FACE IT Group
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.
Hart Local Plan Latest News (Dec 20th 2018)
Day 10 Summary
Today the Examination in Public completed by looking at the last remaining issues and the proceedings were formally closed. All of the developers, Winchfield Parish Council and Winchfield-based action groups were present.
The examination discussed whether the settlement hierarchy and spatial distribution were based on up-to-date evidence, were justified and consistent with national policy. This has implications for deciding where building will be permitted especially in rural areas and outside the existing settlement boundaries.
A previous suggestion to remove the settlement hierarchy from the Local Plan was revisited and it was decided to keep the settlement hierarchy in the Local Plan. Some minor modifications to the maps defining settlement boundaries will take account of recent permissions.
Although a number of points were raised by site promoters and Winchfield there were no major changes to the plan from this session.
The Inspector thanked everyone for their considered contributions to the discussions and closed proceedings.
The examination hearings are now concluded. The inspector will issue a response to the council on the agreed points probably in February 2019 and the full adjudication will be issued in a report ‘after due consideration’ some time in 2019.
Day 9 Summary
Today the Examination in Public looked at two Matters which were originally scheduled for the first week of the Examination but overran. Most of the developers and Winchfield Parish Council were present.
The discussion of legal requirements under Matter 1 was continued and concluded. The main topic was the Sustainability Appraisal of the alternative strategies for housing in the District. Hart defended its method for performing the spatial analysis and ranking the various options for development in the District according to factors such as quantity of housing, potential for growth beyond the plan period (after 2032), damage to the historic environment, impact on the environment, water quality, economic impacts and education.
Some minor legal compliance and consistency issues were also confirmed under Matter 1.
The discussion about the Local Plan’s Vision and Strategic Objectives under Matter 2 resulted in some small wording modifications being agreed for consistency.
The examination concludes next week (Tuesday).
Day 8 Summary
Today the Examination in Public looked at three Matters. Only a few of the developers were present who were interested in the specifics of these matters.
Under Matter 7 the examination discussed whether the evidence for assessing the needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople was sound.
Matter 8 discussed other housing related policies on Housing Mix, Specialist Accommodation and Internal Space Standards with particular reference to issues raised by the promoters of a new care village in Crookham Village.
Under Matter 13 Harts’ proposals for monitoring were also discussed.
The examination continues tomorrow.
Day 7 Summary
Today the Examination in Public looked at Matter 5 about ‘Housing Trajectory’ (the deliverability of housing over time) and Matter 6 about Affordable Housing. Most of the developers promoting sites and Winchfield Parish Council were present, as well as the House Builders Federation and Rent to Buy for Matter 6.
The examination discussed whether the plan was sound on the questions of supply and demand, i.e. projections for when land, housing completions and associated infrastructure would become available and whether supply would keep up with demand. Although there were some detailed discussions, Hart’s plan seemed sound as 95% of the housing supply has already been granted permission and its delivery has been forecast.
The inspector also examined the forecast supply and demand for affordable housing, and whether Hart’s policies H2 on Affordable Housing and H3 on Rural Exception Sites are justified and consistent with national policy.
There were 13 issues to discuss on housing trajectory and 12 on affordable housing. There were some proposed amendments, the examination ran to time and there seemed to be no ‘show-stopping’ issues on these matters.
The examination continues tomorrow (Wednesday).
Day 6 Summary
Today the Examination in Public looked at Matter 12 about The Environment. The main issues to be discussed were raised by a few developers, Winchfield Parish Council and Historic England.
The matters discussed included development in the countryside, gaps between settlements, landscape character and setting of settlements, the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area, biodiversity, flood risk, water quality, sustainable water use, historic environment, design, renewable and low carbon energy and pollution.
The policy on local gaps is likely to be merged with the one on landscape character and there will be some minor changes to wording of other policies.
The examination resumes on 11 December.
Day 5 Summary
Today the Examination in Public looked only at Matter 11 about Infrastructure. The main issues to be discussed were raised by a few developers and ‘We Heart Hart’.
The Inspector examined whether the Local Plan is based on a sound understanding of infrastructure requirements and their delivery and whether the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) is robust.
‘We Heart Hart’ argued that there was a gap in infrastructure funding and for many items there were no costs specified. Hart responded that the infrastructure providers had been consulted and that the development of the IDP and costs was an iterative process which would continue.
‘We Heart Hart’ also pointed out that the infrastructure for a possible new settlement had not been specified or costed, and that without these Policy SS3 for a New Settlement was unsound. Hart responded that the policy specifies a planning process and was not yet a quantified development scheme. Major infrastructure providers had been consulted and ‘show-stopping’ issues had not been identified. Infrastructure proposals and costs will be developed as part of the further planning.
‘We Heart Hart’ argued that Policy SS3 stated that “Planning permission will be given” but it was pointed out that this was still subject to a search and a suitable development scheme coming forward through the Development Plan Document which will in due course be subject to separate examination.
The examination continues tomorrow.
Day 4 Summary
The Examination in Public resumed today on its revised programme after a break last week. Today looked at Matter 9 which discussed Economic Development and Matter 10 which discussed Retail and Town Centres.
The discussion on Economic Development addressed questions about how the need for employment sites had been addressed and whether certain areas were of strategic and local importance for employment. The discussion was mainly driven by developers who wanted to convert more offices into flats, particularly at Bartley Wood in Hook, and Hook Parish Council who questioned Hart’s policy criteria and consistency with national policy.
The discussion on Retail and Town Centres largely addressed questions about redevelopment and regeneration of urban centres, mainly Fleet Town Centre and Hook.
The main participant was a representative of the ‘Rural Hart Association’ who argued that Hart had not promoted regeneration particularly in Fleet town centre and therefore there was insufficient regeneration in the plan.
Hart responded that when the call for sites was carried out no major regeneration sites were offered. The inspector questioned whether it would be appropriate and sound for a plan to rely on sites that neither a developer nor an owner was promoting. Hart pointed out that it does have policies that promote regeneration sites and that discussion with landowners had not resulted in further major town centre regeneration sites being offered.
The examination continues tomorrow.
Day 3 Summary
Today addressed the important Matter 4: The Spacial Strategy of New Housing.
The main discussions were on policy SS3 regarding policy for the new settlement and policy SS2 on Hartland Village.
The new settlement policy is clearly very important for everyone, the number of people round the table reflected this and the Inspector prioritised this in the running order.
Hart and the promoters of the new settlement were supporting the policy with all the other developers, Winchfield Parish Council and others criticising it as unsound.
The inspector examined whether policy SS3 was sound and whether a new settlement would be deliverable, with arguments on both sides, and he considered whether the policy to produce a Development Plan Document can be sound without having the detail available now.
The key arguments for and against the settlement policy were all ones we have heard before. Hart argued that none of the statutory consultees have identified show- stopping issues, there are solutions to the most significant constraints, and the Development Plan Document is itself a planning process that would provide the detail required for planning decisions. Criticisms included a policy with no defined or quantified requirement, weakness in the case for a new secondary school, lack of detailed evidence and potential conflict with the Winchfield Neighbourhood Plan.
The arguments for the policy were mainly that Hart as a whole wishes to get away from short-termism and create a long-term sustainable future Hart is trying to provide a community with facilities rather than another housing estate there is no short-term housing crisis in Hart so there is time for proper planning longer-term planning allows infrastructure providers the time they need to plan and prepare for the infrastructure improvements needed in the District.
The arguments against were mainly that it is not proven that it is needed for housing numbers, school places, etc. it is not proven that it is deliverable in terms of infrastructure, environmental impact, etc. it will not work due to geographical divisions of the area of search into three areas by the railway line and M3, other constraints and some land in the middle which is not available.
No conclusion was reached but the inspector will need to make a decision in his report.
Discussion of Policies SS1 and SS2 was deferred.
The examination continues on the 4thDecember.
Day 2 Summary
Today the examination discussed in detail the need for housing and the numbers of homes to be planned for. (Matter 2: the objectively assessed need for housing and the housing requirement).
The Inspector confirmed the rules on which method is to be used to work out the need for housing, which is based on an ‘Objectively Assessed Housing Need’.
The examination addressed how the numbers had been calculated, the basis of various factors used in calculating the numbers and how Hart had or should have applied them.
Hart reinforced its position that it has followed government guidelines, which however have been changing. It also recognised that while it wanted to deliver affordable housing, its brownfield-first policy may have compromised the delivery so far of affordable housing (for example in the case of office conversions in Hook and Fleet and planned housing at Hartland Village) which do not have to provide affordable units.
There was also considerable discussion about whether Hart should build houses to satisfy ‘unmet need’ from neighbouring areas, particularly Surrey Heath, who have fallen behind in their house-building.
The examination continues on Thursday then continues on the 4thDecember.
Day 1 Summary
Today the examination opened with an introduction to the proceedings and to the Local Plan. The focus for the first day was the legal soundness of the plan (Matter 1: Legal Requirements).
The first matter was the duty to cooperate with neighbouring and other authorities which caused no major legal objections. As this is where the plan failed in 2012 this is probably good news.
Much of the rest of the day was spent assessing the soundness of the sustainability assessment. This was the work that ranked the different strategic options on a number of criteria and recommended the current choice of strategy.
A number of the developers present pointed out issues with the approach which might have resulted in a different strategy, which might then have resulted in their site being considered differently. The most vocal were those with sites which would fall under the urban extension option. Issues discussed included methodology, biodiversity, education and other impacts.
The inspector also covered the Vision and Strategic Objectives of the Local Plan.
The examination continues on Wednesday and Thursday then continues on the 4thDecember.
More detail on the events of the Local Plan examination can be seen here: http://www.faceit-group.org/community/face-it-group-13510/the-hart-local-plan/
CROSS FARM CARE VILLAGE APPLICATION REFUSED
The application to build a care village at Cross Farm in Crookham Village has been refused by Hart planning. 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 DOWNLOAD THE FACE IT LEAFLET ON THE MAIN POINTS OF OBJECTION TO THIS DEVELOPMENT
In the meanwhile, here’s a video we took, explaining why this site is such a special place:
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