First major housing development planning application has been made
The first large housing development planning application for Hook has been submitted. This is for 70 houses and is in addition to the plans for 500+ houses on the land at North East Hook and will in no way reduce the number of houses in other expected developments. In fact if this first one, which is currently outside the settlement boundary, goes ahead the later ones could be a foregone conclusion.
Like the larger expected applications, this first major application is also for North East Hook, but is to the other side (to the West) of the B3349 Reading Road/Griffin Way North and North of Old Reading Road (see map below). This is land that is outside of any existing or currently proposed settlement boundary in the Hart Draft Local Plan or the Hart Interim Housing Strategy. The developers are demanding that the requirement not to build on designated countryside be set aside in order for the development to take place. They cite the need for housing as overriding policy even though land within the settlement boundary and earmarked for development has not yet been developed.
The access into the housing would be a single road from Old Reading Road, though of course all peak-time traffic from here would be either towards the village centre on Old Reading Road or Great Sheldons or (mostly, I would suggest) towards Griffin Way North, then North towards Reading or South towards the A30.
There is also provision for sports pitches, though these would be at the far Northern corner of the development, almost at the furthest point possible from the village centre and the rest of Hook to the South, meaning that most journeys to use this even from within Hook would also be likely to be by car.
The developers claim that they have discussed their plans with Hook Parish Council and that HPC were supportive of the plans as long as there was sports field provision. HPC would potentially gain funds from the development as S106 money and we know from the finance statements regarding the Community Centre redevelopment that they are in fact banking on this income. So we cannot expect strong objections from HPC.
The timing of the application is just as cynical as the Sainsbury’s one in the Summer when many people were away on holiday at the critical neighbour consultation time. Objections to this planning application must be lodged by no later than 6th January! I am sure it is no coincidence that the application has been lodged so that the consultation period spans a holiday period but we still have time to make a difference.
The planning application reference is 13/02585/MAJOR. Please review the planning application at http://goo.gl/KjfBBj and add your comments directly under the Public Comments tab. Alternatively you can email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org with the application reference 13/02585/MAJOR in the email subject and a clear “Support” or “Object” also in the email subject. You could cc: your email to the Hart District Ward Councillors for Hook, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and also Hook Parish Council with firstname.lastname@example.org. Grounds for objection could include developing on designated countryside when other allocated development sites have not been utilised, additional traffic volumes, traffic safety, lack of appropriate access, inappropriate location of whole village community facilities. I am sure you can think of your own after reading the plans!
Please tell any of your neighbours who you think may be concerned about this application and if they wish to be kept informed they can email me to be added to the distribution list for future updates.