At the Planning Committee meeting on 8th January major applications were considered. One was for 60 dwellings on land at High Ridge Farm with proposed access off Brown Croft. The second application was on land adjacent to Reading Road, for 70 dwellings.
Hart District Council Interim Housing Delivery Strategy indicates that the new housing allocation for Hook will be 550 dwellings on North East Hook and a further 50 dwellings on a site yet to be agreed. In accordance with policy the Parish Council trust that the remaining site will come forward at a later date via a Site Allocations and Development Management DPD after consultation and agreement with Officers, residents and the Parish Council. As a result,
the Parish Council objected to the proposals and submitted a list of points. The full responses can be viewed by searching on the application number on the Planning Portal at publicaccess.hart.gov.uk/online-applications.
In both cases the proposed development is outside the settlement boundary and is, therefore, development in the Countryside and is not in accordance with the Saved Policies of the Local Plan 1996-2006. The proposal would also erode the gap between Hook and the adjoining villages of Newnham and Rotherwick. Key objections were also raised in respect of water supply, concerns over the sustainability of the proposed solutions to address the lack of capacity at the sewage pumping station, traffic and transport strategy.
In December an application was also received for an opinion on whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (known as an EIA) is required in respect of a proposed development on Owens Farm, accessed via Hop Garden Road (13/02611/EIAE). Concerned and believing this to be a Planning Application, a number of residents responded. The Parish Council has published a summary explanation from the Corporate Director at Hart District Council, responsible for Planning to assist residents in understanding the process. The explanation can be found here.
Sainsbury’s Application and Tesco Expansion
The Sainsbury application (13/01145/MAJOR) Land on the North Side of London Road Hook Hampshire was considered by the Planning Committee at Hart District Council on Wednesday 15th January 2014 the determination was not known in time to allow inclusion due to the Focus copy deadline 14th January 2014. The Officer recommendation was for approval of the application subject to planning conditions and a referral to the Secretary of State. The referral to the Secretary of State is because this proposal is a departure from the Local Plan and the size of the proposal. This is common procedure.
Tesco carried out a public consultation recently regarding the proposed new store. At the time of writing the outline planning application had been submitted to Hart District Council but not validated. As this was not a valid application, it could not be taken into account for the determination of the Sainsbury application.
An outline application is submitted to establish the principle of development and normally the access arrangements. All other matters are reserved to a later more detailed application.
At their January Meeting the Parish Council set the precept (the Hook portion of the Council Tax) for 2014-15 at £313,000. Depending on the total tax base (the number of houses in Hook paying Council Tax) this will probably be a slight reduction from last year in terms of cost per household.
January at Hook Community Centre
The heavy rain over Christmas and the generally gloomy weather did little to make the start of work easy for anyone. Demolition is in full swing, although this is currently all internal stripping out, so there is little to see from the outside, apart from the ‘blue can’ site office and compound now established at the rear. The Village Nursery opened in its new temporary accommodation in the squash courts, initially accessed via the side corridor. The play area is taking shape and children are settling into their new environment well. The excessive rain delayed construction of the new access via the rear gate. Consequently this impacted on the Parish Council moving into the temporary office. Signs direct visitors to the new entrance from the front of the building
The Hook Community Awards recognise voluntary works and achievements for the benefit of our Community by individuals or businesses. The awards are presented at the Hook Annual Village Meeting in April. If you would like to nominate somebody who makes a real difference to the village, please write or e-mail the Clerk by the end of February.
New Tesco Store Proposed for Hook
Tesco are proposing an expansion of the existing site in Station Road. Consultation was carried out at the store on Tuesday 17th December to shape the future of the new store. The new store will incorporate the site currently occupied by the much valued and well respected Rawlings family. Draft (Indicative plans) includes 31,984 sq ft of sales area and 322 customer parking spaces. Access points and the design of the significant elevations are still under review.
Further consultations will be carried out with Hart District Council and the Parish Council in the New Year.
Community Centre Refurbishment
At the time of writing work has commenced on creating the temporary facility for the Hook Village Nursery and the Parish Council. The Base will remain open in its present location.
During the week commencing 6th January 2014 the Parish Council office and Village Nursery will be relocated into temporary accommodation at the rear of the Community Centre. Access will be via the rear gate on the footpath adjacent to the houses beside the rear of the building.
Provision has been made to enable the Base to continue to operate as normal.
The Parish Council office will be closed to the public during the week of 6th January while we organise ourselves into the temporary cabins and re-establish phone and internet connections. All contact details will remain the same, but an emergency contact number will be on our website and noticeboards during any period of closure. Once settled in our new office we expect to continue to offer a high standard of service, but would ask residents to bear with us during the construction.
As mentioned last month, parking on site will be restricted during the weekdays due to the level of construction vehicles needing to park.
The Parish Council would like to thank The Village Nursery and The Base committee members, staff and parents for their continued support during what will be a challenging time for all of us remaining on site during the construction.
Change of Parish Council Meeting Venue in 2014
Due to the closure of the Community Centre, all meetings of the Parish Council and its Committees will be relocated to Elizabeth Hall from January 2014 until the construction work is completed.
The Calendar of meetings for 2014 and agendas can be found on the Parish Council noticeboards and our website at www.hook.gov.uk.
Taxi Bus Trial
Capital Cars are currently waiting for their Special PSV Operators Licence to be granted to enable them to run the Taxi Bus Service. We expect this licence to be in place at the end of December and we will then be able to apply to the Traffic Commissioners for a start date for the Taxi Bus Service to begin.
We hope to get the go ahead in January before the 100 bus service stops in early February. Timetables will be circulated in advance of the service starting and new bus stops will appear with the Capital Cars Logo.
There are many ‘unsung heroes’ in Hook that deserve recognition for their voluntary efforts and achievements which have been of benefit of our Community. We are keen to receive nominations for our 2014 Community Awards, which will be presented at the Hook Annual Village Meeting in April. The nominations can be for individuals, groups or businesses that have made a sustained voluntary contribution in Hook. Please send nominations to the Clerk in writing or e-mail by the end of March.
SAVE THE DATE – Annual Village Meeting 23rd April 2014.