Your local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether a development, anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre, should go ahead. In most cases, the local planning authority is Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC); but certain specialist applications (eg. related to waste treatment sites) are determined by Hampshire County Council.
The Government has published a plain English guide giving an overview of how the planning system works in England.
If you are in any doubt as to whether any work that you are planning requires planning permission, you should contact Test Valley Borough Council in the first instance. This includes any work to trees in the Conservation Area.
Braishfield Parish Council as “Consultee”
Braishfield Parish Council is a “consultee” on all applications within the parish. This is because it is important that local planning authorities identify and consider all relevant planning issues associated with a proposed development. Consultees may be able to offer particular insights or detailed information which is relevant to the consideration of the application. But the application is determined by the local planning authority, not the parish council.
When deciding its comments for the local planning authority, the Parish Council will consider the application with reference to the following documents:
- Village Design Statement
- Conservation Area document
- Local Plan
- Listed Buildings are given additional protection in law
The Parish Council decides its comments through its Planning Committee, of which all Councillors are members. Members and the Committee follow the Council’s Planning Committee Terms of Reference and Planning Code.
You can contact Braishfield Parish Council to express views on an application, and your view will be considered when the Parish Council decides its comment for the local planning authority. But the Parish Council may not agree with your views, and in any case you should also make your own formal comment to the local planning authority.
Planning applications are published on the TVBC planning site here:
Each application is given a reference number such as 14/01537/FULLS and this must be used to find the documents for the application. It is possible for anyone to make comments about each application, either online or in writing to TVBC. The most recent planning applications affecting Braishfield are also listed below, for convenience.
Braishfield Parish Council has a 3 week period from the publication of an application to make comments to TVBC. The Council’s comments are decided by its Planning Committee, which will respond in one of 3 ways:
- “Support” – where we are in favour of an application
- “No objection” – where we have no particular opinion about an application
- “Object” – where we have concerns about any aspect of the application. We must use this response in any case where we have comments about the application, even where the comments are about details of an application that we are broadly in favour of, in order for TVBC to consider our comments.
Neighbours and members of the public are also able to make a formal comment, via the TVBC website or in writing.
Braishfield Affordable Housing proposal
One of the more significant – and controversial – planning matters in recent years is the affordable housing proposal. Some of the history and related documents are shown on the Braishfield Affordable Housing proposal page.
Summary of the 2022 VDS consultations and drafting process
In 2018 Cllr John Bevan, Chairman of the Braishfield Parish Council was told that because of its age, the 2002 VDS was considered no longer relevant or of use as a planning document.
Braishfield Parish Council decided to consider the option of producing a Neighbourhood Plan but aware of the likely timescale and cost, and as an interim measure, to also update the 2002 VDS.
The creation of a VDS committee was authorised at para 25 and tasked as in para 26 of the minutes of the Planning Committee held on the 4th June. Jimmy Chestnutt was appointed as chairman.
A call for members to sit on a committee to help with the task was made via the BVN. Six residents volunteered. Sadly, there were no women volunteers.
Given that much of the content of the 2002 VDS needed very little if any updating (e.g. history, wildlife, landscape and views) the task given to the committee was to carry out a low cost, light touch update of the 2002 VDS. Parish Council did not ask for or, want a completely new document.
The open day.
The launch open day was held in the village Hall on Thursday 7th November 2018. The event was widely advertised on the Braishfield Village website, the Village Network, Parish Council website, and all notice boards. There were a number of advertised and scheduled power point presentations throughout the event covering the purpose of a VDS, the planned update procedure and timetable, the objectives of the update and how residents could get involved and have their say. Questionaries were available.
It was hosted by Jimmy Chestnutt with support from committee members who were on hand to record concerns and comments. None were tabled or raised.
The questionnaire was issued in November 2018. As the task was to update and not rewrite, the questionnaire was designed to ensure that text of the 2002 VDS was still accurate and that resident’s priorities and requirements remained as stated in the 2002 VDS.
The questionnaire was distributed to every household in the village by the Braishfield Village Association and was made available at the open day.
92 residents returned questionnaires. Not everyone completed every section and some didn’t score. The comments however were very informative.
Section 1 What do you value most about our village?
Analysis of the feedback revealed that approx 75% of residents who responded in full placed the most value on the countryside in and around the village, its open spaces and hamlet layout, and 35% the resultant tranquillity.
|These views were then reflected in the draft by the inclusion of a new section on open spaces and a new document structure that emphasised the importance of the village’s hamlet layout.
Comment on section 1 and what can we do to protect or enhance the value of any of the above?
7 residents made a point of saying that they wanted planning authorities to take the VDS seriously and adhere to its guidelines.
48% Residents wanted tighter controls on development which included; over development, maintaining the Romsey/Braishfield gap, infill, backland development and the loss of open spaces.
21% wanted to see controls on traffic levels, speed and the use of village lanes as short cuts for commuting traffic.
Where possible and acceptable within planning policy and scope of a VDS, the draft text was strengthened to take account of these concern and the comments.
Section 2 What do you see as the greatest threat/s to our village life?
33% of residents saw the potential loss of the Romsey/ Braishfield gap as the biggest threat to the village, with over-development and the impact of traffic on the village as close runners up.
There were no comments about house design but a few residents were concerned with types of houses that should be built and most of the other concerns and issues raised were also matters outside the scope of a VDS and better addressed in a neighbourhood plan.
The views and comments expressed in sections 2 were also covered by the text in the new sections of the VDS.
Section 3. The VDS is a collection of paragraphs each dealing with an aspect of village life. Are you happy with the content of each page?
This question was designed to find out if claims, descriptions and requirements expressed in the 2002 VDS were still valid.
Almost everyone said they were happy with the text of each page/section.
However, 22 residents required 28 small changes. 16 of those changes were to help update text, 8 to strengthen text in paras relating to traffic and tranquillity and 4 on buildings. 2 required a small change to a guideline. All were actioned.
The final question What can we ask for to make Braishfield more attractive as a place to live?
This question was not really considered to be directly linked to the VDS but would, it was hoped, provide the team with supporting evidence for some of the text and guidelines.
It did and half of those that commented took the opportunity to restate their views on the Romsey/Braishfield gap, traffic and development. Some however wanted to prioritise affordable housing, protect our local lanes and hedges and improve mobile phone coverage. More importance was given to protecting our network of lanes in the revised drafts. The issue of housing can be properly addressed in a neighbourhood plan.
Consultations with TVBC planners.
Because of the nature of the task, Covid and the very understandable limitations on the availability of our pro bono production resources, the drafting process was long and difficult. After the first relatively simple factual update there were 11 further updates and drafts.
Some were needed to incorporate new photographs and an explanatory paragraph or for a text change to make a point more clearly. Those changes often required a change to the document layout.
As can be seen below many were passed to TVBC planners for comment and advice and each subsequent draft incorporated or took account of their comments. The committee “signed off” each version of the update.
|Summary of meetings/consultations with TVBC planners|
|30 Jan 19||Consultation. Meeting to brief on objective, plans and progress.|
|13 Feb19||Feedback from/to TVBC|
|12 Jun 19||Consultation
First draft of update (2002) version submitted to TVBC for comment
|16 Jul 19||Feedback received had recommendations that were necessary to ensure that the document could be adopted when completed. However, they were also significant and required the committee to produce a document with a new structure and layout. Some new text would be needed to support the new layout but much of the original 2002 text would survive. Nearly all the photographs had to be retaken to get the required quality for a new document.|
|17 Sep 19||Consultation. Meeting to discuss /agree new layout. Recommendations of the TVBC planners were accepted in full.|
|12 Oct 19||Consultation. 2002 VDS updated to take account of new format with resident’s input and submitted to TVBC policy planners for comment|
|24 Oct 19||Consultation. Meeting to get feedback on first draft of new document, sections and photos with discussion on how best to progress.|
|9 Mar 20||Consultation. Meeting to get feedback on fourth draft of VDS|
|23 Mar 20||Covid lockdown|
|12 Oct 20||Consultation. Draft sent to TVBC|
|29 Oct 20||Comments received-draft amended|
|6 Nov 20||Zoom meeting TVBC to discuss comments|
|16 Dec 20||Consultation. Draft VDS sent to TVBC|
|10 Feb 21||Comments received-draft amended|
|19 Feb 21||Draft with final TVBC amendments received from Designer|
The draft VDS was placed on Parish Council website, the Village Network and Facebook on the 20th Feb 2021 with a request that comments be forwarded to Jimmy Chestnutt by end Saturday 27 Feb. 20 responses were received.
All were actioned where possible and within the scope of a VDS. In general summary
3 thank you and no comment
3 typos –actioned
4 factual corrections to text/diagram and a new photo –actioned
1 request for a “credit”-actioned
2 requests for a new photo –actioned
1 request for a map –not actioned and explanation given
1 word amendment to a guideline—actioned
1 set of requests for some building planning guidelines and text. Most already covered within the limitations of a VDS. Some not actioned and more suited to a Neighbourhood Plan.
3 requests for Newport Lane open space to be indicated on village photograph-actioned
1 request for a field behind Newport Lane to be indicated on village photograph as an open space and one photo replaced –actioned, with further comments about consultations, drafting process, style, layout and content of document – not actioned as style, layout and content of draft already agreed by TVBC.
Braishfield VDS committee