Proposed sale of part of Hook village centre Car Park – Updated

Hart District Council are considering a plan to sell part of the Crossways Car Park (the car park by the Doctors’ surgery) and the disused Public Conveniences in the centre of Hook (losing 12 parking spaces). This was discussed at Cabinet last Thursday, and whilst the Officer’s recommendation was to approve the sale, the meeting resolved to defer the decision for one month to allow further discussion with ward councillors and Hook Parish Council.

Whilst this car park is currently under-utilised, and the disused public conveniences are certainly not attractive, any loss of parking spaces in the village centre at the moment seems short-sighted given that:

(1) One of the conditions of the Sainsburys planning application was for there to be free parking in this Car Park to minimise the impact on the village centre – losing the 12 spaces that are closest to the village centre seems at odds with this.

(2) The proposed expansion of Hook Infants and Junior Schools will generate an additional demand for parking, particularly as under the initial consultation it has been suggested that part of the Community Centre Car Park could be used for staff parking.

(3) Even if the car park is currently under-utilised, will it remain so if 750 additional houses are built?

If you have a view on this matter, email Hook Parish Council and the 3 Ward councillors (Mike Morris, Brian Burchfield and Rob Leeson) to let them know – contact details are available on our contacts pageĀ here. They can only represent your views to Hart if you tell them what you think. Hart have received at least two offers for this site but no details are available to the public about the potential uses or the possible purchasers. Once sold, the spaces will not be replaced.

The officer’s report, which includes objections already raised by the Parish Council, is available below.

Update 4th August 2014: The proposal is once againĀ on the agenda for the Hart Cabinet meeting on Thursday 7th August. Despite objections from Hook Parish Council and all three of the Hook Ward District Councillors, the officer’s recommendation is still to approve this sale.