Vandalism and criminal damage around Hook is of considerable concern. It would appear that several small groups of teenagers are largely responsible, and that although some come from outside Hook, most of them are local residents. The Elizabeth Hall play area, the Scout hut, and the squash courts have been recent targets. Broken bottles, spray paint and attempts to light fires near Parish or Scout property have been among the latest incidents. There were attempts to disrupt the school fireworks, but these were stopped by marshalls and the police. Quite apart from the wholly undesirable social disruption, all this damage has to be repaired from the Parish precept at the expense of all residents of Hook.
We can all help to spot and report these individuals either through the Neighbourhood Watch LAIR system or by ringing the Police on 0845 045 45 45 or in case of emergency: if crime or disorder are in progress, or injury is caused or threatened or offenders are still nearby by dialling 999. Information about any of these offences can always be left, anonymously if you prefer, on the Hook Beat House answering machine on 762345. We believe that the community can overcome these problems by working together.
The Planning Inspectorate has dismissed the appeal by Redfield Garden centre against refusal of planning for a large new garden centre on the A287 at Mill Lane Crondall. The Inspector took the view that there were no sound commercial reasons for Redfields to move from their existing site, that the construction of a new garden centre in a rural area was undesirable, and that there would be significant loss of amenity and increase in traffic.
As Focus goes to press the Planning Inspectorate’s decision on The Foundry site is still awaited, but expected in the very near future.
Following the granting of Planning Permission for a T Mobile slimline mast on the B3349 roundabout their mast, which has been lying in the grass at the Railway station since residents prevented it being put up without Planning Permission, has finally been removed and the site is being restored to its original condition. Only as we went to press we learnt that Vodafone are in the process of changing the masthead on their existing site at the Railway Station. Because this masthead is no higher than the old one Planning Permission is not required.
At this, the darkest time of year, we need all our street lights to be in order. If you spot an out of order street light please ring Hampshire County Council’s street light fault line on 0800 50 60 60 and leave a message reporting the name of the road where the light is faulty and the number of the column.
Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor