POLICY H1: Designation and purpose of the Settlement Boundary

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Context and reasoned justification

At present, there is no formal settlement boundary to define the built area and give effect to many of the Neighbourhood Plan policies. Within the Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan area, Grayswood is washed over by the Green Belt and the other three areas (Haslemere, Beacon Hill and Hindhead) are defined by the Green Belt and Countryside beyond the Green Belt boundaries. This Plan defines the settlement boundaries as the built up areas of the four settlements within the Neighbourhood Plan Area. If delivery of new homes falls short Waverley Borough Council may need to review and set new settlement boundaries in their Local Plan Part 2 which would supersede the boundaries set in this Plan. 

65% of respondents, expressing an opinion in the Haslemere Vision Phase II consultation, wanted to ‘build as many houses as possible within settlements’ rather than on greenfield land. To achieve this aim, it will be necessary to prioritize brownfield sites within the built area before sites outside the built area, and to build at densities which maximise the contribution the sites make to the housing target. That means some strategic sites within Haslemere will need to be built at medium to high housing densities (above 45 dwellings per hectare or dph – see Glossary page 63) and some ‘windfall land efficient development’ will occur within the town.

In its Foresight Paper No. 6; Making the Link (see Evidence list page 68), the Campaign to Protect Rural England supports building at higher densities to reduce urban spread and make a more efficient use of land. It recognises that densification should respect the character of the local area. Better use could be made of brownfield sites by allowing more storeys in a development where it can be done in a manner which is sympathetic to the surrounding environment.


Haslemere Town Council recognises the need for more homes. The purpose of this policy is to recognise the equal significance of our green space by reinforcing the National Planning Policy Framework protections for land lying outside the area’s settlement boundaries.

To preserve areas of high landscape quality, in particular AONB/AGLV sites which have strong distinctive characteristics which make them particularly sensitive to development.


H1.1 The Neighbourhood Plan adopts formal settlement boundaries within the Plan area as defined in Figures 1a-1c (below).

H1.2 In order to protect our green space, there will be a presumption against the development of land that lies outside the settlement boundaries.

H1.3 Development should not normally be permitted on AONB or AGLV sites. However, the Neighbourhood Plan recognises that, if allocated and windfall sites are not being developed at a rate to deliver the houses needed within the Plan period, it may be necessary to allocate one or more sites that include land designated as AONB or AGLV, outside the settlement boundaries defined in this Neighbourhood Plan. Any such site allocated for development by Waverley Borough Council in the Local Plan Part 2 should only be brought forward for development if it can be demonstrated that the planned development of houses is not taking place at a rate commensurate with achieving the overall housing provision over the Plan period as set out in Table 1 below:


Housing Numbers Threshold Achieved











Table 1: Milestones for total housing numbers achieved

H1.4 Development on approved sites proposed within the settlement boundaries (as defined in Figures 1a-c) that complies with the other Neighbourhood Plan policies, shall be supported.

H1.5 All new development of more than 10 dwellings should achieve a minimum of:

  • 75 dph within 1 kilometre of the station (see 1km of Station map Evidence list page 68)
  • 45 dph within the remaining areas

Figure 1a Haslemere settlement boundary

Figure 1b Grayswood settlement boundary

Figure 1c Hindhead and Beacon Hill settlement boundaries

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