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May 2006

Hart advise us that Rubbish collection dates have changed. Scheduled collection day for almost all Hook (Green Zone) is Friday after May 1st and Monday after May 29th. Updates are always posted on Hart’s website at

George Wimpey recently applied to increase the density of part of their un-built second phase at Holt Park by removing 35 larger houses from their plans and introducing 59 smaller houses. We opposed the proposal to cram in these extra dwellings. It is clear that the currently approved plans for the overall site provide inadequate parking for residents, let alone visitors. Hart has refused this revised scheme and we believe George Wimpey are likely to build the remainder of their part of the site in line with the permission that has already been approved.

After a lengthy debate with Hart, revised Car Park charges in Reading Road Car Park are scheduled to come into force as Focus goes to press.

We recently held our usual quarterly update with Highways. At present traffic on Newnham Road driving towards Hook leaves the Newnham 40mph limit and then drives through an open 60mph stretch before reaching the Hook 30mph limit. Inevitably cars reach the Hook speed limit at much higher speeds than 30mph. Newnham are now keen to reduce the speed limit in the whole of Newnham from 40mph to 30mph which provides an opportunity for a 30mph limit along the whole of Newnham Road including the current 60mph section. District Councillors in both Basingstoke and Deane and Hart are supportive of the joint views of the two Parish Councils so it is now for Highways to draw up a scheme for consideration including signage, white lines and other traffic measures. There will then be consultation with the Police. Police concern is, understandably, to be confident that the new speed limits would be respected by the great majority of drivers. The process could well take a year but would provide a collective way forward over speed issues that have caused concern within Hook and Newnham for a very long time.

Work on the A30 between Black Bridge and Sheldons Road is now almost complete. Apart from resurfacing both the road and the pavement, the work has included a new white line scheme to slow traffic, stronger signage at the entrance to Hook and bollards and kerbs at the entrance to Memorial Road. The Memorial Road junction had become a safety hazard because cars had taken to mounting the pavement so as to pass vehicles waiting to turn right into Newnham Road.

Earlier in the year a pedestrian on the footpath by the Total petrol station was knocked down by a car. Very fortunately he was unhurt but a child would not have been so lucky. Although there are dotted white lines at the entrance and exit to the petrol station, which are intended to give priority to pedestrians, the road, pavement and garage forecourt are all on the same level. Highways are now arranging to build kerbs and bollards into the footpath.

The concept of a reduction in speed limit from 50mph to 40mph on the B3349 between Hook and Heckfield is still under consideration between Highways and the Police. A number of Focus readers have commented that they doubt a reduction would be respected but we await the outcome of the debate.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor