Answers to some of the most asked questions are provided to help residents choose how to vote in the Referendum to be held on Thursday 14th September. These have been complied by the Town Council and its Neighbourhood Plan team.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
What is the Whitchurch Neighbourhood Development Plan (WNDP)?
It is a way of steering planning decisions based on local views. It would oblige Basingstoke Council to stick to Whitchurch policies. If accepted it will be valid until 2029.
After four years of work & consultation the WNDP is ready for you to vote upon
WHITCHURCH NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
If accepted, does the Neighbourhood Plan protect Whitchurch from unsuitable development?
Yes. It strengthens the case against major developments that are not in the Plan and gives protection against shortfalls in the Borough increasing the Whitchurch allocation. It also enhances the Whitchurch Design Statement so that we get homes in keeping with the town.
If not accepted, Basingstoke Council will decide where the houses go based on the Basingstoke Local Plan.
Why do we need to vote on it?
This is your final chance to say whether you want the WNDP. It would only come into force if you vote to accept it.
What will the difference be between accepting it and rejecting it?
The two larger developments in the Plan now have planning permission and therefore will go ahead regardless of the referendum outcome. If the Plan is rejected at referendum future planning decisions will be made by Basingstoke Council without reference to the Plan or the policies which control future development it contains.
There are a lot of policies to address local issues, please read it before deciding. They’re based on your input and will not come into force if you reject the Neighbourhood Plan.
Where will housing development go?
Basingstoke Council originally allocated 350 homes to Whitchurch. The two medium sized developments totalling 194 that were on the most popular sites have been given planning permission: East of Winchester Road and North West Whitchurch. The development South of Bloswood Lane now being built was decided by Basingstoke Council before the Neighbourhood Plan.
What about heavy traffic?
HGVs leaving the proposed business development on North West Whitchurch will be forced to leave to the North. The WNDP would force developers to prove minor impact or fix the problem.
Will it generate jobs?
People asked for business to grow with the town, business units on the North West Whitchurch site will allow that.
What about affordable homes?
40% of the homes on the medium developments must be affordable, the first become available in Spring 2018. They will be prioritised for local people.
When will the new sports pitches be completed?
The developer says Winter 2018.
Will we get a Station Car Park?
The North West Whitchurch site will provide 70 parking spaces to the south of the railway and an access to the Station.
Why has it taken a long time?
It was synchronised with the Basingstoke Local Plan, approved last summer.
Will there be development north of the Railway?
The Basingstoke Plan allows for a Station Car Park to be built north of the railway. No other development is supported there.
What money comes with developments?
If the WNDP is accepted, Whitchurch Town Council receives 25% of the developer’s contribution to the Community Infrastructure Levy.
If the WNDP is rejected, the Town Council may receive only 15%
If anyone has any further questions please forward them and we will try and provide an answer.