Massive Housing Plans Threaten Hook and Fleet

Fleet News and Mail are reporting on the huge threat to Hook and Fleet if a new settlement is not built.

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Fleet and Hook to be Swamped With Nearly 5500 Houses if a New Settlement is not Built

Residents in Fleet, Church Crookham, Crookham Village and Hook are furious that yet more houses will be built on adjacent green fields if further ‘urban extension’ is called for in the Hart local plan strategy.

The current Hart consultation has three strategic options. Not all the housing needed can be built on ‘brownfield’ land and that means building on green fields somewhere. Much has been said about building on green fields at Winchfield but the argument against building on yet more of the green fields of Fleet and Hook needs to be heard.

Hart is consulting on three options for its housing strategy up to 2032:

  • Option 1 – Disperse development thought the towns and villages of Hart,
  • Option 2 – ‘Strategic’ greenfield expansion of the main settlements (Hook and Fleet),
  • Option 3 – A new settlement, proposed at Winchfield.

In the planning period, Hart needs to provide some 7,000 houses. This is an objectively assessed requirement from a process as laid down by government. So far Fleet and Hook have already taken 2435 of those 7000 on sites that have planning permission.

In the current planning consultation the so-called urban extension option (option 2) may sound like a ‘brownfield’ solution but would actually bring an additional 2173 houses on the green fields of Fleet and Hook. The Dispersal option (option 1) may sound like sharing the housing around, but this could be yet another 891 houses on the green fields around Fleet and Hook. These are areas that have already had their fair share of recent and planned development. Yet curiously, in both of these options none of the burden is taken by Winchfield, which is not even included in the ‘dispersal’ option.

So for Fleet, Church Crookham, Crookham Village and Hook, 2435 houses are already approved, and options 1 and 2 would give us another 891 and 2173 houses, a total figure of 5499. Planning figures for school places would suggest that an additional 1200 junior school places and 860 secondary school places would need to be found in our already overcrowded schools. There is no prospect of a new secondary school being built local to these houses, due to lack of critical mass in any one development and lack of strategic locations for a new secondary school. So it is now time to support a strategy which bites the bullet and provides a sensible strategy for the future to 2032 and beyond and have a long look at a new
settlement?

FACE IT spokesperson Tony Gower-Jones commented: “While we appreciate that difficult choices need to be made, FACE IT believes that the real and cumulative impact of recent multiple developments for the Fleet, Church Crookham and Hook areas has now brought them to breaking point. Things will continue to deteriorate as further housing already approved for the area gets built. It is time to look at a sensible strategic option for the District”.

The current Hart Consultation ends on Friday 18th March 2016 and the related materials can be found at www.hart.gov.uk/planning-policy. Please take 5 minutes to respond and help make sure that Hook’s voice is heard. The Hook Action Against Overdevelopment Quick Guide to responding to the consultation is at hookdevaction.org.uk/housing-consultation-quick-guide and the full article is at hookdevaction.org.uk/hart-housing-consultation-dec2015.

If you responded before the consultation was halted and wish to carry your response over to the restarted consultation then see the instructions at hookdevaction.org.uk/hart-housing-consultation-restarted-your-action-needed.

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