Another Planning Application Made for Hop Garden Road

Some of you will have received notification of another planning application 14/03077/Major for 48 dwellings on land off Hop Garden. The situation is becoming confused with a previous application being refused and currently being appealed. Below is an explanation as to what is happening and why it is essential that as many people as possible object to this latest application.

The previous application, 14/00867/Major, was refused last July and the developer subsequently appealed, with appeal reference APP/N1730/A/14/2226609. The prime ground for refusal was that although Hart does not have a Local Plan in place it has a 5 year land supply available for housing which negates the need to build on this greenfield site. Further grounds were that it infringed the Newnham/Hook gap, did not include a play area and there were also some relatively easily resolved legal issues.

The developer’s formal appeal to the refusal includes a revised layout with a play area and arguments that Hart does not have a 5 year land supply. This will be heard in May.

Meanwhile rather than waiting for the result of the appeal, the same developer has submitted this new application. Basically this is the same as the old application but, with the revised layout and all the arguments they plan to put to the inquiry about land supply, i.e. it is the original application updated with the information that will be considered at the inquiry.
Why has the developer submitted this new application? We can only speculate that

  • It increases the workload on Hart planners making it more difficult for them to robustly process the applications and appeals
  • It gives the developer more bites of the cherry to get approval – two applications and possibly two appeals
  • If Hart refuse this new application but there are not very many objections to it then the developer can claim at appeal that this shows that they have largely resolved the issues with the original application despite there being no relevant modifications.

Hence it is essential that we do not become war weary and that as many people as possible write objecting to this new application.

Since the new application is basically the same as the original then objections that anyone made to the original application or to the appeal can be used – just cut and paste them. Everybody in the household can object individually to boost numbers and even friends from outside Hook and Hart can object. You can object even if you didn’t object to original application.

Details of the application are at from where you can submit your objection.

Development on this site has significant implications throughout Hook and Hart. The “5 year land supply” is part of the emerging Local Plan. If it is brought into disrepute by this application being approved then all the work done so far to get a new Local Plan is destroyed and must start from the beginning again. This could result in an additional 1 or 2 years where there is no effective defence against almost any development taking place adjoining the boundary of Hook Hook in any direction.