Local Plan

Every local authority must by law prepare a development plan which must include strategic policies to address priorities for the development and use of land in its area.

We aim to make sure that all Winchester City Council’s planning policies, especially the Local Plan. satisfactorily addresses climate change. We track what is happening, monitor changes, interpret what they mean, produce briefings for the public to highlight the likely impact on climate change, respond from WinACC and encourage others to respond.

Winchester District Local Development Scheme was last updated in 2017. Download a copy from  http://www.winchester.gov.uk/planning-policy/local-development-scheme-2017

This Local Development Scheme includes all the previous Local Plans and many other important policies that are a legal framework for planning in Winchester district, such as:

  • Local Plan Part 1 – Joint Core Strategy
  • Local Plan Part 2 – Development Management and Allocations
  • Local Plan Review
  • Neighbourhood Plans
  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
  • Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)
  • Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs)
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal
  • Local Plan Programme 2017 – 2020 18
  • Local Plan Review 2006 Saved Policies

The Local Plan is a key part of the Local Development Scheme.  The Government requires Local Plans to be reviewed after 5 years. Winchester City Council started its review of its Local Plan in 2018.

The Council hopes to adopt the new Local Plan by the end of 2021. It will cover the period from then to 2036.

Leading up to 2021 two stages of public consultation will invite local people to influence the content and direction of the revised Local Plan. A preliminary, informal (not statutory) consultation was carried out in summer 2018. Our response can be read here. 

“Don’t just look at where to fit new homes in – think about what sort of place we want Winchester to be” was the message we gave Winchester City Council when it was first developing the Local Plan, and this remains just as true today.

Let’s build new homes in the best possible locations for the future of Winchester. We want Winchester town to continue to be a great place in which to live, work or visit, to grow up or grow old, and to enjoy ourselves. In other words, our vision is a sustainable Winchester. Before the Council writes its plan,  it needs to think about the bigger picture and the implications of the different possible sites for housing and other developments.

  • Will they mean even more traffic, or can people walk and cycle into town?
  • Which sites are closest to shops, leisure, work and public transport?
  • Which sites are realistic for developers, and will allow for 4 in 10 new homes to be “affordable”?
  • Which sites can provide open spaces for children to play, people to walk,  or other benefits for the community?

The starting point isn’t where we can fit in enough homes. It isn’t whether we build in the existing settlement area or outside. The starting point is: where do we build new homes to make Winchester an even better city?

Note: this is from an agreed previous policy statement

History – What we have we done so far?

We did a great deal to influence the Council as it was writing the current Local Plan parts 1 and 2.

Our response was informed by what local people told us at our public meeting. We said:

  • Local Plan Part 2 needs better detailed plans if it is to make a reality of the Local Plan Part 1 commitment to create a sustainable Winchester
  • developers’ profits and the need for more housing mustn’t outweigh the need for affordable housing
  • at Silver Hill,  the full range of facilities needed for all bus passengers need to be high quality and near the bus stops
  • the Plan should reflect the Winchester Town Access Plan aim to reduce the amount of traffic in Winchester city – and we suggest some detailed ways the Council could improve car parking
  • it is wrong for the Plan to rely on a consultants’ report on the future of the Winchester station area, when that report hasn’t been published or consulted on
  • the Plan should explicitly recognise that land is a finite resource which needs careful management
  • it should  encourage of the design of roofs to provide efficient orientation for solar power.

The consultation started back in 2010, when Winchester City Council asked people what type of place they want to live in not only now but in the future. “Looking ahead ten or even twenty years –  what kind of places do we want to live in?  How do we allow them to change?  What matters most as we look into the future at the social and economic issues that affect us?“

Our response was based on what was said by a large meeting in Winchester Guildhall convened by WinACC with the City of Winchester Trust and Winchester Area Community Action.

What happens next?

We will respond to the Council’s statutory consultations.

We will press for policies to be underpinned by the need to minimise impact on climate change.

We will hold the Council to account.

We will make sure that the Council complies with Government policy on climate change, as set out in Section 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – see page 144 at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/740441/National_Planning_Policy_Framework_web_accessible_version.pdf which says:

“Plans should take a proactive approach to mitigating and adapting to climate change  …New development should be planned for in ways that: a) avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change… and b) can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as through its location, orientation and design….  [and] help increase the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy and heat”


For more specific enquiries about sustainable planning, please contact WinACC via email at contactus@winacc.org.uk.  Please allow seven days for a response.

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