The Neighbourhood Plan, adopted in 2016, gives local people far more say about what goes on in the Alton area in terms of planning, transport, community facilities, etc. It is a response to demands from Government, and in turn East Hampshire District Council (EHDC), to take at least 700 new houses on greenfield sites within Alton in addition to those developments already planned for the period 2011 – 2028. A key objective was to enable residents to influence important aspects of the town’s future, but most importantly to allow them a say on where new housing should go rather than leaving this decision entirely to EHDC. It is now a crucially important part of our local planning policy and which, in combination with the Joint Core Strategy, guides decision-making on applications in the Alton area. The Joint Core Strategy process addressed the current shortage of housing in the District. Other District Planning Authorities countrywide are developing plans to fill similar shortages.
Alton Society members were prominent amongst the very large number of local people who sent detailed contributions to the consultation process which took place during the spring of 2015, culminating in a Referendum in February 2016 which confirmed overwhelming public support.