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News Bulletin: November 2011

Thank you to everyone who came along to the housing consultation evening on 3rd October 2011. Copies of the results of the consultation are available on our website – just follow the link in the News section. The detailed comments from residents are still being analysed but there are, however, some frequently-raised points that we would like to answer here:

  1. Why Hook for development? Why not Odiham (for example). The first step is that Hart District Council calls for sites to be included in a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment. Landowners and developers put forward sites in the hope that they will be selected for development. The District Council has an obligation to make provision for housing and can only allocate this to the sites that come forward for development. Sadly landowners around Hook appear to have sold options to developers for many Greenfield sites and are keen to see houses built on them. Twelve sites of note were put forward around Hook, by developers speculating that these sites will be selected. Only one site of any note, possibly 150 houses, came forward for Odiham and this land is currently Public Open Space. Development is very unlikely to be allowed in such a site. Therefore as developers have not asked to build on any large sites in Odiham, Hart cannot approve any sites.
  2. A swimming pool The Parish Council have always believed that the cost of maintaining a swimming pool would be too great a burden as it would have to be paid for by Hook residents as part of their council tax. This is based on the experience of other the swimming pools in the area – all of whom have found it extremely difficult to meet annual costs, even with much larger populations. However, we have been in touch with a local company with responsibilities for swimming pools and other public buildings, and they have agreed to provide indicative figures for discussion by the Parish Council.
  3. Retail Centre Residents generally felt the centre of Hook should be improved. This is an aspiration of both the Parish Council and Hart District Council. Improvements to the village centre are included in Hart’s Core Strategy document. How this will be achieved is not clear at the moment but be assured that the Parish Council are doing everything possible to further this aspiration.

As a result of consultation with residents along the No 10 bus route, there is now a new No.100 service that will operate from Monday 31 October, Monday – Friday only, between Hook and Camberley. The service is limited, but the timetable is intended to complement the remaining No 10 service (Odiham to Basingstoke). The contract for this service is initially for 12 months, however, we are continuing to negotiate with Hampshire County Council to try to improve the timetable for this new service. Residents are urged to use the new 100 service as often as you can to help secure its future. Copies of the new timetable can be found on relevant bus stops, noticeboards or from the Parish Council office.

The Annual Hook Schools Parents Association Fire Show and Fireworks will take place on Saturday 5th November. Hartletts Park will be closed from 8am on Saturday until 8am on Sunday 6th November for both legal and safety reasons as the Parish Council Car Park in Ravenscroft is the fall-out area. Please remove all vehicles from the car park by 4pm on Saturday when it will be locked.

As a result of trials following a number of road fatalities along the A30 between Hook and Water End, it is proposed that the existing speed limit on the dual carriageway will be reduced to 60mph. No timescales are known at present.

Fortnightly glass collections, to coincide with the blue bin collection, have been reinstated by Hart. This was announced in a mailshot addressed to The Occupier. Many of these letters appear to have ended up in the blue bin, unopened!

Anne Atkins – Clerk