Hart District Council’s proposals for a new town in “Winchfield” will in fact lead to another 1,458 houses being built in Hook Parish. This is more than the 730 new homes proposed in the “Urban Extension” approach put forwards in the Local Plan consultation documents.
This apparent paradox arises because three of the proposed sites in the consultation document are sites SHL126, 136 and 169 which are actually in Hook Parish according to the SHLAA documents. The combined total capacity of these sites recorded in the SHLAA is 1,458 units.
I should also note that more than half of SHL167 – Beggars Corner – is also in Hook Parish, with a total capacity of 772 units according to the SHLAA. This would put a further ~400 or so houses in Hook Parish, bringing the total to around 1,850.
The consultation also makes clear that according to Hart DC, (we disagree), that more than one approach will be needed to meet our housing needs. Hook could end up with both urban extensions and a new town partly in their own parish with devastating consequences. In fact from the map, we will end up with a single large conurbation that might end up being called Hartley Winchook.
We urge Hook residents to think carefully about how they cast their votes in the consultation. If they end up voting for a new town as their first preference as suggested by some Hook pressure groups, they may well end up with far more than they bargained for.
In our view, Hook residents would be better voting for a brownfield and dispersal strategy (Approach 1) and adding to pressure to reduce Hart’s housing allocation by challenging the SHMA that is based on out of date Government population projections.
Our guidance for responding to the consultation is available on the download below: