As Focus goes to press comes the very sad news that David Deadman has lost his battle against cancer and passed away suddenly, but peacefully, on Wednesday 18th April. Our thoughts are with Valerie and all his family. A full appreciation of David will be in Focus next month.
The Hampshire Wildlife Trust came to our last meeting to talk about their plans for restoring overgrown areas of Hook Common by felling much of the silver birch which has seeded itself over the years and caused huge areas of the common to become inaccessible. Visibility around the cricket club and tennis court would be improved and highland cattle and new forest ponies put out to graze. Improved ditching along Hook Road would also help deter fly tipping.
Almost fifty villagers attended the Annual Village meeting on Tuesday 10th April. Sergeant Dixon, of the Hampshire Police, told the meeting that a proposal is being considered to build a new police station in Hook on the site of the existing Police House. The building would be the base of ten officers who would be responsible for Odiham, Hartley Wintney, Crondall and Mattingley as well as Hook itself. A Police staffed counter and a meeting room for community use would be included. The plan, which would much improve overall policing in Hook, is at a relatively early stage but could be completed within two years.
The speed limit between the Dorchester Arms and Hook was reduced to 30 mph during the roadworks, although most traffic travelled at over 40 mph, but it has now reverted to 50 mph which is the normal speed for that type of road. We are following up a suggestion that hatched road markings would reduce the speed of traffic entering Hook. The developers for Holt Lane have not yet produced the necessary design brief or hydrological survey, so the start of any work on site is still some time away. We understand that a number of developers are showing interest in building housing on the Old Foundry site, but no formal planning application has yet been made.
It is clear from responses received from several departments that the Government has no current intention of making mobile phone masts subject to full planning permission. However Debra Shipley, a Birmingham MP, is leading a cross party campaign to require mobile phone companies to prove that their installations are safe which is a change from the current procedure which requires objectors to prove that a proposal would be unsafe.
The next meeting of the Parish Council is on Wednesday 2nd May at the Community Hall at 8pm.
Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor