the adoption of the plan, Councillor Graham Cockarill, Cabinet member for Place, said: “Our Plan means that as a Council we have the power to shape and manage the delivery of new homes and economic growth in accordance with our vision for Hart to become the best place, community and environment to live, work and enjoy.

“It is a blueprint for meeting our community’s needs, improving the quality of life and putting in place the necessary infrastructure to support development. It will also protect our valued environment and the character of our towns and villages.”

Councillor David Neighbour, Leader of the Council, added: “This was adopted at our first virtual full council, demonstrating that the Council is still open for business as well as supporting residents and businesses during the current crisis.”