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News Bulletin: February 2014

Major Planning Applications

At the Planning Committee meeting on 8th January major applications were considered. One was for 60 dwellings on land at High Ridge Farm with proposed access off Brown Croft. The second application was on land adjacent to Reading Road, for 70 dwellings.

Hart District Council Interim Housing Delivery Strategy indicates that the new housing allocation for Hook will be 550 dwellings on North East Hook and a further 50 dwellings on a site yet to be agreed. In accordance with policy the Parish Council trust that the remaining site will come forward at a later date via a Site Allocations and Development Management DPD after consultation and agreement with Officers, residents and the Parish Council. As a result, the Parish Council objected to the proposals and submitted a list of points. The full responses can be viewed by searching on the application number on the Planning Portal at publicaccess.hart.gov.uk/online-applications. In both cases the proposed development is outside the settlement boundary and is, therefore, development in the Countryside and is not in accordance with the Saved Policies of the Local Plan 1996-2006. The proposal would also erode the gap between Hook and the adjoining villages of Newnham and Rotherwick. Key objections were also raised in respect of water supply, concerns over the sustainability of the proposed solutions to address the lack of capacity at the sewage pumping station, traffic and transport strategy.

In December an application was also received for an opinion on whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (known as an EIA) is required in respect of a proposed development on Owens Farm, accessed via Hop Garden Road (13/02611/EIAE). Concerned and believing this to be a Planning Application, a number of residents responded. The Parish Council has published a summary explanation from the Corporate Director at Hart District Council, responsible for Planning to assist residents in understanding the process. The explanation can be found here.

Sainsbury’s Application and Tesco Expansion

The Sainsbury application (13/01145/MAJOR) Land on the North Side of London Road Hook Hampshire was considered by the Planning Committee at Hart District Council on Wednesday 15th January 2014 the determination was not known in time to allow inclusion due to the Focus copy deadline 14th January 2014. The Officer recommendation was for approval of the application subject to planning conditions and a referral to the Secretary of State. The referral to the Secretary of State is because this proposal is a departure from the Local Plan and the size of the proposal. This is common procedure.

Tesco carried out a public consultation recently regarding the proposed new store. At the time of writing the outline planning application had been submitted to Hart District Council but not validated. As this was not a valid application, it could not be taken into account for the determination of the Sainsbury application. An outline application is submitted to establish the principle of development and normally the access arrangements. All other matters are reserved to a later more detailed application.

2014-15 Precept

At their January Meeting the Parish Council set the precept (the Hook portion of the Council Tax) for 2014-15 at £313,000. Depending on the total tax base (the number of houses in Hook paying Council Tax) this will probably be a slight reduction from last year in terms of cost per household.

January at Hook Community Centre

The heavy rain over Christmas and the generally gloomy weather did little to make the start of work easy for anyone. Demolition is in full swing, although this is currently all internal stripping out, so there is little to see from the outside, apart from the ‘blue can’ site office and compound now established at the rear. The Village Nursery opened in its new temporary accommodation in the squash courts, initially accessed via the side corridor. The play area is taking shape and children are settling into their new environment well. The excessive rain delayed construction of the new access via the rear gate. Consequently this impacted on the Parish Council moving into the temporary office. Signs direct visitors to the new entrance from the front of the building

Community Awards

The Hook Community Awards recognise voluntary works and achievements for the benefit of our Community by individuals or businesses. The awards are presented at the Hook Annual Village Meeting in April. If you would like to nominate somebody who makes a real difference to the village, please write or e-mail the Clerk by the end of February.

Anne Atkins – Clerk