In the light of the focus on the environment in the General Election campaign, we thought it would be a good idea to look at the Shapley Heath Climate Change impact.
Shapley Heath Climate Change Impact: Summary
1,000,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted from construction
312,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum from the occupants
Loss of pasture carbon sink
Damage to SSSIs, Ancient Woodland and heritage
Yet, Hart has agreed the “serious impact of climate change globally” and recognises “the need for urgent action”. Councillor Graham Cockarill is standing in the General Election as a Liberal Democrat candidate. They say “the UK should be leading the world on tackling the environment crisis”.
Why are they pursuing an unnecessary new town that goes against their own climate change policies?
Shapley Heath Climate Change Impact: CO2 emissions
According to this article in the Guardian, construction of an average 2-bed cottage emits around 80 tonnes of CO2. The average size of Shapley Heath dwellings is likely to be larger, so let’s assume 100 tonnes of CO2 per dwelling. The vision and bid documents both suggested the eventual size of Shapley Heath will be 10,000 houses. So, building 10,000 houses will emit around 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2. There will of course be additional emissions from building new roads, supermarkets and office blocks.
These 10,000 houses will house around 24,000 people, and each of them will emit on average ~13 tonnes of CO2 per annum each. So, there will be 312,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted by the occupants of the houses.
Moreover, the existing pasture acts as a carbon sink, so this benefit will be lost too.
Remember, the Hart Local Plan, the Inspector’s report and even the bid document said that Shapley Heath isn’t required to meet our housing targets, so all of these emissions are entirely avoidable.
Shapley Heath Climate Change Impact: Damage to Nature
The area of search contains or borders many important natural sites. These include:
Odiham Common SSSI
Basingstoke Canal SSSI
Numerous ancient woodland sites that are also Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation
Shapley Heath Climate Change Impact – Damage to nature
Hart District Council and Lib Dem Climate Change Policies
The CCH Rhetoric Machine went into overdrive at Thursday’s Cabinet. After claiming their untrue statements about Shapley Heath were just rhetoric, they went on to make more spurious claims in the Cabinet meeting (report here). We have produced a short video to tackle the main claims:
Since then , they have produced a defence of their position on Facebook. Below is their post, together with the RHA response in red.
CCH rhetoric machine goes into overdrive
This post is in response to accusations made against CCH Councillors on certain fb pages.
Do they mean us? Surely not.
If you would like to see for yourself what was said and how it was said, please see the link below for HDC’s live streaming of last night’s cabinet meeting and, Paper H relating to the Garden Community that was to be discussed.
Please take the video to 37 minutes to begin at the start of the Garden Community debate.
Alternatively, you can read our post, with edited highlights from the meeting here.
CCH have been accused of:
– being rude to members of the public.
Not by us. There are many words we could use to describe CCH’s attitude, but on the night they weren’t particularly rude to anybody.
– being prejudicial towards a new settlement.
Not true. Prejudicial has no meaning in this context. The accusation in the QC opinion is of CCH being of ‘closed mind’ and thus having a predetermined attitude to matters relating to Shapley Heath.
– wanting to build houses Hart doesn’t need.
Well, this is true. Their own Local Plan said that the new town wasn’t required. The inspector agreed and threw out Policy SS3. The Garden Village bid document said the same thing. Yet, they still bid for Government money for an unnecessary Garden Village. Now they have agreed to spend up to £650K to flesh out the plans for it having committed to Government that it would deliver 5,000 homes above local requirements with an indication that there is capacity “…for a development of 10,000 homes…”.
– wanting to build 10,000 new homes.
Up to 10,000 houses is stated both in the bid and the accompanying Vision Document.
We say, we were assertive in demonstrating our reasoning, were reactive to correct misinformation and were defensive, when necessary, of ourselves and, the people we represent.
As you decide for yourself, we would like to draw your attention (see below) to just one member of the public’s statement as it has bearing on one of the accusations made against us (We believe this refers to the RHA statement):-
Rural Hart Association (RHA, made up of 3 predominately Winchfield groups),
Not true. WAG is based in Winchfield. We Heart Hart is based in Hartley Wintney and NE Hants Greens are district-wide. In addition, other Hart-wide groups support RHA.
state they want to regenerate Fleet Town Centre and, have ‘given developers the Hart Centre’.
True. RHA does want to regenerate Fleet and the other urban centres to keep up with neighbouring towns like Camberley, Aldershot, Farnham and Wokingham. RHA came up with several options for regeneration of Fleet. Hart Shopping Centre was put forward as one of these options to developers by RSH.
They then state that their developers will not carry out any work on this ‘regeneration’ scheme ‘unless HDC takes the Garden Village off the table’.
Not true. The developers won’t invest time and money in urban regeneration when the Council has such an obvious bias towards the new town and clearly no interest in looking at urban regeneration.
Is this prejudicial by residents of Winchfield wanting future development away from them and for it to continue in and around Fleet?
Again ‘prejudicial’ has no legal meaning. Residents aren’t the people who actually make planning decisions, so they can’t be predetermined. Of course, they can oppose proposals they disagree with. The Local Plan itself identifies the decline of Fleet as a key issue, yet the policies to address this are feeble. It is the interests of all Hart residents for the countryside to be preserved and for all of the urban centres of Fleet, Hook, Blackwater and Yateley to thrive. Private money is clearly available to support such schemes as evidenced by the regeneration of Camberley, Farnham, Aldershot and Wokingham.
If you live in Fleet, Church Crookham, Crookham Village, Elvetham Heath and Hook, you will know they’ve seen the majority of urban expansion over the last decade.
Compared to their size, Hartley Wintney and Odiham have also seen big new developments. In addition, Fleet has fallen behind its neighbours in terms of retail, leisure and public amenities.
Do you ‘really’ want more development tagged on, using existing infrastructure… roads, schools, doctors, station that already cannot cope?
No. A masterplan for all of our urban centres will address these issues and should also deliver infrastructure funding in the places that need it. Remember the infrastructure plans for the new settlement were described by the Inspector as “not of any great substance”. Plus, a new town won’t deliver any new infrastructure for existing settlements. At least urban regeneration would deliver funds for infrastructure in the areas that are already creaking under the strain.
Do you want to live in town where it’s centre is high rise apartment blocks offering no outdoor space for families?
The LSH proposal for the Hart Shopping Centre utilised existing sightlines and in no sense was it “high rise”. Additional regeneration opportunities such as the Civic Campus could also deliver outdoor spaces.
That’s what RHA are proposing for you.
More rhetoric that you shouldn’t take too seriously.
We will look at all options open to us but, CCH want to deliver our future housing needs in a way that is high quality, sustainable and right for the majority of Hart not, just for the few.
But you clearly aren’t looking at anything other than a new settlement. The Paper explicitly rules out looking at alternatives. There is nothing ‘high quality’ about any of the new town proposals delivered so far. For instance, three locations for a secondary school have been proposed. One was next to a mental health unit housing sex offenders, the second was directly on top of a high-pressure gas main and the third was under electricity pylons. And of course, the Inspector threw out the last proposal because he wasn’t convinced it was deliverable.
And, as we have said many times before, reiterated by Councillor “it’s only rhetoric” Radley last night, if we don’t ‘need’ to build more houses then we ‘won’t build any more houses.
The CCH Rhetoric machine is up and running again. The bid to Government committed you to building over and above the local requirement. The new town isn’t needed to meet requirements. So, why are you spending £650K of taxpayers money?
Winchfield Floods again. Bagwell Lane 4 February 2019
Winchfield floods again. Yet another 1 in 30 year event hit Winchfield again yesterday. The photo shows the bottom of Bagwell Lane near the junction with Station Road. I can confirm that the flooding on Taplins Farm Lane was even worse around 6.45pm last night. However, it was too dark for taking photos and too dangerous to stop.
[Update: we have now been sent a picture of the flooding on Taplins Farm Lane yesterday]
Winchfield Floods again. Taplins Farm Lane 4 February 2019.
This comes despite the sustainability assessment claiming:
There was some evidence of wet ground at the far east of SHL183, but “no other obvious evidence of current or past flooding”.
The detailed assessment also says there’s only a one in 30 year chance of surface water flooding.
It appears as though this latest flood was caused by rain melting the snow on the already saturated ground. Surely, everybody can see this area is not suitable for new housing. Let’s hope the Planning Inspector sees sense in his assessment of the new town proposal in the Local Plan.
Hart District Council set to squander nearly £1.5m on new town planning
Hart District Council has revealed that it is set to squander nearly £1.5m on planning for a new town. The figures are revealed in a paper that is going before Overview and Scrutiny Committee next week.
The figures are buried in Appendix 4 of the document.
Hart to squander nearly £1.5m on new town planning
The real level of spend will be higher, because the proposal does not include a cost allocation of existing staff on the payroll. The annual budget of Hart is in the region of £10m. So, this level of spend represents a very significant proportion of our taxes.
We feel it is entirely unreasonable to be committing such a high level of spending to planning for the new town, because the Local Plan has yet to be approved by the Inspector.
There is significant opposition to the new town, and even Hart admits the new town is not necessary to meet even their own inflated housing targets.
SInce then the ONS have released new figures for household growth that are even lower. These new figures mean we have enough housing supply already to meet our needs out to 2041 and beyond without the new town.
In addition, we will soon reveal documents that show regeneration of Fleet is a viable and attractive alternative, that won’t need any council taxpayer funds.
In total the council spent £109,858.59 on external legal and consultant costs. Astonishingly, Hart Council does not seem to track the time spent by its own staff on such matters and can’t tell us the costs incurred by internal officers. The good news is that it seems the developer did not press to be awarded its own costs of running the appeal.
However, it appears as though the council did not seek an external view on the chances of success of the appeal. We said back in December 2016 that the failure to determine the application would lead to an appeal and that Hart would likely lose the appeal.
£110,000 represents about 1% of Hart’s spending budget, and they are strapped for cash. Even though we oppose the Grove Farm development, we don’t think the council should be wasting money trying to fight lost causes.
Full FOI request on Grove Farm appeal costs
The full questions and answers (in red) are shown below:
Can you please set out the cost of defending the appeal including:
a) External legal and consultant costs: The Council holds the information that you seek. The costs were £109,858.59.
b) Internal time costs of officers. The Council does not hold the information that you seek.
c) Any potential loss of New Homes Bonus. The Council does not hold the information that you seek.
d) Lost time on the Local Plan due to resources being diverted to defend the appeal. The Council does not hold the information that you seek.
e) Appellant costs. The Council does not hold the information that you seek
Did the council receive legal advice on the chances of success in defending the appeal? The Council does not hold the information that you seek
a) What, in summary, did the advice say? The Council does not hold the information that you seek.
b) Will you make the advice public? The Council does not hold the information that you seek
c) Was the provider of this legal advice the same organisation that helped
defend the appeal? The Council does not hold the information that you seek
d) How much did the advice cost? The Council does not hold the information that you seek
Hart Local Plan – Keep Calm and Wait until 26 April
Regular readers maybe wondering what has happened to the Hart Local Plan. On February 9th, Hart Cabinet agreed to a spatial strategy as part of the draft Local Plan that was due to go out to consultation in March. Obviously, there have been further delays. This is what we now understand to be the position:
Hart Local Plan timetable
The draft local plan will be released 26 April for a six-week Reg 18 consultation period after a briefing session with Parish Councillors on the 25th. There will be roadshows at the main settlements. Every house in the district will receive an A5 leaflet advising them of the consultation.
The Reg 19 process will follow in about November with submission of the full plan to the Secretary of State in mid-February 2018. All responses during the Reg 18 will be made public including the names of the individuals but with no contact details.
Hart Local Plan Headlines
Hart Council have decided to build 10,185 houses up to 2032 of which around 50% have already been built or granted permission. Please note that this number is far higher than 8,022 target the recently published Strategic Housing Market Assessment and more than double the requirement generated from demographic change. The numbers are now correct as of 31 January 17 and include all office conversions which have been approved.
Housing Numbers by area
Fleet 200 – mostly through office redevelopment
Hook was 200 now 10 from office redevelopment plus another 87. However, developers may chance their arm again with Owens Farm (750), and of course around half the Murrell Green site is in Hook Parish.
Sun Park 320
Hartland Park (Pyestock) 1500. Fleet town council have apparently made the point that the site offers only 20% affordable homes and the density per hectare is up to 97 in places which is equivalent to city centre densities which is of concern to them. OUr view would be to make the most of available brownfield sites.
Murrell Green 1800 but with challenges. There are 4 promoters and it will be some 3 to 4 years before planning permission is approved. It includes the site for a secondary school but there won’t be enough developer contributions to pay for it. New school funding rules mean that Hampshire can’t pay for it either. It’ll probably be an Academy at a cost of circa £36 million. So we get a site for a school, but no money.
Crookham Village 100 + 64 predominantly the care village
Eversley 124 on two sites
Long Sutton 10
Odiham 119 as per NP
Hartley Wintney 0. It seems odd that HW’s Neighbourhood Plan will be ignored. It should be noted that Murrell Green directly abuts Hartley Wintney Parish and about half of the proposed Pale Lane (Elvetham Chase) development is in HW parish.
South Warnborough 34 on two sites
An additional 50 via rural exceptions and a further 290 from windfall.
Interestingly, no mention of Winchfield, or their Neighbourhood Plan, but roughly half of Murrell Green is in Winchfield Parish.
Apparently, Bramshill will be very difficult to develop because of all the complications with the Grade 1 listed site.
Apparently East Hants have done such a stellar job on the Local Plan, the Planning Policy team is now back in house at Hart, reduced in size from 8 to 2.
There is a risk that developers will continue to pursue Pale Lane and take it to appeal before the Local Plan is adopted.
We await the results of the Grove Farm (Netherhouse Copse) appeal in June.
The results of the Hampshire Local Government consultation have been published. The consultation was to seek our views on how Hampshire might meet its budget challenges. The results are inconclusive, or as Hampshire County Council (HCC) likes to say, ‘nuanced’.
The Hampshire Local Government consultation took three forms. First, there was the open consultation that we talked about here with 3,354 respondents. Second, there was a telephone survey of a representative sample of 1,504 Hampshire residents. Finally, HCC carried out three ‘deliberative workshops’ with 90 Hampshire residents.
HCC have published a detailed report here. A paper to be discussed at Cabinet on 14 November is published here. The results of the consultations are shown in the graphic above.
Interestingly, in the open consultation, there was quite strong support (38%) for a single combined authority, but very strong opposition to an elected mayor (61%). However, Central Government insist that combined authorities cannot go ahead without an elected mayor. There was slightly more support (39%) for a single unitary authority across Hampshire. There was quite strong opposition (33%) to any new unitary authority and even stronger opposition to any new combined authority (40%).
Overall, we are in a mess, because the most favoured option of maintaining the status quo is not an option because of budget pressures. It is clear there is no consensus on the way forward.
We have now received the data from Hart District Council to show how many properties have been built or permitted since 2011 by the number of bedrooms. This shows that we have built only about half of the number of 1-bed properties we need and we haven’t built enough 3-bed properties. We have built nearly twice as many 4+bed properties than we need.
Hart District Housing completions by number of bedrooms compared to target
Outstanding permissions show that we will continue to over-build 4+bed properties and under-build 3-bed properties, although we will build about the right proportion of 1 and 2-bed properties.
This shows that of the remaining homes we need to build to meet our overall target of 7,534 homes, we need to increase the proportion of smaller 1, 2 and 3-bed properties to meet the needs of local people.
Overall we think that Hart Council needs to get smarter about how it monitors planning permissions so the Hart Local Plan gets as close as possible to meeting the needs of local people set out in the SHMA, as opposed to simply building houses that will maximise developer profits. It is also clear that we need to keep up the focus on brownfield development as that is much more likely to deliver more of smaller properties we need to help the younger generation on to the housing ladder.
The analysis to support these conclusions is shown below.
First, according to the current Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), Hart needs to build 7,534 dwellings in the plan period running from 2011-2032. The SHMA is also very clear on the sizes and types of housing that needs to be built, including the number of affordable homes for the young and specialist housing for the elderly.
Hart Surrey Heath and Rushmoor SHMA Figure 9.8
Working through the arithmetic, and using HArt’s target of 40% affordable homes, we need to build in total the following number and proportion of properties by number of bedrooms:
Target Housing Need by number of bedrooms
Number of beds
% need as affordable
% need as market
% Total Need
We can compare these proportions to the dwellings that have been built since 2011:
Gross Completions by year and number of bedrooms
% of Total
This shows that we have built less than half of the proportion of 1-bed properties and have built nearly twice as many 4+bed properties compared to the target.
If we now look at the outstanding planning permissions, we can see there are over 3,000 dwellings permitted but not yet built as at 20 April 2016:
Gross Outstanding permissions by year of decision and number of bedrooms
% of Total
This shows the outstanding permissions will deliver about the right proportion of 1 and 2-bed properties, but not enough to make up the shortfall of those already built and will continue to under-build 3-bed properties and over-build 4+bed properties.
The data does not show the proportion of open-market versus affordable housing, nor does it show the proportion of specialist homes for the elderly. Overall we think this means that Hart needs to get smarter about how it monitors planning permissions so that we get as close as possible to meeting the needs of local people set out in the SHMA, as opposed to simply building houses that will maximise developer profits.
Thanks to Hart Council for putting in the effort to dig the raw data out of their systems, which I know has been a difficult task.
Season’s greetings to everyone, and a big thank you to all those who have supported the We ♥ Hart Campaign during 2015. Can we ask everyone to respond to the consultation, and ask themselves whilst doing it, would you like to redevelop some of the derelict eyesores in the district or would you like to concrete over the green lung at the heart of Hart in Winchfield? Remember, a new town is for life, not just for Christmas.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Winter in Winchfield St Mary's Church
Winter in Winchfield The Hurst 2010
Winchfield Snow Feb 2012
Winchfield Snow Dec 2009
Winchfield Snow Dec 2009
Bravehart Mascot to We Heart Hart
Bartley Wood Estate in Hook
Bartley Wood Estate in Hook
Derelict Offices on Fleet Road in Fleet, Hampshire
Vacant Office in Ancell's Farm, Fleet, Hampshire
Vacant Block at Ancells Farm, Fleet, Hampshire
Vacant Block at Ancells Farm, Fleet, Hampshire
Development Land in Fleet / Church Crookham, Hart District, Hampshire
Vacant Block in Fleet / Church Crookham, Hart District, Hampshire
Vacant offices in Hook, Hampshire
Vacant block at Ancells Farm, Fleet
Vacant, derelict block in Hook, Hampshire
Vacant Sun Park (Guillemont Park) block near J4A of M3, Hart District, Hampshire
Brownfield site: Hartland Park (Pyestock) near Fleet, Hart District, Hampshire, warehouse development not started
Vacant office in Hook, Hampshire
Vacant office in Hook, Hampshire
Vacant Block at Ancells Farm, Fleet, Hart District, Hampshire
Vacant Office at Ancells Farm, Fleet, Hampshire
Brownfield Land at Pyestock, Hartland Village Hart District, Hampshire.
Development site near Tweseldown, near Fleet/ Church Crookham, Hart District, Hampshire
Brownfield site at Hartland Park, Hartland Village, Pyestock, Hart District, Hampshire
Brownfield site near Crondall, Hart District, Hampshire
Proposals to redevelop Fleet Police station being blocked
Hart District Council seeks to block brownfield development
Brownfield site: vacant offices at Ancells Farm Business Park, Fleet, Hart District, Hampshire.
Brownfield site: vacant offices at Ancells Farm Business Park, Fleet, Hart District, Hampshire. We Heart Hart. We Love Hart
Brownfield site: vacant offices at Winkworth Business Park, Hart District, Hampshire.
Vacant offices at Murrell Green, Hart District, Hampshire
Brownfield site at Ancells Farm, car park reverting back to heathland.
Brownfield site at Ancells Farm. Hart Council protecting from redevelopment.
Brownfield site at Ancells Farm, Fleet, Hampshire. Hart Council protecting from redevelopment.
We have created a dedicated consultation page and two guides to responding to the consultation that are available on the downloads below. The comments are designed to be cut and pasted into the boxes provided. It will be very powerful if you could edit the comments into your own words. Please do find time to respond to the consultation and play your part in saving our countryside.
There has been much controversy about how much development there has been in Hart District over the past few years, so inspired by a post on the Winchfield Action Group site, we thought we’d take a closer look at the data.
We have compiled a list by parish and ward of the number of dwellings in each area in 2001 and 2011, according to the census and the results are shown in the table below:
2001 Census (Dwellings)
2011 Census (Dwellings)
Blackwater & Hawley
North (inc Elvetham Heath)
Odiham & Long Sutton
It should be noted that the data only runs up to 2011 and so misses out most or all of certain developments such as QEB in Church Crookham, Dilly Lane and Rifle Range Farm in Hartley Wintney, Edenbrook and the planned new developments at Hawley Park Farm, new development to the North East of Hook and at Watery Lane.
It does show that the area with the largest increase is what was known as Fleet North, which has now been split after incorporating Elvetham Heath.
It is not really for us to point fingers at different areas of the district. We will let readers make up their own mind and draw their own conclusions from the data.
If anyone finds an error in any of the data, then please do get in touch and we will make any corrections that are needed.
I was asked to provide updated data of the permissions and completions since 2011. There is no easy way to get this data. This is a copy of what I received:
The majority of the information (with details of location and parish) on housing completions and permissions for the next few years can be found in the following two published documents :
It’s regrettable that you only used figures from the superseded five year land supply (2001-2011) calculation in the Interim Housing Delivery Strategy which was superseded by the Five Year Land Supply Position Statement:
Five Year Housing Land Supply Position Statement, 1st October 2015
2014-15, and the Completions list from Hampshire County Council (1st April 2015) both of which were linked on the council website “Current planning policy and guidance” referring to the local plan consultation, and also discussed at a council meeting.
I’m glad got said you’d incorporate the latest numbers, and look forward to seeing this. I believe you’ll find disproportionate housing allocation to the North and East of the region whilst minimal development in the centre, West or south.
I can confirm that I used neither of the Housing Land Supply documents to produce the table above. As the original post says, the source for the above is the census.
The link to the pdf just gives a long list of sites in a form that it is impossible to analyse in any meaningful way, least of all by parish. The spreadsheet contains a list of starts, completions and losses for 2014-2015, a summary of which by Parish is shown below.