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Inspector approves Local Plan

20 February 2020  

Hart District Council has received the Report from Planning Inspector Jonathan Manning concluding that the Hart Local Plan Strategy and Sites 2014 - 2032 is sound and capable of adoption incorporating his recommended Main Modifications.

Here you can read The Inspector's Report  and the Schedule of Main Modifications

All the documents referred to in the report are available at the Hart Examination Document Library 

The next steps will be for Hart's Cabinet to formally agree to adopt the Local Plan at its meeting on 5 March.  Thereafter it will presented to full Council on 26 March for approval.

The plan covers the period 2016 to 2032 but must be reviewed every 5 years, with a rolling forward planning period.

Cross Farm Development Appeal Dismissed

14 Feb 2020

The appeal by the promoters of the development at Cross Farm was dismissed on 14 February 2020 by the Planning Inspector, Richard Clegg.

After 9 days of hearings last year, consideration of the evidence including nearly 100 documents, representations from FACE IT, the Parish Council, the Neighbourhood Plan steering group, presentations by or on behalf of 16 residents, and two site visits, the inspector has carefully considered the weight of the relevant considerations and provided his report and judgement.  The decision is that on balance the appeal should be dismissed.

A summary of his main conclusions are below:

  • [118] The proposed development would be contrary to the Development Plan considered as a whole. The appeal should, therefore, be dismissed [...].
  • [119] The proposal would cause less than substantial harm to the significance of [the Crookham Village Conservation Area] and to the significance of the [3] listed buildings, but the harm should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal.
  • [120] Significant weight accords to the contribution which the appeal proposal would make to meeting the need for accommodation for older people in Hart, but both the number of dwellings and the financial contributions included in the planning obligation would be relatively modest. The harm to the significance of the heritage assets carries great weight. I am particularly concerned about the effect on the setting of the conservation area.
  • [121] There are no additional benefits to the public benefits which I have identified above. The proposal would, however, cause harm not only to the significance of heritage assets. It would have a harmful effect on the landscape of the appeal site, the setting of Crookham Village, and visual amenity in views across the site, all of which merit significant weight.  The appeal proposal would not be a sustainable form of development, and it would be at odds with the plan-led approach to providing accommodation for older people in the emerging Local Plan.
  • [122] For the reasons given above, and having regard to all matters raised including the suggested conditions, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.

As a result the proposed development at Cross Farm will not go ahead.

Many thanks to all those of you who have contributed to our opposition to this proposal and to our representation at the appeal.

Our Neighbourhood Plan should now be progressing towards its referendum and adoption, consistent with the emerging Hart Local which is, by all accounts, itself close to adoption by Hart.


Crookham Village Neighbourhood Plan Further Consultation on Local Gap

Crookham Village Parish Council submitted their proposed Neighbourhood Plan to Hart District Council in July 2019. The Plan sets out a vision and objectives for the future of the village and contains planning policies to guide the development and use of land in Crookham Village. 

It includes a policy that defines a local gap around Crookham Village to maintain the separate identity of the village and prevent coalescence with Dogmersfield, Fleet and Church Crookham.  This is Policy NE01 Preserving the Gap Between Settlements

In response to a Clarification Letter from the Examiner, the Parish Council recently produced additional evidence in connection with this Policy, which is currently called ‘Appendix 3’ but which will become part of the Neighbourhood Plan when approved.

The document is available here on Hart’s website page https://www.hart.gov.uk/crookham-village .

A further Consultation is now running on the information provided in this evidence and the consultation ends at 4pm on Wednesday 20th November 2019.

There are two parts of the gap identified in the Gap policy and supporting evidence:

  • The gap between Fleet / Church Crookham and Crookham Village
  • The gap between Dogmersfield and Crookham Village.

FACE IT supports the Neighbourhood Plan and this policy because:

  • the gap is designated to protect against damage to the separate identity of neighbouring settlements and coalescence.
  • the gap around Crookham Village was strongly supported in the consultations on the Crookham Village Neighbourhood Plan. 

Crookham Village Neighbourhood Plan Examination


Following the latest consultation the Crookham Village Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination of the Plan and all comments received during the consultation on the submitted plan have been sent to the appointed Examiner for consideration. 

The Examiner, Andrew Ashcroft, provided a clarification note to which the Crookham Village Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group will provide responses:

Hart Local Plan (June 2019)

The Inspector has submitted his post hearings letter to the Council (EXAM 60). The Council has now responded (EXAM 60A). Modifications will now be drafted and further information will be available in due course.  Consultation on Proposed Modifications is expected to take place in summer 2019.

More information can be found on our site here

Crookham Village Neighbourhood Plan Consultation

The Neighbourhood Plan covers the Crookham Village parish area consisting of the old village, Zebon Copse and Netherhouse Moor.  The draft plan sets out locally focused planning policies to suit the local settlement characters within the parish.

After a lot of work by the local volunteer team, the plan is in its final draft and the last of four key consultations is starting now to gain agreement on its submission.  Anyone living in the parish can provide their final input including those living in the ‘old village’, Zebon Copse and Netherhouse Moor.  The number of people who comment on it, even if they agree with it, is one of the criteria that our Neighbourhood Plan is judged on, so please respond.

The Neighbourhood Plan cannot reverse planning decisions like Watery Lane and Grove Farm but, one approved, it will become key evidence to guide planning decisions made by Hart.  So it can affect what change to the existing environment and future developments look like in a number of important ways. It can protect important green spaces including those smaller ones within developments like Zebon Copse. This will help to ensure that new development takes appropriate account of our valued local environment and it might help protect against further unsuitable development proposals. 

A leaflet with a summary and the way to comment is coming through your door; please read it and respond by 15 March. To help you, two open sessions will be held, one at the Zebon Copse Centre on Monday 28 Jan from 8 to 10 p.m., the other at Crookham Street Social Club on Friday 01 February 7:30 to 9 pm.

The Neighbourhood Plan, the policies it contains and a response form can also be viewed here: www.plan4crookham.org/ and we encourage you to respond by 15 March.


The application to build a care village at Cross Farm in Crookham Village has been refused by Hart planning but it is now being appealed. This follows a large community response in objection to the proposals coordinated by FACE IT, as well as objections by Natural England, the Hart Conservation officer and the FACE IT team.
There are 11 main reasons given for the refusal. Although the proposed scheme had been amended slightly from the previous submission, the planning department have concluded that it was not considered possible to deal with the issues set out in the reasons for refusal [...] through minor changes to the scheme, given the in principle nature of many of the issues.

The link to the decision can be found here 


Click on this link to learn more about the Cross Farm threat.

In the meanwhile, here’s a video we took, explaining why this site is such a special place:

Cross Farm - A special place worth fighting for

Grove Farm

Oct 2017 Latest News: Grove Farm Appeal finds in favour of building 423 new houses in West Fleet

Bad news - the planning inspector has just found in favour of the developer and approved the Grove Farm development.

The findings of the inspector can be found here: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?CaseID=3167135&CoID=0

Grove Farm tump skyline Grove Farm tump skyline