Our local MP, Ranil Jayawardena has called for the regeneration of Fleet, Hook and Yateley.
We warmly welcome this initiative. Ranil has begun a petition to promote his cause, and we urge readers to sign it. The petition can be found here. An article about this also appeared in Fleet News and Mail.
Looking to some of our local, district and town centres, however, it is clear to see that Fleet, Yateley and Hook are all in real need of revitalisation and regeneration. I’ve been spending time speaking to your local Councillors about this and taking a look at the work that needs to be done.
I am more convinced than ever that all three places have great potential – be that simply as shopping destinations or, with the right infrastructure improvements, as great places for our young people to get their foot on the housing ladder.
The trouble is that there is no ‘masterplan’ for any of these places. I will be raising this with Hart District Council personally – but I need your help. If you want smart new shops, some new flats for local young people to buy above them and better car parking, then act now.
This is in stark contrast to the current Completely Concrete Community Campaign Hart/Lib Dem coalition, who are pressing ahead with plans for an unnecessary new town across Winchfield and Murrell Green. Their plans do not include any significant new infrastructure. Plus, there’s no ideas on how to revitalise our town centres or improve our cultural facilities. There are no plans to remove the eyesores that blight our environment.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) says that planning policies should promote competitive town centre environments and set out policies for the management and growth of centres over the plan period. The current draft plan does not address this requirement.
Fleet Regeneration is necessary and desirable
As we have explained before, Fleet is one of the richest towns in the country. It has the lowest density development of comparative towns and one of the worst retail offers. It is time these problems were addressed.
When the consultation on the new Local Plan emerges, we will continue to urge residents to reject the plans for the completely unnecessary new town. Instead, we should push for a new policy to regenerate our town centres. This should not put the draft Local Plan at risk. Councillor Cockarill confirmed at Council on 4th January that the Local Plan should stand without the new town policy.