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News Bulletin: May 2010

The Annual Village Meeting will be taking place as Focus is distributed. Unfortunately due to strict rules in the run up to a General Election the RAF are not permitted to attend. A final reminder that the AVM is at the Elizabeth Hall on Tuesday 27th April from 8pm. We hope to see yet another increase in numbers attending this year!

A total of fourteen roads have been nominated by residents for salt bins and we are passing the list to Highways who will assess it against their allocation criteria. At this stage we do not know how many bins might be available for Hook but it seems likely that the number will be significantly lower than fourteen and that priority will be given to those roads which have the steepest gradient.

At the April Parish Council meeting members approved a grant request from the Hook Allotment Association. The grant totalling £10,000 is towards set up costs of £18,000 at the Blackstock Lane site in Nately Scures and will be released in two stages as work progresses.

As long ago as 2006 an application for eleven houses on the site of The Bungalow in London Road was refused by Hart. The applicant’s appeal was allowed by the Planning Inspectorate in 2007. However that approval required realignment of the A30 and we believed that the changes to the A30 would make it necessary to move a fibre optic cable. It seems clear that the cost of the road works would have been more than the scheme could fund. Although the developer has submitted an application to renew the existing permission he has now also submitted a proposal for a total of five units on the same land on which he wished to build eleven dwellings. This proposal, with access from the A30, is naturally less unacceptable but although the new plan would eliminate the need to realign the road we have concerns about the level of parking in the proposal as well as aspects of the design.

The public toilets in the Reading Road car park are owned and currently maintained by Hart. Hart made it clear during 2009 that unless we took over responsibility for running costs and maintenance the toilets would be closed at the end of 2009. Hart agreed to postpone closure to give us time to evaluate and cost conversion of part of the building to retail use with the objective that retaining a toilet facility would be largely funded by rental income. We reached no final decision at the April Parish Council meeting and the item was deferred for a month pending final discussion of options with Hart.

The surgery has recently applied for a pharmacy licence which would allow them to dispense medicines. After discussion we decided not to comment on the application. If the application is approved by the Primary Care Trust a separate planning application would be needed in order to extend the surgery building into their car park.

Casual parking in the Parish Council car park in Ravenscroft has meant that around 12% of the available space has been wasted at peak times. White lined spaces have now been painted which means that thirteen additional vehicles can be accommodated provided drivers use the marked spaces. Please do not park in the disabled spaces unless carrying an official disabled badge or in the two permit holder spaces which are provided for essential users of the Community Centre!

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor