Happy New Year to everyone. Before Christmas we reported on the details of the forthcoming draft Local Plan. We thought the new Government approach to calculating housing need had killed off the idea of a Hartley Winchook, but it has returned like a Terminator who doesn’t understand its time has passed.
The CCH/Lib Dem coalition have included plans for a new Hartley Winchook settlement in the draft Local Plan, even though a new town is not required. There are key council meetings on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of January 2018 to discuss these plans. We would urge as many people as possible to go along an oppose this aspect of the proposed Local Plan.
We oppose this element of the proposed Local Plan for the following reasons:
- A new town is not needed to meet the required housing numbers. The Council have set the housing target at a generous 6,208 over the planning period from 2016 to 2032. We believe this target is more than is required, but we could live with it. A new town is not required to deliver these numbers. They have identified 6,346 homes to supply this requirement, without the new town being required.
- They are intending to plan for a new town that will start delivering even more new houses in 2024. This will lead to significant over-delivery of housing, unnecessarily decimating our countryside and setting an increased target for future generations.
- Diverts attention away from the necessary regeneration of our urban centres of Fleet, Hook, Blackwater and Yateley.
- We believe the proposal is misleading and potentially unsound because the area of search includes land that is definitely not available, for example Andrew Renshaw’s farm in Winchfield.
- Unnecessarily blights the property values of residents in the area of search, which might well be illegal.
- No local gaps provided around Hartley Wintney, Winchfield or to the east of Hook, (see image below).
- Creates unnecessary extra work and lack of focus at this crucial stage of plan development. It is imperative that the Local Plan is approved as quickly as possible. Everybody would be able to live with the proposals if the Hartley Winchook new town plan were deleted. Including it now, adds unnecessary controversy.
Please do go along to the following council meeting and make these arguments:
- Overview and Scrutiny meeting on 2nd January at 7pm
- Cabinet meeting on 3rd January at 7pm and finally,
- Full Council on 4th January at 7pm
It is time to terminate this daft idea. We are sorry that we can’t be there, as we are travelling over this Christmas and New Year period.