TEST Valley Borough Council's new draft local plan will go out to public consultation for eight weeks.

The local plan sets out the policies and principles that will guide development across the borough over the next 15 years. 

It covers the period to 2040 and pubic consultation will start on Tuesday February 6. 

New sites have been identified, through careful consideration of constraints, in order to reduce the risk of speculative planning applications on sites where development should be resisted.

Residents, business owners and visitors to Test Valley will be able to comment on the proposals in a number of ways, including in writing, by email and through an online survey.

Printed copies of the plan will be available at the council offices and libraries. 

READ MORE: Test Valley Borough Council local plan to go to public consultation

A number of drop-in sessions have been arranged, to discuss the proposals, at the following locations and times:
•    Abbotswood Community Centre, Romsey, on Tuesday February 20 from 3.30pm to 7pm;
•    Picket Twenty Sports Pavilion, Andover, on Monday February 26 from 3pm to 7pm;
•    Valley Park Community Centre on Wednesday February 28 from 3pm to 7pm;
•    Memorial Hall, Ludgershall, on Monday March 4 from 3pm to 7pm ;
•    Crosfield Annexe, Romsey, on Tuesday March 5 from 3pm to 7pm;
•    North Baddesley Village Hall on Saturday March 9 from 10am to 1pm;
•    The Guildhall, Andover, on Tuesday March 12 from 3pm to 7pm;
•    Nursling and Rownhams Village Hall on Wednesday March 13 from 3pm to 7pm;

Leader of the council, Phil North, said: “Producing a new local plan always includes very tough decisions – balancing the need for new homes, including affordable homes, with the impact those decisions will have on existing residents’ lives. Ultimately, though, we are required by central government to provide sites for 11,000 new dwellings across the borough by 2040. If we don’t, there is a huge risk of developers getting permission for speculative plans, which are unlikely to include the significant amount of new infrastructure we are demanding through the local plan process.

“I’m sure there will be strong views on this and I’m looking forward to hearing them as part of the public consultation process. This will enable us to take on board public comment and potentially reshape the plan before a final draft is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.”

Cllr Phil Bundy, cabinet member for planning and building, said: “This draft version of the new local plan is the product of detailed analysis of the issues faced by the communities within Test Valley, as well as several rounds of formal consultation, and as such reflects the views of a wide range stakeholders and residents. We’re now keen to hear the views of as many residents as possible and I’d encourage everyone to find out more and have your say.”

Full details of consultation events and the locations of printed information will be available at: testvalley.gov.uk/localplan2040.

Following the consultation period, which ends on April 2, comments will be considered and a final draft version of the plan will be taken to a full council meeting, before submitting to the Secretary of State for assessment. Once adopted, it will replace the existing plan for 2011 – 2029.