Hartley Winchook plan comes back like a terminator

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.


Policy SS3 Murrell Green and Winchfield Area of search for new settlement

Policy SS3 Murrell Green and Winchfield Area of search for new settlement

We oppose this element of the proposed Local Plan for the following reasons:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Diverts attention away from the necessary regeneration of our urban centres of Fleet, Hook, Blackwater and Yateley.
  4. 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.
  5. Unnecessarily blights the property values of residents in the area of search, which might well be illegal.
  6. No local gaps provided around Hartley Wintney, Winchfield or to the east of Hook, (see image below).
  7. 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.

Hartley Winchook leads to no strategic gaps around Hartley Wintney nor to the east of Hook

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.


Posted in Hart District Council, Hart Local Plan, Hartley Winchook, We Heart Hart Campaign, We Love Hart Campaign and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. It will go to the Lib Dem/ CCH Cabinet tonight where it will be approved then will go to full Council on 4th Jan for final approval to submit the plan for the Reg 19 process. The Lib Dem’s/CCH have a majority of 19/14 so they will vote it through. It then goes to the Government inspector for their final approval.

    • So, at this stage it’s a “done deal”? Can we appeal the winchfield portion with the government inspector, as it has apparently no bearing on local plan numbers?

    • I’m sure many will comment on this aspect of the consultation, and follow up with the inspector, and media.
      Such a shame as we seemed to have reached a sensible place on the numbers and something we could get behind, only to find a superfluous settlement and no infrastructure gap closure

  2. From Steve Forester – Interesting. Joint chief executive confirmed that there was no need for a new settlement to meet the 25% high housing numbers proposed by cabinet. There were other reasons though.

    Also he confirmed that new settlement house numbers would be IN ADDITION to the 6346 homes to be built, probably adding at least 900 in the last few years up to 2032, and many thousands after that.

  3. Agreed, the news before Xmas was tentatively good, but sneaking this back in again completely undermines the progress that had been made towards a sensibly pitched plan

  4. Katie Davies , reasons included why Hart draft LP is unsound. Why is the new town in the draft LP when not necessary? Ask your friends at CCH why they are not deleting it from the plan. Or is it them that are insisting it is in there? Something not right?

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