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News Bulletin: September 2013

The Parish Council’s Public consultation on the Sainsbury Planning Application, held on Tuesday 2nd July was attended by 100 residents. Responses and comments from residents were considered by the Parish Council’s Planning Committee on 7th August.

Over 50 residents attended the Planning Committee meeting. Many of the attendees had been prompted by an e-mail, of unknown origin, calling for them to arrive at 7 pm ‘to make representations to Councillors in respect of Sainsbury’. Planning meetings are held at 8 pm on the dates advertised on our noticeboards and website. Comments on applications should be made directly to Hart or in writing to the Parish Council office in advance of the meeting at which the application is being considered.

Councillors are voluntary and most have full time jobs, so are not able to arrive early for meetings without notice to do so. Discussions with Councillors can be arranged by contacting the Parish Council office. In this instance, no such arrangement had been made and we are concerned that residents were misled by the e-mail and had a long wait. Meetings of Committees are held in public, but are not public meetings. This means the public can attend, but the opportunity to speak is at the discretion of the Chairman. The exception to this is the specific time allowed at meetings of the Council itself.

Despite recent relaxation of many rules in respect of property extensions, planning legislation can still be complex. Some individual properties or areas in Hook do not have permitted development rights. This means a planning application is still necessary for changes to those properties, even though this may not normally be the case elsewhere. Applicants, or their agents, should always check with Hart District Council’s planning department before going ahead with works, in order to avoid potentially expensive problems later. Free advice can also be obtained by contacting planning@hook.gov.uk or calling the Parish Council office.

The Inspector held two examination sessions into Hart District Council’s draft Core Strategy in early July. He subsequently indicated that it was unsound and should be withdrawn, which Hart has done. This means that there is currently no planning policy for the District other than the very outdated Hart Local Plan, approved in 2002.

Taylor Wimpey have submitted a request for a screening opinion on their proposed development of 60 residential properties to the rear of, Brown Croft, Hook – Application No: 13/01670/EIAE. This means that they are asking Hart District Council whether they need to do an Environmental Impact Assessment on the site. The Parish Council will be discussing its response to this at the Planning Committee meeting on 4th September.

The overwhelming majority of those who responded to the most recent Community Centre Refurbishment consultation, in June, were in support of proceeding with the £1.6 m project. In August, Hart District Council’s Cabinet approved the bids for S106 contributions, which means £700,000 will be sought from future developments in the Hook area, to pay off planned borrowing for the project. After careful consideration, the Parish Council voted in favour of proceeding with the full refurbishment and an application has been submitted to the Secretary of State requesting borrowing approval for £800,000. It is intended that a contract will be awarded as soon as borrowing is secured.

The final report on the parking survey concluded that some roads in Hook would benefit from changes to parking arrangements. The report has been submitted to Hart District Council for assessment of the suggestions, prior to further consultation with residents in the coming months.

Hart District Council has made glass recycling boxes available free of charge during September. These can be collected from our office during normal opening hours or by calling to make a prior arrangement.

Observant residents may notice a new CCTV camera. This is a mobile camera being operated by the Hart Dog Warden service. The camera will be deployed in areas frequented by negligent dog owners as required. This initiative, in collaboration with Parish Council, is aimed at curbing the growth of antisocial dog fouling.

Anne Atkins – Clerk