Hart has waved the white flag to developers
I’m afraid we were unsuccessful tonight in blocking or delaying either of the planning applications under consideration by Hart. Because they are both outside of current settlement boundaries both have to go before a full council meeting for ratification, but this will be a formality since Hart have no planning policy to use in defence of their own declared aims. It was stated very openly tonight that until they fix their broken Local Plan, and there is no timescale on that happening, any developer can propose a housing development anywhere in Hart on greenfield space without limitation as long as it is contiguous with a current settlement and meets basic technical requirements viagra espagne. It really is pretty disgraceful.
The High Ridge Farm (Brown Croft) application was discussed mainly in the context of vehicle access, which was accepted to be difficult, but ultimately highways had declared it all to be acceptable.
At one point tonight it looked like the Reading Road development would be deferred because of access safety concerns. The highways planning officer in attendance had no answer to any committee member’s questions (and they were not at all difficult questions) and was reduced to reading from the papers already in front of everyone! So it was moving towards a rapid deferral until Councillors Gorys from Odiham and Oliver from West Fleet intervened to propose a tortuous form of words that meant the application could proceed with a vague caveat of the applicant discussing the junction safety at a later date with the Ward Councillor (Councillor Morris). But apparently full council can even ratify the approval to proceed without this discussion even having taken place. It really is quite remarkable what ridiculous proposition will be allowed through when councillors from other wards do not wish to see a development put in front of them a second time if they can help it!
Both of tonight’s applications have to be put forward again in detailed form, but the principle of their placement and access have been passed, though the Reading Road one might change from what was approved! Absolutely bewildering, really.
Thank you to Jon and Neil who spoke extremely convincingly against the applications. Both made coherent arguments based on stated Hart planning policy but Hart appear unable to act on coherent arguments. It really does make you wonder why they bother sitting at all.
We will monitor the process and watch for the expected Hop Garden Road and massive North East Hook application. Objections to those will depend on what the developers propose, but we know being outside the boundary or merging with nearby villages will not be considered material matters.