Last week’s Cabinet meeting led us to believe Hart is edging towards favouring the Murrell Green development as a new settlement option. Minutes here.
The meeting received the note of the meeting (as reported on here) that took place in August to discuss the new settlement options. These were Murrell Green, Winchfield and Rye Common. The backers of Rye Common did not leave any materials that could be published. This indicates that this proposal is not well developed and so it very unlikely to be adopted. We heard a couple of anecdotes that the Winchfield presentation did not go well. This leaves the Murrell Green development as the remaining option for a new settlement.
It was clear the councillors did not want to talk about the content of the presentations. Instead, they focused on process matters, satisfying themselves that the presentations and the note of the meeting covered all of the points raised in the meeting.
James Turner of Lightwood Strategic who are the backers of Murrell Green was at the Cabinet Meeting. He explained they have a plan to deal with the gas main issue. They plan to run a stronger gas pipe, encased in concrete along the route of the spine road. They think this will cost around £2m, and the developer will fund it.
Alternatives to Murrell Green Development
We did put to the Cabinet that the only reason they ‘need’ a new settlement is because they are pursuing the ridiculous 10,000+ housing target. Even the 8,000 figure in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment is too high. We are not confident that the council will reduce the housing target to a more sensible figure.
The results of the recent Local Plan consultation will not be published until later this month.
We do hope they take on board our representations to:
- Reduce the housing target to a more sensible figure
- Focus on brownfield development
- Take the opportunity redevelop our town centres, like Rushmoor is doing
We can live in hope.