Councillors for Hartley Wintney ward, Anne Crampton, Andrew Renshaw and Tim Southern have expressed their fury to the Fleet News and Mail about the way Hart District Council expressed a preference for a new town in Winchfield in the latest edition of Hart News, even though the testing process is not yet complete.
Hart Council said in their article about the Local Plan:
[Winchfield] has an existing station, and it is relatively free of environmental contraints. It is also close to the motorway which could also possibly allow for a new junction onto the M3.
Clearly major infrastructure improvements would be needed and it would be a large scale project that would fundamentally change that part of Hart
The councillors think that edition of Hart News should be pulped because they think it inappropriate for the council to be putting out only one side of the story when they are preparing to engage the public in another round of consultation about housing options.
Not only that, Hart have done very little work to quantify the infrastructure costs of such a development, but our estimate of £300m, taken together with the existing funding deficit of £78m would mean a new town is simply undeliverable.
This comes hot on the heels of the article by Hampshire County Councillor David Simpson in the local Liberal Democrat newsletter where he says “Winchfield is the wrong place for major development”
Hart Council cabinet is due to debate their response to the We Heart Hart petition tomorrow night at Hart Offices at 7pm. Please do come along and support us. Facebook invitation here.
Large image of the article here.
UPDATE: Same story now covered in GetHampshire