Major planning Applications – An application for 550 homes on the NE Hook site was received in April, with a comments deadline of 30th April. A display of the application was held at the Basingstoke Country Hotel on 26th April, so residents had an opportunity to view the full size plans. The application will be considered by the Parish Council’s Planning Committee on 7th May.
Although the original indications for the NE Hook site were for 500 homes, the failed Local Plan actually specified 500 plus “100 on sites yet to be identified”. As Hart believes the site can accommodate the additional 50 housing in the current application, the draft Interim Development Strategy shows 550 on the NE Hook site plus “50 sites yet to be identified”. However, in the intervening period there have been consultations by developers on a number of other sites and applications have come forward for 130 homes at High Ridge Farm and Reading Road.
Following consultations by the developer earlier in the year, we understand that an outline application has been received for a site at Owens Farm, accessed via Hop Garden Road. At the time of writing the application had not been validated (a check that all documentation and fee payments are correct). The application may be on Hart’s website by the time Focus is published.
The Parish Council has written to Rt Hon James Arbuthnot expressing concerns about the level of development proposed in Hook and seeking his support.
Neighbourhood Plans (NPs) – Contrary to advice previously received, Hart District Council is now advising that some communities should embark on preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. It considers that this should take about 18 months to put in place and so would fit in with the timetable for the new Local Plan. A recent report by Hart District Council states “Last year, the District Council had anticipated that it would have in place a new Local Plan that would have delivered relatively modest growth dispersed across the District. The intention was that the Core Strategy would identify general areas for growth but that site specific developments would be identified through a subsequent Site Allocation Development Plan. In those circumstances, unless identified as an area for significant growth, there was for most communities no pressing need to bring forward neighbourhood plans. The new Local Plan will have to deliver a much higher level of growth than previously anticipated particularly as it is the government’s objective to significantly boost the supply of new housing. The new Local Plan will also have to ensure that it has more specifically identified deliverable sites for the first 10 years of the Plan albeit that growth may initially be limited by the SPA ‘cap’” For more information on Neighbourhood Plan guidance www.gov.uk/government/publications/neighbourhood-planning.
To move forward with a Hook Neighbourhood Plan, the team will need to comprise a minimum of 21 people who live or work in Hook. Please contact us if you are interested in participating in the process.
Bus services – Hampshire County Council have to save £1.2 to £1.5 million from the transport budget next year. They have a consultation in progress and it is most important that residents make their views known about the bus service serving Hook. In 2011 only one person responded and the No 10 bus route was shortened to Odiham only, no longer going through to Camberley. At the same time the funding ran out for the Holt Park to Basingstoke route. This caused considerable problems for some residents. Consultation questionnaires are available from the Post Office, Trees Newsagents and from the Hampshire County Council Website at www.hants.gov.uk/transportconsultation2014. The closing date for comments is 31st May. Buses can become a lifeline when circumstances change. Please let your views be known.
Hook Community Centre – New walls are going up for the extension housing the changing/ toilet areas and the joists are in place for the first floor Club Room. Internal walls and supports for the staircase to the new first floor are mostly in place. Once the steelwork arrives in May we will see the front elevation taking shape.
Tennis Courts – With the better weather it is good to see Hook Junior School is now making good use of both the Tennis and Multicourts on a regular basis. Outside of the times booked by the school, the courts are free to use on a first come first serve basis.
Anne Atkins – Clerk