Comments needed on 2,000-home planBy Stephen Lloyd
January 02, 2013
TIME is running out to comment on plans to build more than 2,000 new homes across Hart.
A total of 2,301 homes are earmarked for sites across the district in Hart’s Local Plan development blueprint covering the next 15 years.
The council has admitted the issue is controversial and there is likely to be significant public interest in the proposals.
However, people only have until January 7 to make their views known.
Under the plan, 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 would take 221.
Yateley has been earmarked for 160 new homes, 500 in north east Hook and 100 in the rest of Hook. A total of 220 new homes are planned for Hartley Wintney, 180 in Odiham and North Warnborough and 500 in rural settlements and previously developed land in the countryside.
But a controversial bid to build 450 homes at Grove Farm between Fleet and Crookham Village has been removed.
Campaign group FACE-IT (Fleet and Crookham Environment Is Threatened) said it was very important that people have their say before the consultation closes.
A group spokesman said: "While Hart has no plan, there is a danger that developers will be able to build almost anywhere they wish.
"This is your chance to help endorse the draft Local Plan before the big test, planned for late spring 2013, when it is examined by a government inspector."
He said that after great local efforts, the draft plan has been amended to share new housing development across Hart district, not just concentrated around Fleet, Crookham Village and Church Crookham as in the previous document.
"If the Local Plan fails the examination phase and is not published, this would allow developers to build where they wish almost immediately," the spokesman warned.
"But if it is approved and adopted, the developers will have to wait 15 years before they can try again. That is why we need to make ourselves heard.
"For this to be effective, we all need to respond. It will affect the area we live, where our children go to school, transport, our health facilities – in fact most aspects of life in Hart.
FACE-IT said it was "greatly encouraged" by the progress made with the Local Plan, especially the removal of the Grove Farm site.
"However we expect major developers to try and overturn our efforts and declare the Local Plan unsound," the spokesman added.
Hart has sent every house in the district an eight-page special edition of its council newspaper outlining details of the plan, which included a feedback form for comments.
If the plan is found ‘sound’ by the inspector it will be adopted by the council in the summer.