At Havant’s Planning Policy Committee on February 22nd, Emsworth Councillor Richard Kennett blew a couple of holes in an opportunistic manoeuvre by Land and Partners, the company that has submitted a planning application for 210 homes off Long Copse Lane. The Committee were discussing a Housing Delivery Position Statement, which explains how the Borough Council will respond to planning applications for new housing, following the withdrawal of the ‘emerging’ Local Plan. Land and Partners saw an opportunity to promote their application with a written deputation and three minutes to address the meeting. Fortunately Cllr Kennett, although not a member of the committee, had spotted two inaccurate statements by Land and Partners and he was able to address the meeting and point these out.
The first faulty claim was that because the Inspectors’ Interim Report makes no specific reference to Long Copse Lane, they have no soundness or other concerns about the site (in contrast to other sites where problems with deliverability were identified). In fact the Inspectors say explicitly (para. 55) that they have not examined “a significant number of site allocations, which might lead to further concerns”.
Land and Partners’ second claim occurred in the sentence “sites that are underused and wholly or partly brownfield such as ours will have a vital role to play in securing sustainable development”. Cllr Kennett observed that it is “stretching credulity to breaking point” to describe the fields off Long Copse Lane as a brownfield site.