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Hart takes Important Step Forward for Local Plan

Hart Council decides to proceed to the next stage of consultation with its Local Plan:

At the Full Council meeting on 4th January 2018, Hart decided to submit the current version of the Local Plan, including a proposed new settlement, to 'Regulation 19' consultation. This is an important and significant step forward to establishing its Local Plan and putting the council back in control of the planning process. 

The Local Plan (Strategy and Sites) defines Hart’s strategy to addresses future development needs, especially for housing, while ensuring that the special qualities of the District are conserved and, where possible, enhanced. It defines policies for planning the development of Hart up to 2032 including where, how, and how much development will be allowed to take place.

The urban extension at the brownfield Pyestock site will go ahead, further urban extensions to Fleet and Hook will be limited, and a site for a new settlement will be sought in an area around Winchfield and Murrell Green.

This is important because it provides a framework for proper planning, dealing with infrastructure requirements, preventing further speculative development applications and putting Hart back in control of the planning process. The new settlement will allow for planned development in the longer term although it is not expected to be started for several years. 

A number of views were expressed at the council meeting and there was some useful debate. Two proposed amendments were not adopted. At the end of the meeting a cross-party consensus was reached and on a majority vote it was decided to move forward with the current state of the plan. 

At the end of the meeting Hart Council voted 27 to 5 to recommend that the Local Plan goes forward with the new settlement development policy in it. The level of support for finally proceeding with the plan (albeit reluctantly from some councillors) was very high and the proposal gained significant cross-party support.

FACE IT notes that there is still work to do: to make the best job of progressing the plan to the next stage, starting the long search and evaluation, consultation, planning and design process for a new settlement, avoiding many of the recent planning pitfalls, and ensuing that such issues as coalescence, infrastructure, transport and environment etc. are suitably and properly addressed. 

The full press release from FACE IT can be read by clicking on this link.


The Local Plan

Today (2/1/2018) we are sending this Open Letter to all Hart District Councillors.

On the 4th January 2018 you will debate a Regulation 19 Local Plan. We are pleased that Hart is now at last taking a pragmatic and forward-looking approach to its local planning. 

This is the fourth time a Regulation 19 plan has been promised (Oct 2015, winter 15/16, autumn 2016 and winter 17/18) but the first time it has actually been delivered. 

We understand that the decisions involved in creating the local plan are difficult and we know there will never be a local plan that pleases everyone. However this is an evidence-based process where the will of the majority, as expressed through you our elected representatives, needs to be heard. There have already been three consultations allowing the people of Hart to express their wishes. 

Hart has suffered in the last four years and the delays in delivering the plan have enabled developers, rather than Hart Council, to lead the planning process, resulting in Watery Lane, Grove Farm, North East Hook and other urban extensions that the majority of people did not want. 

Delay by points of order and spurious amendments as we saw in the Council meeting in November 2014 must not be allowed to derail your decisions. At the conclusion of the evening we need you to take a robust plan forward to the Regulation 19 consultation. The plan must be capable of standing up to an examination in public on all aspects, including but not limited to: affordable housing supply, provision of space for schools and housing numbers, allowing for the current uncertainty in government methodology. 

If you fail to deliver a Regulation 19 plan at this Council meeting it will serve no one but the developers. The people of Hart will see that as a failure of the process as a whole and a failure of its Councillors to represent them and do what is required for the district.

Sent on behalf of:
Fleet And Crookham Environment Is Threatened (FACE IT)
Hook Action Against Overdevelopment (HAAO)
Fleet and Church Crookham Society (FCCS)
Stop Elvetham Chase Development (SECD)

Grove Farm

Oct 2017 Latest News: Grove Farm Appeal finds in favour of building 423 new houses in West Fleet

Bad news - the planning inspector has just found in favour of the developer and approved the Grove Farm development.

The findings of the inspector can be found here: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?CaseID=3167135&CoID=0

Crookham Village needs your help!

The council’s draft Hart Local Plan Strategy and Sites 2011 - 2032 consultation document was launched on Wednesday (April 26) and will run until June 9.

Face-it notes that the draft local plan contains a proposal at Cross Farm (open green field site to the rear of The Street in Crookham Village) for a 64-bed care home and up to 100 new homes for the elderly of which 40% should be affordable. This is exactly the same proposal that we opposed in the current planning application 6/03400/OUT (see article below).

Over 300 people objected to the recent planning application for the Retirement Village on Cross Farm, but Hart District Council have now issued their draft local plan for consultation, and it includes the 160 new homes and a care home for 64-bed Care Home on Cross Farm as a ‘given’. 

Click on this link to read FACE-IT's leaflet on responding to the Local Plan consultation.

There are others aspects of the draft Local Plan you may wish to comment on. There was a clear preference for a new settlement in the consultation and Hart District listened to local people in rejecting urban extension in favour of a new settlement with a school. You may wish to ask whether the proposed new settlement (Murrell Green) will be large enough, in terms of potential number of houses and size of school. (If not, pressure would again be on urban extension, and sites such as Cross Farm, Pale Lane , Grove Farm, etc.) 

Make sure that you take part in this consultation and let Hart know your view. DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS 9TH JUNE.

The consultation documents are available at www.hart.gov.uk/draft-local-plan. Please use the online survey via www.hart.gov.uk/draft-local-plan-consultation for feedback.


January 2017 – Yet another development…

Cross Farm Is Under Threat Of Development

NEW Development Application January 2017 for the construction of a 160 unit Care Village incorporating a 64-bed Care Home on open green field land to the rear of The Street in Crookham Village.


Bell Cornwell acting on behalf of a company called Crookham Care Village Ltd and Mr J Hirst have put forward an outline planning application under reference 16/03400/OUT for ‘Retirement Village’ at Cross Farm House, Crondall Road, Crookham Village.

The outline planning application can be found under reference 16/03400/OUT on the Hart District Council planning portal http://publicaccess.hart.gov.uk/onlineapplications or directly by following this link.

Comments should be received no later than 6th February 2017.

See the above attachment for the FACE IT response to this latest threat to our environment (the latest in a long list of over 1300 new houses submitted for planning in the last 6 months on our doorsteps). 

Click on this link to learn more about the Cross Farm threat.

In the meanwhile, here’s a video we took, explaining why this site is such a special place.

Cross Farm - A special place worth fighting for

December 2016 – Grove Farm application 

Planning decision deferred

The latest application to build 423 houses at Grove Farm was heard at the planning meeting on Wednesday, 14 December 2016 at 7.00 pm Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Fleet.

The planning officer recommended that the committee approve the application, despite it being practically identical to the previous application which was unanimously rejected in 2015.  

Consideration of the Grove Farm application came in a late-running and difficult meeting after consideration of multiple and complex planning applications for the house and land at Bramshott House.

FACE IT and Crookham Village Parish Council presented in objection to the application.  The major points for discussion were the impact on the designated local Local Gap between Fleet and Crookham Village, and the impact on traffic especially in conjunction with the other considerable development in the area.  After debate, the committee rejected the officers recommendation to approve the application, but a final decision was not reached on the grounds for wanting to amend or reject the application.  The decision on this application was therefore deferred and is expected to come to planning committee again in 2017. 

The planning papers can be viewed here.

Grove Farm tump skyline Grove Farm tump skyline

October 2016 – Watery Lane Update

Second stage plans are now in from Martin Grant re the site for 300 residential units behind Zebon Copse.

All the details are available to read on the Hart Planning site.

To summarize the current situation, Martin Grant are proposing 300 residential units, a retail unit and space for a doctor’s surgery. The residential units are proposed as follows:

1 bed  – 23 units

2 bed – 142 units

3 bed – 85 units

4 bed – 44 units

5 bed – 6 units

40% of these will be affordable housing and as per Hart Council request after the first plan was submitted late in 2015, will be dispersed around the site.

Also available on the planning portal are documents showing how the site is shaping up and the initial design of the flats and houses. To view these click here and look for feasibility layout and sketch street elevations. 

See our Watery Lane page for more information