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.