Consultation launched on 2,000 new Hart homesBy Stephen Lloyd
November 13, 2012
PLANS to build more than 2,000 new homes across Hart are going out to public consultation.
A total of 2,301 homes are earmarked for sites across the district in Hart’s Local Plan development blueprint from now, until 2029.
But a controversial bid to build 450 homes at Grove Farm between Fleet and Crookham Village has been removed, with an increase in the allocation for Fleet town centre and in the rural areas of the district making up the shortfall.
Fleet town centre is earmarked to take 250 new homes, land west of Fleet 170 and the rest of Fleet, Church Crookham and Elvetham Heath 221.
Yateley has been earmarked to take 160 new homes, north east Hook 500 and the rest of Hook 100. A total of 220 new homes are earmarked for Hartley Wintney, 180 in Odiham and North Warnborough and 500 in rural settlements and previously developed land in the countryside.
Hart has admitted the issue is controversial and there is likely to be significant public interest in the plan proposals.
The council said it is anxious to ensure residents have their say on the proposals and people will have until early January 2013 to make their views known.
Campaign group FACE-IT (Fleet and Crookham Environment Is Threatened) said it very much welcomed Hart’s ‘constructive and positive’ approach.
“It recognises and takes account of the strong and determined inputs from our members and local residents and outlines an encouraging way forward, which excludes the previously proposed development on Grove Farm,” said a spokesman.
“When our campaign began we were told that changes would not be possible but we are now very pleased to see that Hart really has listened and that local opinion and democracy can still influence decisions.
“We have never opposed the need for essential development but have sought to ensure that we do not have more than our fair share of the necessary development.
“Our infrastructure is already under pressure, especially our local schools, in which places are increasingly hard to find, and our roads, station parking, leisure and health facilities are also under pressure.”
Hart said that every house in the district will receive an eight-page special edition of its council newspaper outlining details of the plan, which will include a feedback form for residents’ comments.
Consultation will take place until the new year before the plan is carefully examined by an independent inspector.
If found ‘sound’ by the inspector it will be adopted by the council next summer.
Deputy council leader Stephen Parker said the plan’s vision was to retain Hart’s role as a green, rural hinterland for North East Hampshire and the Blackwater Valley.
“Its essential characteristics will remain unchanged and the quality of life will be maintained or improved,” he added.
“The overall aim is to deliver sustainable development in Hart.
“This is the blueprint for the development we need for Hart people over the next 15 years.
“It is also the plan that will protect inappropriate areas from the developers, a protection we have lacked for a while.
“I don’t think anybody is totally happy with every aspect, but the plan we are releasing for consultation is the best consensus compromise.
“I have to thank all members of Hart Council for the time and effort they have put in over many months.”