Our regular meetings with the Police are very important and we were glad to welcome newly appointed Sergeant Halfacre, along with P.C. Steve White, to our October meeting. Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Sue Gibson joined the meeting. Final plans for the new Hook Police Station are moving ahead. The aim, subject to planning and final Police finance approval, is to demolish the existing Police House on the A30 in early 2003 and to build the new Police Office for use from summer 2003. Hook will then be the centre of rural policing for the area that includes Mattingley, Odiham, Crondall and Hartley Wintney and will be a base for around ten officers, which will mean that the Police will be much more visible in Hook. Whilst the building work is underway, the Police residence in Bramshott Drive will provide a small temporary office. We also discussed the current disturbing level of vandalism in Hook, particularly in Community and Recreation and Play areas, and were glad to hear that the Police are building a database of events which will help them to predict the places and times where Police cover is required. These recent problems have not been in Neighbourhood Watch areas. Neighbourhood Watch now has 69 coordinators and 1,500 homes in the scheme so more than half of Hook is now covered. We all need to keep our eyes and ears open across the whole of Hook and report any concerns so as to help the Police to help us.
The scheme to demolish Pinecroft and Hazelcroft in Station Road and build twelve dwellings on the site was twice refused by Hart. The developer appealed on both schemes and those appeals have been dismissed. The Government appointed Planning Inspector was not too concerned about the number of dwellings or about the access but dismissed the appeal because he was concerned about the adverse impact the development would have on existing houses in Station Road, and in particular on houses in Gower Crescent. This is excellent news and the residents concerned certainly succeeded in making their point to the Inspector!
The Barratt appeal on the larger Foundry site, which will be heard at a public inquiry on 29th and 30th October is not a direct comparison, but the issues of impact on neighbours, traffic and parking are strong points in both cases.
The term of office of the entire Parish Council of twelve members runs out next May. In 1999 fifteen residents stood for the twelve seats, which gave residents a choice and encouraged new people to stand which is essential for the future of Hook. Three current members, including myself, were not members of the Council that was in office in 1998. A few of the present members may not stand again, so please do not assume that there are no opportunities! Nomination forms will need to be completed early in 2003, so if you are interested in finding out more please give one of us a ring, or just drop in to a Parish Council or Committee meeting and look and listen and think about the contribution you could make. Anyone can attend our meetings and arrive and leave at any time.
George Wimpey are making progress on the footpath and kerb work at the northern end of Holt Lane and have now started to build the show homes at Holt Park
Finally a reminder that the footpath through Hartletts Park will be closed on Saturday 9th November to coincide with the Hook School’s bonfire and fireworks. Please remove all cars from the Community Centre car park by 4.00pm, when the barrier at the entrance will be closed.
Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor