Sep 012004

We recently had a very useful meeting with Hampshire Wildlife Trust to discuss the pond in Newnham Road. They point out that many ponds, like this one, are seasonal and dry out in summer. As a consequence they develop a plant and animal community that adapts to these particular conditions. HWT tell us that this pond is a valuable habitat in its own right. A sign will shortly be installed to deter the dumping of garden waste and raise public awareness whilst a detailed survey will be carried out in the spring to identify the wildlife interest.

Regrettably, vandals have caused £1,000 of damage in Hartletts Park in the last month.Young trees have been destroyed and it will cost £600 to provide sturdier replacements whilst damage has been done to the play area which will cost £400 to repair.

The road works on the B3349 are now in their second phase. The through route is completely closed but local access to Rotherwick via Hook Road has been restored. No straightening of bends or widening of the road is involved but a number of sections are being excavated down to half a metre and rebuilt. The road is likely to remain closed until the end of November with through traffic being diverted via Hartley Wintney.

The Parish Council and some thirty residents objected to the Planning Application to demolish The Bungalow in London Road and build thirteen dwellings on the site. Objections included excessive density, lack of parking, a development that would be totally out of character with the surrounding area and access difficulties. The proposal has now been refused by Hart District Council.

Following a suggestion from a resident we are investigating the feasibility of a bike park where 3 to 11 year olds could safely ride bikes. This would take the form of a small tarmac roadway area with typical road markings and roundabouts. A section of Wellworth or Hartletts Park are possible locations. We are currently seeking information on similar facilities elsewhere. Residents’ views would be most welcome.

The New Covenant Church in Elms Road has appealed against refusal of Planning Permission for a new building. In line with usual procedures the Government appointed Inspector is likely to take four to six months to reach a decision.

The Hook Christmas Cracker, organised by retailers in central Hook with some Parish Council support, was a very successful event in 2002 and 2003. Unfortunately two of the key retailer organisers have moved away so we are currently talking to retailers in the hope of finding a couple of businesses that would be willing to take a leading role in running a 2004 event.

Nominations for the one vacant seat on the Parish Council closed on Thursday 19th August. One candidate, David Ridley, has stood for the seat and has therefore been elected unopposed. We welcome David who joins us in September.

The Parish Council Office is now permanently established on the ground floor of the Community Centre. The change from a number of people working from home to a permanent office will eliminate duplication, and allow us to work more flexibly. Our aim is that the office will always be staffed from 9 am to 12 noon on weekdays. Afternoon staffing will vary depending on the need for site visits and meetings at other locations.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor

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