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News Bulletin: October 2002

Hampshire Highways attended our September meeting and we reviewed a number of initiatives with them. The traffic calming experiment in Reading Road has successfully reduced speeds and Highways are willing to cover the entire cost of a permanent scheme, and would then reduce the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph. However a number of residents living in the centre of the scheme have concerns about the design of that section and feel that, particularly in peak hours, some drivers are racing for a particular gap. Further research will therefore take place before the scheme is made permanent. There has been concern for some time about the number of drivers using Sheldons Lane and the Northern section of Old Reading Road as a short cut and a traffic survey will be carried out over the next few weeks to count the number of vehicles involved and then consider any appropriate action. We also discussed the Newnham Road scheme and it was agreed that it may be advisable to make changes to the build-out near Carleton Close.

Sadly, once again this summer there has been mindless vandalism in the village. In the most recent incident three teenagers removed a newly installed seat from its foundations on the practice basketball court at the rear of the Community Hall and dumped it elsewhere in Hook. We hope, with the help of the Police, CCTV and a witness, who says that one of the culprits has a goatee beard, to be able to trace those responsible.

Detailed Planning Permission has now been granted for the first 110 houses at Holt Park. Building work will start in November and an on-site sales office will open at the same time. The layout and design of the houses marks a breakaway from traditional estate design, and access roads have been deliberately kept narrow and winding with substantial use of block paving in order to force traffic to move slowly. In the meantime work has started on altering the junction from the A 30. Wood from the trees that have been felled to form the access to Holt Park will be recycled into chippings for use on the footpaths in the Country Park.

The Planning Inspectorate has allowed the Appeal by T Mobile, formerly One-to-One, and granted permission for a slimline mast on the B3349 junction with the A30. The Inspector formed the view that the installation would not be harmful to the character of the area. He also concluded that although the Osborne Way mast would provide coverage to south Hook it could not provide coverage to north Hook for this operator. He considered the health issues, but decided that the installation met Government guidelines and that additional possible health concerns were not of sufficient weight to justify withholding approval.

Following Hart’s refusal of an amended planning application on the Foundry site Barratt’s ppeal will now definitely be held at The Civic Offices, Harlington Way, Fleet on 29th and 30th October starting at 10am. The Inquiry is open to the public.

The Hook School’s bonfire and fireworks will be held on Saturday 9th November and as usual the footpath through Hartletts Park will be closed, so as to ensure the route does not become a public right of way and because used fireworks will fall in the area. Please remove all cars from the Community Centre car park by 4pm when the barrier at the entrance will be closed.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor