North Stoneham Planning and Management Framework, 1993


26TH JULY 1993 




1. Following a number of surveys of the historic landscape of North Stoneham (and particularly North Stoneham Park) between Eastleigh and Southampton, I have prepared, in conjunction with the planning officers of Eastleigh and Test Valley Borough Councils, a draft planning and management strategy for the area. A copy is attached to this report. This document "Eastleigh-Southampton Strategic Gap: A Planning and Management Framework - North Stoneham" is the first stage of a number of plans for the Eastleigh-Southampton Strategic Gap and other parts of Hampshire's urban fringe. 

2. The quality of the environment in this area is deteriorating and there is a constant threat of development. Nevertheless, the landscape is still an important and attractive feature and there is a considerable opportunity for enhancement and greater public access to the area. It is vital therefore that there is a coherent and constructive approach to land management and development control. 

Local Plan Background 

3. The study area straddles the boundary between Eastleigh and Test Valley Borough Councils. Both authorities have prepared district-wide Local Plans which are subject to alteration as they move through to adoption. The Public Inquiry into Test Valley Borough Council's Local Plan (Deposit - June 1992) began in May this year. 

4. Both plans currently: 

 (i) contain policies for the protection of the Eastleigh-Southampton Strategic Gap; 

 (ii) strongly resist the loss of existing playing fields and recreation areas here; and 

 (iii) seek improved local public access. 

5. Test Valley Borough Council's Local Plan mentions the preparation of this strategy document: 

 "A strategy to protect and enhance the Eastleigh-Southampton strategic gap is being drawn up jointly by the Borough and County Councils; including the preparation of a policy statement for the improvement of North Stoneham Park by positive (possibly grant aided) management measures". 1 Public Consultations 

6. Planning Policy Guidance 12 states that such supplementary advice should be issued separately from any local plan and made publicly available with a clear explanation of its status. The weight given to this kind of planning guidance will increase if it has been prepared in consultation with the public and has been the subject of a Council resolution. 

7. Accordingly, this draft document is also being submitted to Eastleigh and Test Valley Borough Councils and Southampton City Council. It is expected that it will be available in September for all landowners and interested parties associated with the study area for comment. A comprehensive list of consultees has already been compiled coupled with some advance publicity. Initial contact has already been made with some 25 individuals and organisations. A revised document will be presented for formal adoption before the end of the year. 


8. I recommend that, subject to the views of Eastleigh and Test Valley Borough Councils and Southampton City Council, the draft Planning and Management Framework for North Stoneham be published for consultation.