Worried residents have fired off a petition to their MP demanding help in fighting off the threat of further large-scale development.

North East Hampshire MP James Arbuthnot formally presented the petition to parliament last week. Signed by more than 250 Hook and Rotherwick residents, the petition was presented by councillors Michael Morris, Jonathan Glen, Brian Burchfield and Ranil Jayawardena.

Those signing the petition are worried that the current planning system prevents Hart District Council from properly controlling development in the area.

It asks that parliament strengthens the position of local councils by enabling them to refuse planning permission on the grounds of prematurity, while a Local Plan is being drawn up.

Residents are worried Hook is coming under increasing pressure from developers because Hart District Council has failed to get a vital Local Plan in place that would help control future development.

Croudace Strategic and David Wilson Homes Southern want to build up to 550 homes north of London Road in the town, while 70 homes are planned for Reading Road,
60 in Brown Croft, 47 in Hop Garden Road, nine in London Road and 11 in Gresley Drive.

Cllrs Burchfield, Morris and Glen, Conservative ward members for Hook on Hart District Council, said they were able to work together as a team to defend the town as strongly as possible.

“We want to ensure that any new development is not only phased, but comes with real infrastructure improvements,” they added.

“To do this, we need a Local Plan in place and we need the planning inspectorate to reject premature development.”

Cllr Jayawardena said: “Local councillors are doing their best to defend their communities and get a Local Plan in place, but we need the government to give them a bit of breathing space to do this.”