In 2021, the council corresponded with the Government about its aim of putting an effective, up-to-date local plan in place to meet housing requirements, making the best use of land and creating well-designed and attractive communities. The council's priority remains getting an up-to-date local plan in place.

The presence of the South Downs National Park within East Hampshire creates a unique situation when considering how housing needs are assessed. The council believes that an alternative method to that prescribed by the Government is needed for East Hampshire and will continue to raise this with the Government at every opportunity.

The council acknowledges that any alternative method would need to be deemed appropriate by a planning inspector, in the context of any representations received, at the examination of the local plan.

The ministerial response received in 2021 reaffirmed that the standard method is a starting point when planning for new homes. It gave little reassurance but instead reaffirmed national planning policy and guidance.

The council will continue to explore alternatives to the standard method.