Chapter 1 Introduction
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1.1 BACKGROUND
1.1.1 This document is the Replacement Hart District Local Plan 1996-2006. This plan will be a statutory local plan prepared by Hart District Council as local planning authority under powers of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), the Local Government Act 1972 and the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980.
1.1.2 Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPGs) and design briefs provide additional guidance on detailed matters, which are not appropriate for inclusion in this plan. These are available from the Council.
1.1.3 This local plan has been prepared to conform to the Hampshire County Structure Plan (Review) 1996 - 2011. Provision for housing has been made for the period 1996 to 2006.
1.1.4 At the time of preparation, there was no requirement for a full environmental assessment of the plan or its policies on the scale that was required for particular development proposals, rather that strategic authorities should have regard to environmental considerations in preparing general policies and proposals in Structure Plans. Accordingly, this plan was prepared to conform with the general policies and proposals of the Hampshire County Structure Plan Review. One of the principal objectives of the Plan is to safeguard and enhance the District's assets and resources, including its attractive and productive countryside, ecological diversity, historic and built heritage. This forms a lynchpin of the Plan. The environmental objectives of the Plan have been tested at the Local Plan Inquiry and found to be sound, permeating through its objectives, its strategy, its policies and proposals.
   
 
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1.2 PLAN FUNCTION
1.2.1 The main functions of the Hart District Local Plan are as follows:
  To develop the relevant policies and general proposals of the Hampshire County Structure Plan (Review) and to relate them to precise areas of land defined on the Proposals Map;
  To provide a detailed statutory basis for development control; and
  To provide a detailed statutory basis for co-ordinating and directing development and other use of land, both public and private;
  To include the allocation of land for specific purposes.
 
 
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1.3 PLAN PERIOD
1.3.1 The proposals in this replacement Hart District Local Plan will provide a framework for the control of development and the management of change in Hart District over a ten-year period from 1996 to 2006.
   
 
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1.4 PLAN FORMAT
1.4.1 The Replacement Hart District Local Plan 1996-2006 consists of a "Written Statement" and a "Proposals Map".
1.4.2 The Proposals Map, with the accompanying Inset Maps, identifies the areas within which particular proposals will apply. Proposals are cross-referenced to the Written Statement by the appropriate letters and numbers.
1.4.3 In order to facilitate reference to proposals applying to Fleet, Yateley and Blackwater Town Centres and to Hook Village Centre, those parts of the Written Statement which relate specifically to these four centres have been set out separately. All proposals that apply within settlement boundaries also apply to the areas covered by the Fleet, Yateley, Blackwater and Hook Inset Maps unless otherwise stated.
1.4.4 The proposals set out in this plan are divided into seven main chapters. These are "General Development Control Policies," "Conservation," "The Rural Economy", "The Urban Economy", "Specific Policies for the Town and Village Centres of Fleet, Yateley, Blackwater and Hook", "Transportation" and "Proposals for New Development." All specific proposals for new housing and industrial development, together with proposals for associated infrastructure or facilities, are included within the final chapter, grouped by site.
1.4.5 The URB section of the plan covers those settlements that, in the context of Hart District and the requirements of PPG13, are large enough to be considered either as towns or as rural centres. They provide a basic level of infrastructure and services that is not available in the smaller settlements. The remaining settlements defined in the plan fall below that threshold and cannot be regarded as rural centres, so they are covered by the RUR policies.
 
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1.4.6 Within each chapter there are planning proposals (set out in normal text and numbered) together with introductory text and reasoned justification (set out in italics). The proposals form the statutory local plan, while the accompanying reasoned justification sets out the background and reasoning behind the proposals.
1.4.7 Some of the plan proposals are worded to say that certain developments will or will not "normally" be permitted. This is done to allow a sufficient level of flexibility to deal with exceptional cases where there is an overriding justification for or against the development. The use of the word "normally" does not imply that the policy aims will be regularly overturned.
   
 
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