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News Bulletin: May 2005

Many have commented favourably on the increased Police presence in and around Hook in recent weeks, which is part of their concerted campaign against vehicle crime and burglaries in North Hampshire for which people from outside the County are believed to be responsible. We expect to be able to give you some tangible information as to the results of this initiative later in the year.

The Hook Parish Plan is moving ahead and is now in draft form. After some more editing work it will be available on the Parish Council Web site for public comment and we plan a display day in early July which will provide an opportunity to talk with the team that has put the plan together as well as a chance to provide written comment.

Careless drivers continue to damage the bollards in Grand Parade which we installed to protect both the mosaic and pedestrians. Once again they need reseating which costs £250 each time we have to do it. After much research we have decided to install two bollards with very deep foundations known as “Guardsmen”. There is no doubt that in the event of an attack by the bumper of a 4 x 4 the “Guardsman” will win. Although the cost will be almost £1,000 the “Guardsmen” will be a cost effective solution given the current rate of damage to the ordinary bollards which have already been re-seated twice.

An application to demolish The Bungalow in London Road and build 13 dwelling units on the site was refused by Hart following objections by the Parish Council and numerous residents. The Developer has since appealed and the appeal will be heard towards the end of the year. However as Focus goes to press we know that a new application to build 12 units on the site has just been received by Hart and will be with us shortly. The Parish Council Planning Committee will consider the application when we receive it but it is most important that residents who have an opinion on the Application write to Hart and express their view because letters sent in respect of the previous proposal cannot be carried over to the new application.

At the very far end of Osborn Way is a large industrial site much of which has been empty for some years, whilst the remainder has been used by Case to store diggers pending their eventual delivery to buyers. These yellow diggers have been easily seen from the train as it reaches Hook from London. The owners of the site have now applied for outline Planning Permission to redevelop it by building new industrial units. The site naturally has existing permission for industrial use but our serious concern is that any redevelopment would produce much more traffic and put massive pressure on the junction of Osborn Way and Station Road. Station Road at that point is always busy being a main access to both Tesco and the Station itself. Access from a new roundabout on Griffin Way South would be a much better solution. However any developer scheme for redevelopment will probably take some time to become a firm proposal.

The Parish Council now has both a Complaints Procedure and Financial Regulations in place. Copies can be viewed at the Parish Council Office at the Community Centre between 9am and 12 noon Monday to Friday or at other times by prior arrangement.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor