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Planning in Hook Update – December 2017

The last year has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of Hook planning applications, submitted to Hart District Council (HDC).  These include several large scale developments, such as Owen’s Farm (West of Hook).

Hook Parish Council’s Planning and Infrastructure Committee meets twice monthly to discuss such applications.  As a statutory consultee, representing the local community’s interests, it continues to feedback local opinions though the submission of planning comments to HDC.  A summary of the larger applications received and the Parish Council’s response to them can be found below:

Summary of current Planning & Infrastructure Committee (P&I) workload

The past few months have seen a significant number of larger scale planning applications or pre-application consultations for the P&I Committee to consider and report on. There are also many ad-hoc meetings with potential developers or landowners. The P&I Committee meets twice monthly and the public are welcome to attend meetings. In addition, the Applications for extensions or small developments have been arriving at the rate of between 5 and 10 per month.

David Wilson Homes and Croudace Strategic have permission for 550 dwellings on 38.58ha in NE Hook and are currently satisfying planning conditions to enable them to start construction. Presently, some advance works are taking place that are mainly related to protecting ecological features.

The position with Sainsbury’s is not confirmed. The last update we received, indicated their intent to commence construction once at least 100 dwelling had been built on NE Hook?

Stonegate Homes have submitted an application for a complete re-development of the Bartley House site on Station Road. Considerable consultation has taken place to ensure a satisfactory appearance of this landmark building at the entrance to Hook Village. Hart DC are expected to shortly grant permission for the current proposals.

Wilbur Developments have submitted an application for 700 dwellings at Owen’s Farm (West of Hook). Hook PC have liaised closely with Newnham PC in forming objections to the proposals. Apart from the site itself forming a significant urban extension to the west side of Hook, the most notable objection is that the transport infrastructure proposals for mitigating the impacts of this site are currently inadequate and inaccurate. It is expected that Hart DC will take this application to their Planning Committee in January. There have been significant numbers of objections from the public to the proposal.  You can find the full objection that we sent to Hart here HPC response to West of Hook

Rawlings Haulage propose to relocate from their Village Centre site. Hook PC strongly supported their proposal to move to the existing Business Park at Murrell Green, but that was previously rejected by Hart DC. A number of re-development options have been presented for the existing site. Hart DC has supported a residential use in principle indicating the current McCarthy and Stone proposals would be positively viewed.

There is continuous pressure from a number of developers wishing to convert offices on the Bartley Wood Business Park to residential dwellings by use of Permitted Development Rights. Hart DC have declined Hook PC’s requests to prevent such conversions by serving a Direction that would require developers to follow the full planning process. To date, only the conversion of Providence House has progressed to construction of residential units. There is also pressure to develop the car parking areas of these offices. An appeal against a refusal for planning permission was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate, essentially on the basis that the site would provide a poor quality residential scheme with unsatisfactory parking provision.

Store Property own Stratfield House (the former Taylor Wimpey offices) in Station Road and have applied to convert this building into 1 and 2 bed apartments under Permitted Development Rights. Hook PC support the emerging Neighbourhood Plan’s objective to retain buildings of mixed use (residential and retail/commerce) in the village centre, where possible. However, given the small scale of this proposed development, it may prove financially unviable for the developer to incorporate business use on this site.

Lightwood Properties have presented their proposal for a new stand-alone Garden Community incorporating its own retail offerings at Murrell Green. Hook PC is not supportive of a separate settlement at this location,

  • where there is no public transport; and
  • where a competing retail provision would only be detrimental to the current aspirations in the draft Neighbourhood Plan, which aims to regenerate Hook Village Centre.

Gallagher Estates have put forward their proposals for a new Winchfield Garden Community settlement centred around the mainline railway station and other infrastructure. We are informed that the proposals are on a site controlled by a consortium, so it is deliverable and includes plans for a Secondary School providing a 1,000 pupil capacity. The developer has recently requested an Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Opinion from Hart DC for this development. The outline proposal is supported in principle by Hook PC.