Long-expected plans to develop up to 550 homes in Hook have finally been lodged.
Croudace Strategic and David Wilson Homes (Southern) have submitted an outline application to Hart District Council to build the homes on land to the north of London Road.
The scheme also proposes demolishing numbers 1 and 2 Titchener Farm Cottages and the closure of the existing access from London Road, as well as the creation of new accesses from Reading Road, Griffin Way North and London Road.
Sports pitches are also promised along with land for a community facility and open space for children’s play areas and Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG).
Hart had earmarked land between Griffin Way North and London Road for up to 500 homes in its core strategy document, which listed sites suitable for development up to 2028. The document stated that Hook would see a ‘new residential district’ to the north east of the village, including affordable housing and homes for the elderly.
There would also be a new green open space, sports pitches, indoor sports facility, allotments and a community hub with space for shops and medical facilities.
The plan also provided funding towards the expansion of Robert May’s School in Odiham, a new or improved sewage pumping station and local road and cycle path improvements.
But Hart was forced to scrap its local plan after government inspector Kevin Ward halted a public inquiry after just two days last July.
The council is now working on a revised vision for the district up to 2029 but, in the meantime, an interim housing delivery strategy is in place.
However, campaigners warn the district is vulnerable to bids by developers while the local plan is being revised. The 550 homes scheme has already come under fire from Hook resident John Cox, who pointed out it is 50 more than proposed in the rejected local plan.
He warned: “To increase the size of a village like Hook by more than 15% without a local plan is clearly unsustainable. The council must vote against this development until a local plan can be agreed.”
A planning statement in support of the outline application, by agent Barton Willmore, said while Hart subsequently withdrew the local plan, the principle of allocating the site has been accepted by councillors and officers so it will almost certainly be included as an allocation in any future local plan.
It added the proposed development is the result of extensive pre-application discussions with the district council, Hook Parish Council, Hampshire County Council and local residents.
A two-day public exhibition was also held in November 2012.
“The scheme has evolved significantly and has benefited considerably from the respective inputs of all those concerned”, adds the statement.
Hart has set a deadline of July 7 to decide on the application.