Development Updates

Development Updates

The latest news about development plans for the area.

Jan 252014

In the absence of a local plan for housing, a number of developers are applying for permission to build on sites around Hook:-

A planning application has been submitted for a site at Reading Road. This was considered by Hook Parish Council in January and objections were made. The full details of the application and of the Council’s objections can be seen on the District Council’s planning portal – the application number to search for is 13/02585/MAJ.

At the other end of Hook, Taylor Wimpey have made an application on land off Brown Croft (“High Ridge Farm”). This is an outline application and so far only Access has been considered, with other matters being reserved. The Parish Council have raised objections to this one also – the application number is 13/02567/MAJOR.

Charles Church also applied for a scoping opinion on land at the end of Hop Garden Road. This was to ascertain whether they needed to do an Environmental Impact Assessment – they don’t. They have yet to submit a planning application.

The Sainsbury’s planning application has now been granted planning permission by Hart District Council, subject to approval from the Secretary of State. Tesco have now also submitted an application for an enlarged store, to be situated on the site currently occupied by Rawlings Transport.

Sep 102013

The Parish Council’s Planning Committee considered the Sainsbury’s planning application on 7th August and has objected to it. The absence of a Core Strategy means that this is at present effectively development in open countryside, which is against existing planning policy. There is no comprehensive approach with the North East Hook housing site. The Hampshire Highways Authority has stated that the access junction, about which there is great local concern, “The current proposals are therefore not acceptable to the Highway Authority.” They have also requested further information from Sainsbury’s on highway and traffic matters. There is no provision for foul or surface water disposal in the absence of firm plans for the housing – an obvious problem given that the sewage pumping station in Holt Lane is struggling already.

Sainsbury’s have done a Retail Impact Assessment which assesses likely impact on retail businesses in the village centre as well as calculating by an approved method whether there is a need for a store of this size here. Hart have commissioned their own assessment of these issues, which isn’t yet available. In its response the Parish Council has accordingly informed Hart that it will consider and respond in detail in respect of this issue when the relevant information is to hand. This is likely to be when the District Council itself considers the application, which could be in September but, in view of the need for changes to the application, may not be until October or possibly even later.

There are also issues with lighting in the car park, conditions restricting vehicle movements, the design of the building itself, landscaping and a lack of information about wildlife populations on the site.

Sep 102013

Hart District Council’s Cabinet has approved the ‘Interim Policy Statement’ which will provide the policy basis for planning in Hart until a replacement Core Strategy can be prepared. The Interim Statement proposes 550 dwellings on the North east Hook site, with a further 50 on other sites in Hook, yet to be identified.

Aug 182013

Following the Inspector’s decision that Hart District Council’s draft Core Strategy was unsound and should be withdrawn, Hart has advised that they will be starting work immediately on an updated Core Strategy. They are aiming for the new draft to be published in April 2014. The Parish Council will make representations as appropriate as and when a new draft Strategy is published for consultation. In September Hart will be considering an ‘Interim Policy Statement’ for North East Hook. It will provide a policy context for development, albeit one with limited weight.

In the meantime the District Council also has to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework which means that it has to demonstrate that it has a 5-year housing land supply (although it is not now clear on what basis that should be calculated). Given that the government is making it clear that not enough houses are being built, it is likely that the housing numbers for the District as a whole will rise considerably above the 236 per annum proposed in the draft Core Strategy. However, because Hook already has a substantial number proposed, it is not likely that the numbers here will go up – although they certainly will not go down. For that reason therefore Hart may decide to grant permission for developments in north east Hook if and when a planning application has been submitted notwithstanding that there is no extant policy base in place.

There is also a distinct possibility that developers with other sites in Hook will try to take advantage of the current lack of a firm policy base and also submit planning applications with the intention of going to appeal if those applications are refused. Whilst the Parish Council does not welcome any such applications neither it nor Hart District Council may be able to stop them. If such developments are inevitable the Parish Council will take a pragmatic view and negotiate the best community and recreational facilities that it can for the benefit of the residents of Hook.

Jun 302013

Sainsbury’s have now submitted their Planning Application to build a 30,000 sq ft store on a site including the area currently occupied by the industrial units adjacent to the junction of London Road (A30) and Griffin Way North (B3349). The application comprises 71 documents and can be viewed on Hart District Council’s Planning Portal. You will need to enter 13/01145/MAJOR in the search box.

The Parish Council is holding a Public Consultation on the application on Tuesday 2nd July from 7.00 to 9.30 pm at Hook Community Centre. Please come along and take the opportunity to view and comment on the application.

The plans can also be seen at the Parish Council office by appointment and a selection of the documents have been published on the Sainsbury’s Hook website. Please submit your comments to Hart District Council and kindly copy Hook Parish Council. Comments will be taken into account when the Parish Council considers the application at the Planning Committee meeting on 7th August.

Jun 202013

20/06/2013: Some residents may have received leaflets from developers promoting development sites around Hook. At the time of writing, the Parish Council is aware of three such sites:-

  • land at Reading Road (north of John Morgan Close) – the developers are Banner Gleeson
  • land north of Seton Drive (accessed from Hop Garden Road) – the developers are Charles Church
  • land adjacent to Brown Croft – the developers are Taylor Wimpey

Others may yet come forward. All the developers are trying to take advantage of the “100 further dwellings on sites yet to be identified” allocation in the local plan.

The Parish Council’s position, as stated in our response to the Local Plan consultation, is that an appropriate figure for housing development for Hook would be about 200 houses. Since there is a major site allocated for 500 dwellings already, these additional sites would be excessive and the Parish Council will object to their inclusion.

However, there are substantial benefits to our community which could come on the back of these developments, so the Parish Council is in negotiations with all the developers to ensure that, should any permissions being granted despite our objections, those benefits are as large as possible, meet our needs and come directly to Hook for the use of our community. If the Parish Council does not negotiate with the developers in this way, then if the development is subsequently imposed upon us, Hook could end up with nothing except the houses. The negotiations are solely about the benefits – not about the principle of development.

Apr 142013

Hart District Council’s Local Plan, which proposes 500 dwellings and a convenience store in North East Hook and 100 further dwellings on sites “yet to be identified” in Hook, has been open for consultation recently and has now been submitted to the Secretary of State. Here is Hook Parish Council’s response to the consultation.

The draft local plan states that development at north east Hook will only be agreed where, “it can be demonstrated that it is planned in a comprehensive manner in accordance with an adopted master plan and development brief prepared in consultation with, and informed by, the local community.” It is understood that a draft master plan and development brief will be published for consultation in the early part of 2013 and that any planning applications will not be determined until this has been approved.

Sainsbury’s have published information about the store they propose to build as part of the North East Hook development. Inclusion of this link is for information only and does not imply that Hook Parish Council approves of the scheme described on the site. There is no equivalent information from the house builders that we can link to here.

Oct 282011

Hart District Council’s Core Strategy Preferred Approach proposes 550 additional houses to be built in Hook by 2028. The document can be viewed on Hart’s website.

The consultation period has now ended. Residents who attended the Parish Council Consultation Evening on 3rd October filled in a questionnaire to give their reactions to the proposals. A summary of the questionnaire results can be seen here.

Hook Parish Council used the questionnaire results to formulate its response to the proposals, which can be seen here.