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Local Plan Consultation

You have until the 12 Apr to contribute to the local plan priorities.

Background information about the Winchester Local Plan and the consultation document can be found via https://www.localplan.winchester.gov.uk/

The direct link to the consulation document is at https://winchester.citizenspace.com/policy-and-planning/wcc-local-plan-sip/consultation/.  Please remember you don't have to complete all the elements, and you don't have to do it all in one sitting.

Below are some suggested points in regard to Sustainable Food that we hope you will consider including:

 

The Vision 

1. Is the vision in the current local plan still appropriate? Yes/No 

What if anything needs to be changed? 

Add :- 

• “ensure everyone has access to healthy, nutritious, affordable and ethically sourced food and to  information that that promotes better food choices.” 

• “We will embed the UN Sustainability Goals into the Vision” 

2. Are there any elements of the Winchester Town Forum Winchester 2030 vision that could be  used to help inform a vision for the local plan that covers the whole district? 

• The idea of a 15 minute city could help ensure that residents in all communities throughout the  district have access to essential food services – to food retailers and enterprises selling food, to  cafes, restaurants, community hubs and other places to eat food, and to community growing  spaces to grow food. The local scale of this could encourage more diversity in the retail offer, with  encouragement to independent retail, and food entrepreneurs, as well as more diversification, such  as the local food shop that is also a community hub. This in turn could help ensure more diverse  access to food, with the benefits to residents’ health and well-being that this could bring, as well as  help to encourage a food infrastructure based on shorter and value based supply chains, which is  less carbon intensive. 

• The idea of open- ended projects or events throughout the district could also enable a more  diverse food retail experience by providing public space that could be used for a variety of events,  such as market stall, or a coffee van at different times of the week. This ties in with the desire in  the vision to give streets and spaces back to people to be used in creative ways. 

• Hub/pause spaces carved around nodes or meeting points to make community gardens and  public squares, could include community spaces for growing food and places to eat food  socially, with, for example, pop up cafes. 

• The suggestions around mapping could include mapping access to food, whether retail,  restaurants, cafes, and food growing spaces, and access to training on cooking and growing skills. 

• All public realm and open spaces should cater for all ages and genders 

• Co-created city could encourage local enterprises and small businesses, including those created  around food that could be trialled anywhere in the district 

 

Local Plan Objectives 

Do you agree with the sustainable environmental development objectives? We think the following should be added - 

 

*  There needs to be specific objectives based around food. These should refer to communities  being enabled to access good food, and development that requires sustainable food infrastructure,  protecting natural ecosystems and resources, promoting high animal welfare standards, reducing  food miles, packaging and waste, and increasing composting and recycling. Also communities  should be enabled to grow their own food.

• The specific inclusion of access to good food and sustainable food infrastructure will help to  achieve the other objectives of addressing issues of waste and recycling, enabling communities  to respond and adapt to climate change, achieving biodiversity net gain, and creating and  strengthening the resilience of communities to climate change. 

• In order to strengthen and create healthy communities, people will need easily accessible  places to grow their own food. 

• Add to improving poor air and water quality, improving the quality of the land and soil, in order  to grow high quality food, and address issues, such as climate change and biodiversity. 

Do you agree with the sustainable social development objectives? Please tick all that apply 

If you disagree with the sustainable social development objectives please explain why • Whilst not disagreeing we think the following points should apply 

• Add “access to good food” when it refers to creating a healthy environment within the district • Include “all new developments provide spaces for growing food “ 

Do you have any other comments about the sustainable development objectives? 

• Include a strong statement to recognise the importance of the role that sustainable food can  play in helping to achieve the overarching aim of carbon neutrality. 

• Any consideration of sustainable development has to integrate food into its objectives. The NHS  Healthy New Towns programme (2018) recommends 10 principles so that health and well-being  can be planned and designed into new places. One of these principles is to inspire and enable  healthy eating. It says that “Enabling people to eat a balanced and healthier diet, and making  it easy and affordable to do so, are key to tackling health inequalities and improving  environmental sustainability.” 

• Food needs to be included alongside water, energy and transport in resilience and climate  change adaptation planning 

• In addition, the role of food is critical in helping to achieve an overarching aim of carbon  neutrality. In the UK over 30% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the food system (Food  climate research network) Food is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions  from human activities, second only to transportation. A study in Nature Food March 2021 found  that food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG Food goes through a  number of steps – it is farmed, harvested, or caught, transport, processed, packaged,  distributed and cooked, and the residuals disposed of. All of these steps cause emissions of  anthropogenic greenhouse gases and requires energy. 

Carbon Neutrality

If the Local Plan includes a strategic policy on climate change what are the key issues that this  policy should cover? 

• Add “Access to Good Food for all, ensuring that everyone has access to healthy, nutritious,  affordable and ethically sourced food.” 

• Change “larger “to “all” developments (housing and non-housing) having to consider where  and how they incorporate food growing spaces 

• Key: Reduction of the climate and nature impact of the local food system 

• Key: Land use and management strategy 

• Key: Incorporation of the food waste hierarchy, including redistribution of surplus food Are the possible Local Policy approaches ambitious enough? 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A carbon offsetting fund should be used as a  last resort 

If you agree with the establishment of a carbon offsetting fund, how should it be used? 

Biodiversity and the Natural Environment 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? 

• Where biodiversity net gain cannot be provided on-site, it should be allowable to offset this by  enhancing biodiversity off site 

Disagree 

• We should allocate land specifically for open space or for biodiversity net gain to provide  opportunities for off-site mitigation of the effects of new development 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Current development management policies  for the protection of the countryside are adequate 

• Disagree 

If you disagree with the statement, please explain your reasons and your view on what new policy  measures should be adopted. 

• The current policy is not adequate and neither is the proposal to allow off-site mitigation. We  believe that biodiversity net gain is perfectly possible in the enhanced design of all new  development (roof gardens, solar & water capture, edible landscaping) and for larger scale  developments (as above and allotment provision, community gardens, ) 

Should you be minded to allow developers to offset their responsibilities then the Policy referring to  any land allocated as off-site mitigation must include sustainable management for maximum carbon  capture and maximum biodiversity and production, accessibility for the public and managed for mixed  recreation including: 

• Edible landscapes for foraging 

• Green infrastructure such as ponds and bogs 

• Work to clear pollution from rivers and ponds 

• Community growing using 'no dig' growing and fruiting trees 

• Community farms 

• Wildlife corridors with sustainability built in 

Policy measures should also include: 

• Protect, enhance and make available all grade 1 and 2 urban and peri-urban land for community  growing and commercial sustainable agriculture 

• Work with HCC to give advice, training and support to farmers, growers and land managers on 

how to adopt to agro-ecological production and management techniques. 

• Protect and re-establish vital sustainable food infrastructure to support shorter and value based  supply chains 

Do you think a new Green belt is needed in the south or north of the district? 

How would a Green belt designation contribute to achieving sustainable development in the District  and adjoining areas! 

• Any land allocated as a 'Green belt' must be sustainably managed for maximum carbon  capture and maximum biodiversity and production. It should also be accessible for the public  and managed for mixed recreation – walking, cycling, community farms, ponds etc. 

Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment 

1. Is there any need for any additional heritage policies over and above those that are already  included in the existing Local Plan 

• Yes 

2. Do you have any suggestions for how the Local Plan can be used to support energy efficiency  improvements to Listed Buildings? 

• The Setting of historic places needs to consider the possibility of using the landscape to grow  plants that produce, fruit, nectar, nuts and seeds. 

 

Homes for All 

1. Have we identified all the possible approaches – are there any missing that we haven’t  considered? 

The overarching criteria whichever option is chosen should be: 

• All developments have part as a 'biodiverse' area (part of planning conditions). All sites include  proportionate growing space, productive trees for community benefit. If developers say not viable  then refuse permission. (see below) 

• In order to deliver future sustainability, Brighton and Hove council adopted a Food Growing and  Development Planning Advisory Notice in 2011. After one year this resulted in a rise of  approved applications with food growing in them from 1% to 38% Monitoring over 20 months  showed that proposals included 383m2 of dedicated food growing provision at ground level;  142m2 of raised beds; 87m2 of food growing areas in roof gardens; 23 fruit trees and 2 nut trees 

• Food growing to be accommodated into development sites at whatever scale is appropriate • Sustainability and low carbon design and build to be a must for all new planning provisions 

• Landscaping in towns and city planted with some edible landscapes and pollution absorbing  bushes. 

• New build within 15 minutes of food shops 

• New homes to be large enough for home working 

• Every new home to have close access to a growing space.

Creating a Vibrant Economy 

1.What types of economic development do we need to consider? 

Please add industries and profession that should be supported throughout the district • Industries and professions that support the local food economy by producing and selling local, 

healthy and sustainable food, including farmers, food growers, land managers, food caterers,  procurers, food entrepreneurs, food retail businesses, restaurants, cafes, food co-operatives and  social enterprises, like-minded community groups and living wage employers. All should be  actively reducing their food and packaging waste. 

2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The town centres policies should be  flexible in order to reflect changes that are taking place to the retail and leisure sector, people’s  shopping habits and the decline in the number of office based jobs that are located in town centres. 

If you agree with the above statement, please specify how the policies could incorporate the changes  in use? 

• Policies should make sure there is a balance between different sectors of use, making sure that  there is ready access to fresh food 

• Culture of shop local, shop sustainably, vibrant food economy 

• Protect food shops, encourage variety of shop types and tenures (market, pop-up, artisan, food,  sustainable, ethical,) 

• Living wage 

• Integrated homes and jobs for variety 

• Space for food festivals, community events etc. 

3. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The Local Plan should be more  encouraging and supportive of the use of vacant upper floors in town centres above shops for other  uses? 

If you agree with the above statement, what uses would be acceptable? 

• Homes, food storage, creative multi-purpose spaces, cafes, 

4. Should the rural employment policies in the Local Plan be less restrictive allowing for a wider  range of employment options in the rural areas an provide a wider range of uses? 

How does this fit with moving towards a carbon neutrality?  

What measures would support people working in rural areas? 

• Payment of the real Living Wage to all workers in the food chain. 

• Excellent working conditions for all workers in the food chain. 

• Support for a local food infrastructure, which encourages the production and sale of local,  healthy and sustainable food. 

• Partnership with HCC to give advice, training and support to farmers, growers and land  managers on how to adopt agroecological production and management techniques 

• Protect, enhance and make available all grade 1 and 2 urban and peri-urban land for community  growing and sustainable commercial agriculture through a land use management strategy 

• Ensure access to local food retail outlets, opportunities to eat food locally and community  growing spaces to be able to grow food locally. 

5. How can the Local Plan support home working and move towards a green economy? 

• Increase the opportunities for people working at home to access community growing spaces,  places to eat food and drink locally, and access to local food retail outlets. 

Promoting Sustainable Transport 

1. Are the current Local Plan policies for promotion of sustainable and active forms of  transport ambitious enough?

 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Neighbourhoods that are accessible to  services and facilities within 15 minutes (using sustainable modes of transport such as buses,  walking or cycling) should be created? 

If you agree with the above statement, please tell us a bit your thoughts about 15 minute  neighbourhoods. 

• “Services and facilities” to include food retail outlets, places to eat, access to food growing  places, including allotments and edible landscapes, and access to training around growing  and cooking food. 

• Food retail needs to be seen as essential retail. This could include shops, local markets, farm  shops etc. 

• Encouragement should be given to pop-up spaces to enable food markets and food entrepreneurs  to operate, and provide a diverse offering in each neighbourhood. 

• Neighbourhoods need to be able to access and take control of practical growing within  communities, at growing sites, investing in the place, bringing people together 

• growing community assets, empowering residents to act, working co-operatively 

• support food production that protects natural ecosystems and resources; promote high animal  welfare standards; reduce food miles, packaging and waste 

• access to healthy food, clean air and water 

• community places have mixture of sitting/socialising places, growing, community allotments,  wild play areas, community cafes, 

• affordable halls for community events 

• Limit delivery times in towns, reduce food miles 

• Delivery hubs outside towns to transfer deliveries to electric vans 

• Use central car park land for mixture of homes, leisure, growing, pop-up shops, start-up work  places, 

• Reduce speed limits to encourage cycling and walking 

• Frequent P&R buses 

• Control of green, brownfield and unused spaces for food growing and community food projects.  This should include use of 'meanwhile' spaces until development takes place. (e.g. Friarsgate was  as missed opportunity 

 

Living Well 

Do you think current Local Plan and national policies around the provision of open space are  adequate for protecting health and well-being and reducing inequality? 

• No 

2. Do you have any suggestions for how we can plan positively to create multi-generational  neighbourhoods and communities where social isolation is reduced and opportunities for  independent mobility are promoted? 

• We must ensure high quality food provision for people who might otherwise go hungry. The 

principle of making sure that all people have access to affordable and ethically sourced food  is key. There must be fairness in the food chain and we need to work together to eradicate  food insecurity. No community can enjoy social interactions when hungry. 

• Activities based around food (eating, growing, buying) can play a vital role as a vehicle in  bringing people together, in reducing social isolation and loneliness, promoting multi generational activities, and promoting independent mobility. Therefore plans should include the  following: 

• Opportunities to increase participation in food growing and related activities through increased  provision of allotments, incorporation of growing sites into new and existing developments, and  development of edible landscapes will ensure more places where people can come together  socially. 

• Opportunities where people can come together to share food and eat, as well as grow food  together, need to be expanded, including for example community cafes and food hubs, as a means  of reducing social isolation and encouraging social interaction. 

• Provision of a wide range of free opportunities for people to learn about, share and enjoy healthy  and sustainable food, through for example intergenerational events, food festivals, and other  community food initiatives, would help to ensure that people from all social and cultural  backgrounds could come together socially and work co-operatively 

• Support for food production that protects natural ecosystems and resources; promote high  animal welfare standards; reduce food miles, packaging and waste. 

• Local retail outlets giving access to healthy food, 

• Affordable halls for community events 

This can be achieved through collaborative working with national and local organisations, Parish and  Town Councils, Community groups, the BID, Age UK, Community First, etc. 

Low Carbon Infrastructure 

1. Are there any key low carbon infrastructure issues that we need to be aware of? 

• "Food will be the defining issue of the 21st Century. Unlocking its potential will catalyse the  achievement of both the SDGs and Paris Agreement. An unprecedented opportunity exists to  develop food systems as a common thread between many international, national and business  frameworks aiming for improved human health and environmental sustainability. ...The stability  of the earth’s system will require no less than a Great Food Transformation." (EAT-Lancet  Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems, 2019) 

• In the UK, over 30% of greenhouse gas emissions arise from the food system, (www.fcrn.org.uk) and a third of the food we produce goes to waste.(Tristram Stuart (2009)  Waste:) 

• Green infrastructure should include food growing areas, analysis of how productive and diverse  they are, and requirements about the increase needed in this area. 

• There is a need to protect/re-establish vital sustainable food infrastructure to support shorter and  value based supply chains. This would have a positive impact on transport emissions around  food. 

• Examination of sustainable food procurement (promotion of local, fresh, seasonal food,  shortening food supply chains, facilitating access to public sector markets by smaller scale sustainable growers,) and facilitation of co-operative supply initiatives 

• Collection of consumable surplus food to distribute should be expanded. Action on surplus food  and food waste is needed. Adoption of the Food Waste Hierarchy 

• Sustainable management of water – sourcing, storing, saving, making available clean cheap  water for all in all areas.

• The green infrastructure to be designed to reduce flooding 

2. Are there any other options available to the Council to address low carbon energy or other  infrastructure? 

• Encourage dual uses of land e.g. solar farms to be designed for food production as  well 

Ensuring delivery and success of the Local Plan 

Do you have any suggestions or any examples of a good monitoring system? 

Would you like to suggest any indicators we could use in the Local Plan to help us monitor whether  we are on track to achieve net zero carbon in the district by 2030? 

Health, waste, land, poverty, retail, community access, 

• Decrease in food poverty, and decrease in use of food banks and food pantries by mapping  provision throughout the District 

• Decrease in social isolation, and increase in health and well-being. 

• Decrease in obesity 

• Increase of access to healthy food, clean air and water – devise measures to monitor • Increase in access to food shops in 15minutes. 

• Increase in diversity of retail food offer, including smaller and independent shops and other  outlets, including local food markets and pop-up spaces 

• Decrease in food waste and surplus food, or diverted to good use, in line with the Food Waste  Hierarchy 

• Increase in the amount of food bought, served or consumed which is part of a recognised scheme that  addresses climate change or nature restoration 

• Increase in community eating places apart from retail 

• Increase in productive and biodiverse green infrastructure 

• Increase in number of people employed in the food chain who are paid the real Living Wage • Decrease in transport emissions around food 

• Increase in food growing areas in planning applications for new developments 

• Increase in number and volume of growing spaces, in urban and rural areas, and in  neighbourhoods. 

• Increase in proportion of food grown locally, and increase in amount of land given over to  growing food on a sustainable commercial basis. 

• Increase in the volume and/or value of food bought, served or consumed produced to a  recognisable agro-ecological standard 

• Increase in number of people trained in agroecological practices, and with cooking and growing  skills 

• Increase in the number and diversity of farms, and hectares, using agro-ecological techniques  supported by local food purchasing 

• Increase in the number of new entrant farmers, especially in horticulture 

General Comments 

If you would like to make any general comments about local plan strategic issues and priorities,  please do so in the space provided below

• Food is one of the basics of human life and should be embedded in the local plan. This is  backed up in statements in the National Planning Policy Framework and the National Design  Guide. 

• The National Planning Policy Framework specifically recognises the role of food in creating  healthy communities. It says that planning policies should aim to achieve healthy, safe and  inclusive places.. which enable and support healthy lifestyles.. for example through the provision  of safe and accessible green infrastructure….local shops, and access to healthier food and  allotments (paragraph 91). It also states, regarding making effective use of the land, that planning  policies and decisions should recognise that some undeveloped land can perform many functions,  such as for wildlife, recreation, flood risk management, cooling/shading, carbon storage or food  production (paragraph 118) 

• The National Design Guide 2021 includes 10 characteristics which help to make a well designed place. One of these characteristics in Nature. It says that a well-designed place will  “provide attractive open spaces in locations that are easy to access, with activities for all to enjoy,  such as play, food production, recreation and sport, so as to encourage physical activity and  promote health, well-being and social inclusion.” It says that there should be a network of high  quality green open spaces, with a variety of landscapes and activities, and that well-designed  places provide usable green spaces, taking into account, amongst other things well-integrated  drainage, ecology, shading, recreation and food production that achieve a biodiversity net gain as  required by the 25-year Environment Plan.” (Paragraphs 91 and 92) 

• Public Health England include “Access to fresh, high quality affordable food” as a healthy  community indicator in their health and urban planning toolkit. As an example of how the  planning policy could be designed to support healthy communities, it suggests that it could make  provision for a diversity of food outlets, for markets and for space for local production of  food; protecting key markets and food outlets.) 

• Brighton and Hove is an example where food growing spaces have been incorporated into the  local plan. As the Brighton and Hove Planning Advisory Note (2020) states, incorporating  food growing spaces into the local plan can contribute to the green infrastructure by  providing important benefits such as biodiversity , amenity – places for outdoor recreation,  climate change adaptation for example flood alleviation and cooling urban heat islands, air quality  improvement, increased food resilience and food security, environmental education, improved  health and well-being, and local distinctiveness.