What is the evidence base?

Robust evidence should support the choices made in neighbourhood planning and guide the approach taken and the conclusions reached. Planning policies need to be based on a proper understanding of the place they relate to and the communities that they support if they are to be relevant, realistic and to address local issues effectively.

The data about a place and its analysis is referred to as the evidence base in neighbourhood planning. This can include social, economic and environmental data. Evidence has been gathered over the whole course of the development of the Wellow plan and is continuing. 

How did we create it?

The evidence base was created from a variety of sources including:

  • Local sources (Parish records, the Village Plan, the Village Design Statement, Wellow Community Wildlife Plan, local knowledge and community feedback)
  • Residents’ opinion surveys, housing need surveys, business surveys and informal consultations. The evidence base has benefitted greatly from Wellow Parishioners thoughts and comments
  • Sources within the local planning authorities (Test Valley Borough Council and the New Forest National Park)
  • Hampshire County Council for county statistics, planning for mineral and waste development, public rights of way and local habits and wildlife corridors (Hampshire Biodiversity information Centre)
  • Government agencies: Natural England for designations of areas and habitats, Historic England for listed buildings and parks and gardens, Environment Agency for flood zones, Office for National Statistics for population numbers and characteristics
  • Ordnance Survey for detailed maps and aerial imagery
  • Google and other web search mechanisms for information on local businesses and other miscellaneous information
  • Specialised surveys of potential building sites for housing development, the character of the Parish and the assessment of housing needs were done using consultants. Feedback on the character appraisal from members of the community contributed considerably to the final outcome.

Contents of the evidence base

The following lists the current the contents of the evidence base. Where these are available for viewing by the community, a link is provided to a PDF file.

Until the final Plan is published these remain draft documents, whilst the team have made every effort to ensure that these documents are factually correct as far as can be determined, they may contain errors of omission or commission. If you see any errors, we would like to hear about them.

Please email admin@wellownhp.org.uk with your comments or drop a letter into the Parish Office.

Community survey

This survey was conducted in late 2018 and was designed to elicit the views of residents on what they thought about living in the Parish currently, their views on further housing development and how they would like to see the Parish evolve. Both a summary and a more detailed analysis of the results are available.


Detailed analysis of results:

Housing needs assessment

A summary of the detailed housing needs assessment including the key findings from of the housing needs survey conducted in 2019 is available.  The assessment forms the basis for assessing the future housing need of existing and future residents of Wellow Parish and determining the appropriate number of new homes and their size, type and tenure.

Site assessment

This is a report on the assessment of number of potential sites for housing based on a standard scoring technique undertaken by independent consultants. Not available until all affected landowners have been contacted.

Wellow Parish Character Appraisal

The character appraisal sets out the special interest, character and appearance of Wellow Parish to highlight its local distinctiveness and identify.

It is a factual and objective analysis to enable a better understanding of Wellow’s qualities that make the place unique such as open spaces, rural and urban landscapes, building materials and types and ages of properties. Its purpose was to identify important issues to be addressed in the plan. https://www.wellownhp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Wellow-Character-Appraisal-June-2021e.pdf

Survey of local employment and businesses

In November 2020, a business and employment survey was issued to businesses that were known or could be identified within the Parish.

The results of the Survey, along with results from the residents’ survey in 2018, interviews with businesses and extensive web research are presented in a summary document.

Evidence for Strategic Environmental Assessment screening report

The aim of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive which has been transposed into English law following Brexit is to provide a high level of protection of the environment by integrating environmental considerations into the process of preparing plans and programmes.

A key stage in the neighbourhood planning process is determining whether a SEA is required. The Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) – Test Valley Borough Council and New Forest Nation Park in our case – have to determine in the first instance whether an SEA is required for the Wellow Neighbourhood Plan.

The process for deciding whether a SEA is necessary is referred to as ‘screening’.

 In preparation for this, the neighbourhood planning team had to gather the necessary evidence for submission to the LPAs. The link to this document is presented below. It provides a summation, mainly in map form, of the environmental and other evidence that has been amassed by the team as part of the evidence base.

This document includes information on:

  1. Biodiversity, fauna and flora – designated areas, statutory and non- statutory, habitats, tree preservation orders, site of importance to nature conservation, ecological networks and priority habitats
  2. Population – totals, distribution, ethnicity and religion, education and employment, deprivation, property
  3. Human health
  4. Soil – soil types and agricultural land classification
  5. Water – drainage network and river flood risk, surface water flooding
  6. Air quality
  7. Climate
  8. Material assets and landfill sites
  9. Cultural heritage – listed buildings and Hampshire Environment Record (HER)
  10. Landscape – character appraisal areas
  11. Important views