Planning – The view from the sea

The land based planning system.

Planning and development control is the process of managing the development of land and buildings. The purposes of this process are to conserve what we value whilst ensuring a sustainable approach to new development, including infrastructure.

Local planning authorities are responsible for deciding whether a development should go ahead. In order to inform these decisions the LPA must have in place a local plan which sets out the planning policies for the area which are relevant to the local area and against which applications for planning permission will be judged. These local plans must also follow the guidance set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

In the Solent area the authorities with responsibility for planning are ;

  • Southampton City Council
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • New Forest District Council
  • New Forest National Park Authority
  • Eastleigh Borough Council
  • Fareham Borough Council
  • Gosport Borough Council
  • Havant Borough Council
  • Chichester District Council
  • Isle of Wight Council

For more information on the planning process visit the Planning Portal.

Few local authorities pay sufficient attention to the view from the sea. At Solent Protection Society we regularly scan planning applications, and where necessary draw this aspect to the attention of the planning authorities.

Major Infrastructure Developments

The Planning Inspectorate is responsible for operating the planning process for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs). These are large developments such as new harbours, power generating stations (including wind farms), and electricity transmission lines. Thresholds are set above which certain types of infrastructure development are considered to be nationally significant.

For more information visit

The Local Enterprise Partnership

(For the Solent LEP click Here)

A major new factor is the development of a twin city approach by Portsmouth and Southampton who are both participating in the Local Enterprise Partnership

ABP is the current chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, and a key supporting component of the City Deal which, if all goes well, will deliver a a £1.5 billion programme of development between Portsmouth and Southampton.

So we thought we ought to know where ABP was coming from. We had a frank discussion with Doug Morrison, the ABP Port Director.

The key points were:

  • This LEP (unlike most of the others) contains a balance of industry and local government, and is led by industry
  • LEP grants to small and medium sized companies are going well
  • The City deal will have an impact on the Solent, but the details are not yet clear
  • The consent to dredge the main channel is a major success for ABP, but despite strenuous efforts on their part, there are no plans to utilise the millions of tonnes of dredged material for habitat creation and flood defence. ABP and SPS look to local government and government agencies to be more imaginative.
  • ABP and SPS are concerned that the Marine Maritime Organisation, based in Newcastle, have not yet grasped the complexity of the Solent with regard to development of Marine Planning.

Click here to read more