Hart Council persists with Winchfield New Town idea despite petition from 2,130 people

Example of Urban Sprawl

Example of Urban Sprawl

Hart District Council’s Planning Department are persisting with plans for a new town in Winchfield, despite receiving a petition from 2,130 people asking that it does not include a new town in its new Local Plan. In its latest edition of Hart News, it has included a number of articles about the Local Plan which contain many controversial statements as outlined below.

Why we need 3,500 new homes in Hart

Why we need 3,500 new homes in Hart

In its first article, Hart Council say the “Council is reluctant to see ever more growth in existing towns and villages so the preference is to explore a new settlement at Winchfield”.  This is in direct contradiction to the 5th objective of the petition which says:

To demand the council and government do not plan for any new settlement in Hart that will act as a sink for the unmet housing need in neighbouring areas.

Moreover, they say that brownfield capacity is only 1,800 units when we have already demonstrated that since last October, their original estimate of only 750 units is now in the range of 2,438-3,688, demonstrating that the remaining allocation of 3,500 is within reach with a bit of extra effort.

Hart Council also conveniently gloss over the fact that there is already a £78m infrastructure funding gap that can only get worse if they go for a new town, because the £300m infrastructure costs will far outweigh any developer contributions (c. £40m).

Communities have a say on shaping area's future. Council wins Hop Garden appeal to halt urban sprawl

Communities have a say on shaping area’s future. Council wins Hop Garden appeal to halt urban sprawl

In their second and third articles, they emphasise that they turned down the proposed development at Hop Garden Road, Hook to stop unwanted sprawl and to protect the environment, local residents and protected species.  The very same arguments could be advanced to protect Winchfield, which unlike Hop Garden Road is inside the zone of influence of the Thames Valley Heath SPA and contains 3 SSSI’s and many SINCs.

Hart Council laud Neighbourhood Plans as a chance for residents to play a much stronger role in shaping the areas in which they live and work whilst at the same time rather ominously suggesting that Neighbourhood Plans must conform to Hart Council’s assessment of their housing needs.  It remains to be seen how Winchfield’s Neighbourhood Plan, which WeHeartHart understands will propose significant development, will be treated by Hart Council when it is submitted.

Hart is going to give its formal response to the petition at the Cabinet meeting on 1 October.  After seeing today’s articles, that debate is going to be interesting…..

Posted in Brownfield Sites, Hampshire, Hart District Council, Hart Local Plan, Infrastructure Costs, We Heart Hart Campaign, We Love Hart Campaign and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Pingback: Hartley Wintney councillors furious over Hart District Council news 'propaganda'

  2. You can’t just say 2100 against who signed the petition and 98000 are for and that’s democracy. Total rubbish use of statistics. That means the mandate for Hart Council is 200 for and 98800 against a development as a first choice. You can’t have it both ways

  3. Just because 2,130 people were against the plan does not mean that nearly 98,000 were for it. When we were given a choice of 5 (?) options for future growth, I belive that the new town option was the least poplular – David Turver would be able to correct me, I’m sure. Fully agree about the illustration though. Perhaps David should use a series of photographs of the countryside that would be destroyed by the new town?

  4. Thing is, there isn’t a petition or any other group actively proposing a new town. The only other test of public opinion was Hart’s consultation which had only ~200 people expressing a first preference for a new town. The WeHeartHart petition is 10X the size.

  5. So Hart DC is ignoring the wishes of 2,130 of its almost 100,000 residents. Seems like democracy in action from where I’m sitting. And you do your cause no good, Mr Turver, by using illustrations which bear no relation to what is proposed for the Winchfield development. Unnecessary scare tactics

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