View from Northfields looking north toward Twyford Down.*
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan enables local communities to prepare their own plan to be used alongside the Local Plan prepared by the planning authority when deciding future development and determining planning applications. It will become part of the statutory plan for the area and carry legal weight when assessing planning applications.
Who is the Planning Authority for Twyford?
The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is the Planning Authority for the whole of the South Downs National Park which includes Twyford. It sets the planning policies to be followed through its newly adopted South Downs Local Plan (SDLP). It also decides on all the planning applications, although in Winchester District, (including Twyford) the SDNPA has delegated responsibility for determining most applications to Winchester City Council.
What is a Local Plan?
A local plan sets out the planning policy framework to guide and control development over a given period. Local Plans must conform to Government Planning Policies. The Twyford Neighbourhood Plan (TNP) must be consistent with both Government and National Park planning policies and will be adopted alongside the South Downs Local Plan, and also be used to assess future planning applications.
What is the South Downs Local Plan (SDLP)?
The SDLP covers the whole of the National Park and was adopted in July 2019. It contains both strategic policies and development management ones. The TNP must conform to the strategic policies but has discretion to differ from the development management ones.
Why do a Neighbourhood Plan for Twyford?
The focus of the Neighbourhood Plan is on local issues but it is also responsible for deciding where extra housing should go. It provides an opportunity for the whole community to be involved in looking forward 15 -20 years to influence the way the village will develop to meet our future needs. Without a Neighbourhood Plan, policy decisions on the siting & design of housing and business development will be taken by the National Park Authority. A Twyford Neighbourhood Plan will be a plan for the whole parish. It lets the community decide how we best make our contribution towards meeting the housing needs in the National Park, while also considering other matters such as protecting important green spaces, wildlife corridors and biodiversity and maintaining the built character of Twyford.
Who is producing the Twyford Neighbourhood Plan (TNP)?
The Parish Council has the statutory right to prepare a neighbourhood plan and has chosen to do so. It has appointed a Technical Committee of volunteers to help develop a draft plan for initial consultation. Throughout the process every attempt has and will continue to be made to involve all Twyford residents, both young and old. Support is being provided by the National Park and consultants have been used for some technical aspects of the work.
What has been done so far?
The TNP was started as long ago as 2015 and much preparatory work has been carried out. This is all set out fully on this Neighbourhood Plan website.
Draft policies were published for comment, following publicity and public meetings. Comments on the 1st Draft of the Plan from all sectors of the community, have influenced the Pre-Submission Draft which was published in January 2020.
How will the Neighbourhood Plan be agreed?
The process of testing whether a neighbourhood plan is sound and can be adopted is set down by Government. These are the following steps:-
Publication of Pre-Submission Draft for comment. The Parish Council publishes a ‘final draft’ Neighbourhood Plan for a ‘pre submission consultation’. At this stage the Parish Council asks residents and anyone else affected by the plan to make comments on policies and land allocation proposals. This ‘pre submission’ consultation also seeks input from the statutory authorities such as the Environment Agency, Historic England, Highways etc. This consultation runs for 6 weeks.
Comments considered, and Plan amended. Following the end of the consultation period the Parish Council amends the plan according to comments received and provides justification for any modifications.
Amended Plan sent to the South Downs National Park. The Parish Council then submits the revised Neighbourhood Plan to the National Park Authority who publishes the plan for another 6 week consultation. Comments received from this consultation are passed to an independent examiner.
Examination of the Plan and Comments by an Independent Examiner. The Plan is then subject to independent examination by the appointed examiner. Changes may be recommended at either of these stages.
Local Referendum on whether to adopt the Plan. The final stage is a referendum to ensure that the local community has the final say. All registered voters are entitled to vote in the referendum. If more than 50% of those who vote support the Plan then the National Park must adopt it.
How long will it take?
There are several stages in the process so it will not be completed until the summer of 2021.
How can I be involved?
The Draft Plan is the result of input from many individuals and organisations in the village. The Parish Council wants to know if you support the plan and if there are issues. At this stage, now that a Draft Submission Plan has been sent to SDNPA, this is done by responding to the Amended Draft Plan when it is published by SDNPA. The plan affects everyone in the Parish and all are encouraged to respond.
How much will it cost and who is paying?
Most of the work is being undertaken by volunteers, but there are some administrative costs and consultants' fees. Some funding has already come from Government, from the SDNPA and from Winchester City Council. The National Park will cover the costs of the Examination and the Referendum. Twyford Parish Council is managing the whole process and is funding the shortfall.
What are the SDLP’s housing targets for Twyford?
As part of the preparation of the SDLP, SDNPA was required by Government to establish the overall level of housing need in the whole of the National Park. The SDNPA Local Plan made provision for approximately 4,596 new homes to be built between 2014 and 2032. The SDLP then decided the number of extra houses to be allocated to the different parts of the National Park. It looked at the capacity of the landscape and the availability of services and facilities within all the towns and villages and allocated additional houses on this basis. Twyford’s housing requirement as set by the SDNPA is 20 dwellings. In addition, new dwellings will come forward in a number of other ways, for instance through infilling, conversions and change of use.
Can Twyford cope with any more houses?
Twyford’s own population is growing. Between 2001 and 2011, Twyford’s population grew by 8% or 130 people. Between 2004 and 2014 there were about 50 new homes built, an increase of about 10%.
Affordable housing is needed too. In 2001 there were 73 social rented properties. Many have been sold off but two social housing schemes were built at Northfields, so the number in 2011 had increased to 79. To sustain our community we need to provide more affordable homes for young families, enable first time buyers to get a foot on the ladder and to enable our key workers to live close to their work.
Twyford has good local services and transport connections, with the benefit of a nearby train service and bus links, shops, school and a Doctors Surgery. It is a sustainable location and was identified in the SDLP as a settlement which could take a moderate level of growth.
Did Twyford challenge the housing targets?
No - as part of the neighbourhood planning process, WCC with Action Hampshire carried out a housing needs study for the parish in 2016. This supported the further allocation of housing and on this basis, Twyford Parish Council supported the allocation for the additional 20 houses.
What sort of homes will be required?
The indication is that young adults have to move out of the village and are partially replaced by people coming back in later life. This may indicate a need for more affordable starter homes plus homes suitable for older people. The Neighbourhood Planning exercise has allowed Twyford to carry out a proper exercise to establish housing need.
How much Affordable Housing is required in Twyford?
In 2015 the total number of households registered with Hampshire Home Choice in need of local housing, with a local connection to Twyford, was 28. The Housing Needs Survey of July 2015 identified a higher number of 35 households, with a local connection, in need of local housing.
What is Affordable Housing?
Housing which is built to provide homes for those who cannot afford the full price of a property, or rental. It can sometimes be shared ownership, or rental through a housing association. Market housing developments can be required to include a percentage of affordable housing. If the site is not capable of including affordable housing a cash developer contribution can be sought in lieu.
What is a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)?
An evidence based report considering the different types of housing required in response to predicted population change and the accommodation requirements of specific groups. The South Downs SHMA was a key input in deciding the number of homes allocated to Twyford.
What is a SHLAA site?
The planning authority has to produce a list of potential housing sites – this is the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment. SHLAA sites can be submitted by anyone for the planning authority to consider. The SDNPA considers all sites submitted taking into account a range of constraints, including landscape impact.
The SHLAA identifies sites which have the potential to be developed for housing, because they are considered to be suitable and available and achievable for development. The fact that a site has been mentioned in the SHLAA does not mean that it will be allocated or will be granted planning permission. The SHLAA does not decide where housing should be located or decide what specific sites should be allocated. This is done through the Neighbourhood Plan process.
What is a Sustainability Appraisal?
Three appraisals have been carried out on this plan – all by independent consultants appointed by the South Downs and paid for by them. They are a Sustainability Appraisal, a Strategic Environmental Appraisal (EIA) and a Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA). The EIA and HRA are legal requirements. Each appraisal examines the proposals of the plan to ensure conformity with sustainability, environmental and ecological objectives.
What are Developers' Contributions?
Developer contributions are payments negotiated by the planning authority through Section 106 agreements with developers to provide infrastructure required to make a particular development acceptable. Payments are typically made for affordable housing, transport improvements, open space, community facilities and nature conservation..
What is Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)?
CIL is a new system of planning charges that local planning authorities can use to raise funds from developers to pay for infrastructure and community facilities. The funds collected by the SDNPA will be used to fund a wide range of infrastructure necessary to support development across the whole Park such as roads, schools, green infrastructure, community services, sports & leisure facilities. Each community has been asked to submit a list of anticipated local infrastructure projects which can be updated at any time.The CIL is expected to largely replace the Developer Contributions system. S106 agreements will still be used to secure affordable housing and off-site mitigation.
Will Twyford be entitled to CIL?
Communities with adopted Neighbourhood Plans will receive 25% of the CIL levied on local development. Other communities will receive 15% of CIL. There is no time limit for spending CIL and it may be used flexibly, including for maintenance costs.