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News Bulletin: September 2001

Our interviewing panel was very pleased with the high standard of candidates for Deputy Parish Clerk and we are delighted to confirm that Anne Atkins has accepted the post. Anne, husband Steven, and children Gregory, 8, and Kathryn, 6, have lived in Hook for ten years. In addition to deputising for David Ridley, Anne will be taking over the management of Amenity issues.

One2One recently applied for approval for a telephone mast and control cabin on the grass verge of the roundabout where the A30 crosses the B3349 at Griffin Way. The Parish Council view was that this would be far too close to housing, visually highly intrusive, and would reduce visibility for drivers. 197 residents in the area were of a similar view and wrote letters of objection to Hart. The application has been refused unanimously by Hart Development Control Committee for the reasons given above and in view of the high level of public concern.

Yet another mast application has arrived. This one is from Vodafone who wish to replace their existing mast in the station car park with a new mast and a new control cabin. Although Vodafone’s agents admit verbally that they could put the new equipment in Osborne Way, which would allow the area in the station to revert to open space, they say that they prefer to have their own site. The Parish Council is asking for the application to be refused and that Vodafone move to Osborne Way. If you share that view please write immediately to Environmental Services, Hart District Council, Harlington Way, Fleet GU51 4AE quoting Hook Railway Station and reference 01/010348/42 TEL.

All Planning Applications in Hook are sent to the Parish Council for comment. The length of time we have for comment is exactly the same as is allowed for residents. Although our Planning Committee meets fortnightly we often have to comment on applications and send in our views within just a few days. It is important that anyone who receives a letter from Hart about an application and has concerns contacts the Parish Clerk or myself, as Chairman of the Planning Committee, right away or comes along to our next Planning Meeting if they want to influence the Parish view. Hart, not the Parish, makes the decision on applications, but if Officers at Hart and the Parish have different opinions as to whether an application should be approved the case goes to Committee on which District Councillor Fergus Kirkham is our representative. Because of the pressure on housing in Hook your Planning Committee reviews around two hundred applications a year most of which are for extensions. Many of these are for conservatories which are a relatively simple extension with designs often provided by the installation company. Experience tells us that if a more complex extension is being considered the best design ideas and best expectation of planning approval is achieved by consulting a qualified architect, preferably with local knowledge.

The next meeting of the Parish Council is on Wednesday 19th September at the Community Hall at 8pm. One of the items on the agenda will be a discussion with Douglas Hill from Hampshire Highways. The list of local Highway issues to be raised with him will be published on the Parish Council Notice Boards as part of the agenda.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor