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News Bulletin: July / August 2010

At the Annual Village Meeting and in June Focus we mentioned that in the autumn Hart expect to undertake consultation over possible ideas for new housing in the District. This consultation was to be based on the way in which they expect to achieve their central government imposed target for new dwellings. However the new Government has swept away both this process and the regional planning authorities which managed it. We understand that decision making powers have been returned to local authorities who will base their decisions on the needs of local communities. It is currently far from clear as to how the new process will actually work or if the lack of a central structure will simply produce a wave of planning appeals.

The Primary Care Trust has refused the recent application by the surgery to open apharmacy on their premises on the basis that they could see no need for a second pharmacy or a choice of pharmacies in Hook. Whilst in the case of Planning Applications all the application documents and comments are available to the public on the internet, applications to the Primary Care Trust are very different in that only certain organisations are invited to comment and although representations by each of those organisations are available to the others none of the documents are in the public domain.

Work on the A30 between the former Coach House Garden Centre and the Crooked Billet to narrow the westbound carriageway in the interests of safety is scheduled to start by the end of June.

The current application to change the use of the former Wine Rack premises from a retail shop to a restaurant has attracted a lot of unfavourable comment. Continuing use as a shop would widen the choice of retail units currently available to the benefit of both shoppers and the existing retailers and a number of organisations are believed to want to run a shop in the premises. There is already a wide choice of restaurants and takeaways so another such outlet would not benefit our community. A significant number of objections have been lodged, including one by the Parish Council. The window for objections is now closed and Hart are due to make a decision on the application by 12th July 2010. News of the decision will be included in the September Parish Council page but will be advised to those who have signed up to receive Hook Announcements as soon as it is published.

If you would like to receive Hook Announcements in future please go to the Parish Council webpage at www.hook.gov.uk and follow the link. We promise that you will not be drowned in email as we only send announcements on topics of high interest that should not wait until the next issue of Focus.

Apologies to our Vice-Chairman Gordon Winter for my error in his name in June Focus. Congratulations to our Parish Clerk Anne Atkins on obtaining the Certificate in Local Council Administration. There are 250 clerks in Hampshire at any one time but since the qualification was introduced in 2003 fewer than fifty have ever passed the course.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor