HART Council has slammed two “untrue and misleading” planning documents proposing another 450 homes for the area.
Residents have been sent a development brief on plans to build 300 homes on fields at Hitches Lane in Fleet, while people living in Hartley Wintney have been sent a planning blueprint for a 150-home scheme in the countryside at Dilly Lane.
But Hart warns the documents are wrong and has demanded apologies from the developers who printed them.
Cllr Stephen Parker, cabinet member for planning, said: “It is outrageous that these documents should be presented from developers who imply partnership with the council.
“We are demanding an apology, not just for the misleading association of the council and developers but also for printing, without permission, the name of one of the planning officers.
“We also demand an apology on behalf of the people of Hart who have received these misleading documents.”
Fleet West councillors Sean Holden and Richard Hunt attacked the Berkley Group’s brochure for the Hitches Lane site.
“We have already been contacted by residents who think the council is engaged in selling them down the river after they saw this brochure,” said Cllr Holden.
“The council is nothing to do with this speculative project but that is not how Berkley has presented it.”
Cllr Hunt added: “The brochure, which has been delivered all over the town, is a cynical attempt by a commercial organisation to force the pace on development in Hitches Lane for their own financial benefit.
“People don’t want development down there and we must fight the encroachment on our green fields whenever we can.”
On Saturday hundreds of people attended an exhibition showing how the Dilly Lane site could be developed.
Ward councillor Mark Fullbrook spent the day interviewing people as they left.
“I will be fascinated to see what spin the developers attempt to put on the answers they received to the questionnaire they handed out,” he said.
“Even Alastair Campbell would find it difficult to say anything positive based on the points made to me by those who had just viewed the presentation.
“The developers made a clear attempt to guide those attending into believing that a decision has been made to build on the site, and that by supporting the proposal for 150 houses they would be supporting the least worst option.
“They did this by asking the ludicrously loaded question ‘how many homes should be accommodated on the site?’.
“Only three options were given — at least 150, up to 170 and more than 170 — the clear assumption being that most people would choose the first option assuming there was no other.
“Sadly for the developer and his advisers the people of Hartley Wintney are not stupid.
“Having spoken to almost everyone after they left I can save the developer the bother of adding up the question-naires that were handed in, which I was told will take a month to analyse.
“More than 85% of those who attended the presentation and who I spoke to chose not to tick one of the three boxes and wrote ‘none’ in answer to the question of how many houses should be built on the site.
“I was asked by one of those attending the developer’s presentation ‘Do they think we are stupid?’. The developer may have done so before Saturday but after reading the strongly argued views of those who attended the presentation I doubt they do so now.”