Village Evolution and Design


Introduction

This section contains links to current plans, which affect residents of Rowlands Castle, along with copies of agreed plans, now superseded, in order to show a progression of ideas and issues.

Rowlands Castle Neighbourhood Plan

The vision for the Neighbourhood Plan is to conserve and enhance the Parish of Rowlands Castle as an attractive community whilst maintaining its separate identity, character and distinctiveness. Once approved, the Neighbourhood Plan will be a statutory, legal document that seeks to influence future planning decisions within the Parish until 2033.

A Neighbourhood Plan is a means for local residents to have a say in the future of the place in which they live – what they like about it, what they would like to conserve, and how they would like it to be in the future. Following consultations with and the support of residents in 2017, Rowlands Castle Parish Council decided to proceed with production of a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish of Rowlands Castle, and formed a Steering Group to develop it. Since then, this voluntary group of residents has brought a wide range of experience and skills to development of the Plan, consulting residents, community organisations and local businesses over its content, and continuing despite the restrictions of the pandemic. 

As for all Neighbourhood Plans, when adopted, it will be a Statutory (legal) Document and the Planning Authorities will have to take it into account when making any decisions on planning applications in the Parish. Together with the East Hampshire District Council and South Downs National Park Authority Local Plans, the Rowlands Castle Parish Neighbourhood Plan will form the Development Plan for the Parish.

The Steering Group carried out a housing survey sent to all residents in the Parish towards the end of 2018 and was pleased to receive a good response. This has allowed the Group to develop draft policies for the Plan, taking account of other evidence and inputs, and benefiting from the very good planning documents previously produced for Rowlands Castle – a Village Design Statement, a Parish Plan, and a Landscape Character Assessment. The Village Design Statement has been updated (in 2019), and the ongoing validity of the Landscape Character Assessment has been confirmed (in 2020). A Settlement Character Assessment has been produced describing the distinctive characteristics of different built areas in the Parish as a reference for future planning and is available for viewing on the Parish Council website

Further consultations on the content of the Neighbourhood Plan were held in 2021 and 2022. All comments received will be reviewed and the Plan will be amended taking them into account. The Plan will then go to East Hampshire District Council and to the South Downs National Park Authority for examination, then to an Independent Examiner, and will eventually be put forward for adoption by referendum of Parish residents.

More information can be found on the Parish Council website

Ian Young, Chairman, Rowlands Castle Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, June 2022

Havant Thicket Reservoir

The Havant Thicket Reservoir site has been reserved in local development plans for many decades. The current utility – Portsmouth Water Company – supplies fresh water to the Portsmouth area, and has its offices in Havant adjacent to the Bedhampton Springs, a large series of natural springs which come to the surface in a restricted locality.  Adjacent areas are supplied by Southern Water Company which also acts as the waste disposal authority with large works and pumping stations at Budds Farm, Havant and Eastney.

The Portsmouth Water Company reservoir proposal is for a reservoir on a clay area in Havant Thicket which is owned and has been designated for this use for many years. It currently forms part of the Staunton Country Park managed by Hampshire County Council. The concept underpinning the reservoir is to capture excess winter flows from the Bedhampton Springs and pump them into the artificial reservoir for use in summer when rainfall and water flows are lower. The reservoir will also offer environmental benefits, is included in ‘greenspace’ plans, and has been designed with this in mind. The company website provides a simulation of a helicopter flight around the proposed lake.

Planning permission for the reservoir was granted in June 2021, and preparatory work commenced almost straight away. 

Here is a special report from the Border Times, July 2021

Local Plans and Projects

Village plans have been superseded, but these documents show a progression of ideas and issues. They comprise the ‘Village Design Statement’ of 2000, the ‘Parish Plan’ of 2008, the accompanying Supporting Data from the village survey and the Local Landscape Character Assessment 2012. Rowlands Castle was designated as a Conservation Area in December 1976.

Rowlands Castle Oil Well

Another Project still in operation, is the Rowlands Castle oil well, drilled in woodlands just north of the Golf Course. It is one of a series of wells drilled during the 1990s in Rowlands Castle, Horndean and Clanfield area. Two wells were unproductive and capped off, and three were deemed productive –with two others just outside the parish at Horndean Pyle Farm and behind the Keydell Nurseries – by the motorway. They were all subject to re-drilling by deviated boring.

South Leigh Forest Landfill Site

A third project nearing completion is the  restoration of the large South Leigh Forest Landfill site. It lies along the southern boundary of the Parish. Once a large quarry for extraction of gravels from a long gravel train which extends across to Chichester. Once the gravels were worked out the site was proposed for landfill of inert builders’ waste. This was done and already completed at the adjacent A J Bull quarry. In the event, when it was found that the quarry was also underlain by a strata of clays, it was decided to remove and export some of the clay and use the rest to build pockets for deposition of potentially toxic domestic waste. The volume of the site was also extended by ‘land-raising’ to allow for greater volumes of waste. The final site also generated electricity from the methane gas emanating from decomposition of the rubbish. Finally, plans for its restoration were agreed, to follow capping-off, and for tree planting to achieve environmental regeneration.


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