People are being given a say on where thousands more homes should be built in Hart.
Hart District Council is preparing a new local plan blueprint and inviting views on where new homes should go. The council launched a new housing development options paper on Thursday (August 14), which proposes five ideas for growth and wants to know which one people prefer, or whether there are other options.
The paper follows a flawed version of the plan thrown out days into a public inquiry last year. Without a local plan, the council has less ability to shape new development. The options paper says Hart’s assessed housing need is for 7,534 new houses from 2011 to 2031 – 359 per year. Completion of current developments would leave a 4,018 shortfall.
Hart’s options consider spreading new homes across the district; putting them all in a new settlement; expanding current settlements pro rata; selecting a few locations for concentrated growth; or building them in the south west of Hart, furthest from a special protection area.
Lack of a local plan has seen the district targeted by developers, prompting campaign groups to form. Hook Action Against Overdevelopment is fighting plans for 550 homes in the village and the Fleet and Crookham Environment Is Threatened (FACE IT) group is opposing plans for hundreds of homes on green fields. Yateley Urnfield Residents’ Action Group is against plans for 150 homes on an historic greenfield site in Moulsham Lane and Hawley Park Farm Campaign Group is opposing 126 homes on a 26-acre greenfield site in Hawley Road.
Independent Hook district councillor Rob Leeson urged people to take part in the consultation. “The decisions made through this consultation, and the remainder of the process, will affect everyone in Hart,” he warned. He said the number of homes earmarked for Hart is high.
The council is holding sessions for residents to speak to officers about the plan.
They will be held at the Elizabeth Hall in Hook on September 9, from 10.30am to 7.30pm; in Odiham's Cross Barn on September 10, from 10.30am to 7pm; in Yateley’s Monteagle Community Hall on September 15, from 10.30am to 7.30pm; and at the Civic Offices in Fleet on September 30, from 10.30am to 8pm. The consultation ends at 5pm on October 10.