The 2014 Annual Village Meeting (AVM) was attended by 233 residents, councillors and exhibitors on 24th April. The Chairman, Iain Chalmers, presented two awards for Outstanding Service to the Community. The first was to Andy Travell, in recognition of over 20 years involvement with Hook Scouts. In particular, for providing an opportunity for scouts to experience controlled rifle shooting. Some scouts have entered county and national competitions.
The second award went to Hook Care Group, which provides a self-funding voluntary car service to take people to their medical appointments at local hospitals, when they cannot use other transport. The award was accepted on behalf of the Group by their Chairman, David Burke. In accepting the award, he paid tribute to the all the volunteer drivers and coordinators.
The main item on the AVM Agenda was a presentation on new planning regulations and the status of the Local Plan by Mr Daryl Phillips, Corporate Director (Planning) Hart District Council. This was very detailed and informative and clearly set out the position on housing development from the Government, District and Parish Council perspectives. Due to the number of questions received it was not possible to answer them at the meeting. In early June draft minutes of the AVM will be available on the Parish Council’s website. Appended to the minutes will be Daryl Phillips presentation, along with responses to questions, not covered by his presentation.
Major Planning Applications – Around 150 residents attended a display for the 550 dwellings at NE Hook application, held at Basingstoke Country Hotel on 26th April. The application for NE Hook and an outline application for Land at Owen’s Farm were considered by the Parish Council’s Planning Committee on 7th May, in the presence of 25 residents. In both cases the Committee objected, primarily on the overall housing numbers, as well as the inadequate sewage system, traffic and transport. The full comments on both sites can be found on our website.
In May an application was received for alterations to Gregory House, which is owned and managed by Sentinel Housing Association. This application is for a change from a residential institution (sheltered housing), into individual flats for active people over 55 years of age who are on Sentinel’s housing register. The existing building will be retained and altered internally to create 28 new 1 and 2 bedroom dwellings – 9 less than at present. The scheme includes installation of a lift, a buggy store, new heating and laundry facilities for both the main building and adjacent bungalows. There will also be increased parking spaces.
Neighbourhood Plans (NPs) – In the light of recent advice from Hart District Council, a resolution was passed at the Parish Council meeting on 7th May, to form a Steering Group. The group will establish how to take this to the wider community and move forward with preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for Hook. Initially this group will consist of 4 Councillors and 4 residents, who have already expressed an interest in being involved in Neighbourhood Plans. More information will be published in Focus as the work of the group gets underway. As it is likely a team of 20-30 volunteers will be needed in due course, we are keen to hear from groups or individuals interested in being involved.
Bus services – The Taxi Bus has new signage to make it easier to identify the vehicles. The Parish Council is reviewing the timetable and passenger numbers in the light of the subsidy for the trial. Every passenger, whether paying a full fare or a concessionary pass holder, will help to reduce the subsidy required for the service. Please give us your feedback on this service and use it if you can.
Hook Wellbeing Directory – This provides information on services to help promote health, wellbeing and active involvement in clubs and organisations for older Hook residents. Copies are available from Hook Churches, the Doctors Surgery, Elizabeth Hall, Trees Newsagents, Inclusion, the Village Agents, Parish Council Office and website.
Hook Community Centre – At the time of writing delivery of the steelworks is imminent. The car park had to be partial closed before half term, to enable the roofing material to be cut to size. The Internal block and stud partition work is complete.
At the Annual Parish Council Meeting in May Iain Chalmers was re-elected Chairman of the Council. Robert Leppard remains as Vice Chairman. Debra Davies and Gordon Winter become Chair of Planning and Amenities respectively. Anthony Hawkins will continue to Chair the Development Strategy Committees.
Anne Atkins – Clerk