Proposals at Nyasaland
Nyasaland is at the centre of a 5 acre parcel of land to the west of Crondall Road, north of the canal and opposite the Exchequer public house. It is outside the village settlement boundary in the open countryside and classed as agricultural land although not currently in agricultural use. Two barn structures on the site were used for a variety of storage, business and disposal purposes rather than as agricultural barns, and may have been built without permission. The previous owner was granted temporary permission to site a mobile home on the land to house a worker associated with the agricultural use of the land. An application to extend the temporary permission was refused in 2006, but the refusal was not enforced. In 2019 the land changed hands after the death of the previous owner.
July 2020 Application
On 1st July 2020 Chartfield Homes made a "Class Q" application (Hart Ref 20/01535/PRIOR) for conversion of the agricultural buildings to 5 dwelling houses.
This was proposed under the provision of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) -Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q, which would bypass the normal planning process and automatically allow for conversion of existing agricultural buildings into up to 5 dwellings.
To qualify, this regulation requires that the building was solely in agricultural use on 20 March 2013. Though not formally required, Hart sent notification letters to immediate neighbours.
Several residents’ comments to Hart pointed out that the building was also used for other purposes at that time.
On the eve of determination on 27 August 2020 the "prior approval" application was withdrawn.
December 2020 Application
On 22nd December 2020 Chartfield Homes made a further "Class Q" application (Hart Ref 20/03146/PRIOR) for conversion of one of the agricultural buildings to 3 dwelling houses.
This was proposed under the same regulation as the one in July which would bypass the normal planning process and automatically allow for conversion into dwellings.
As before, to qualify, this regulation requires that the buildings were solely in agricultural use on 20 March 2013.
As before, several residents have commented that the buildings were also used for other purposes at that time.
Crookham Village Parish Council considered this application on 5th January 2021 and are recommending rejection to Hart.
FACE IT has also responded to Hart stating that for a number of reasons we do not feel able to support the application as the application is unsuitable for the site.
The FACE IT response to this application can be viewed via this link
We are not convinced that the developer wishes to proceed solely with the proposals in this application. This is an agricultural location in open countryside that is important to the character and linear nature of development in the Village. We do not believe that the application establishes that the barn was solely in agricultural use on the required date and there is evidence to the contrary.
The consultation period ends on 14 January and the application is due to be determined by 18 February 2021.
Click here to read more about this development
Watery Lane Site Preparation Update
15 August 2020
A local resident and naturalist, Richard Hellier, has been working hard on your behalf to liaise with the director and site manager of the firm undertaking the site preparation works at Watery Lane.
Part of the agreement for the development at Watery Lane requires the developer to put aside in perpetuity and to develop and maintain a large area of the land for community use as a SANGS (Site of Alternative Natural Green Space).
While some of the works now underway are to prepare the development site, there are also works now underway in the summer months to make the area of SANGS more accessible to the public and of higher ecological value.
Some local people are very concerned with work being undertaken when the field is looking at its very best with so much biodiversity and naturalness. But Martin Grant Homes have been willing to listen and to try and make small changes to improve the outcome for wildlife.
2 July 2020
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.
The Council agreed to proceed to referendum at its meeting on 2 July 2020. However, given the current Covid-19 situation all referendums have been postponed until May 2021. The Parish Council has however, prepared the referendum version of the neighbourhood plan incorporating all the examiners recommended changes. At this stage the plan has considerable weight in the planning application decision making process.
You can read more about the Cabinet report and decision statement.
Hart adopts Local Plan
30 April 2020
At a first innovative 'virtual' meeting of the Hart District full Council (30 April 2020) Hart formally adopted the Hart Local Plan.
The first virtual meeting of the council was introduced by the Chief Executive, Darren Phillips.
The purpose of the meeting was to formally adopt Hart's Local Plan (Strategy & Sites) 2032 including the Sustainability Appraisal Adoption Statement.
Recommendation A: To Adopt the Hart Local Plan incorporating the Inspector's recommended Main Modifications: Agreed unanimously.
Recommendation B: Agree the content of the Sustainability Appraisal Adoption Statement: Agreed with 7 abstentions.
Recommendation C: Adopt a new Policies Map for Hart that incorporates the Policies Map changes associated with adoption of the Hart Local Plan 2032. Agreed unanimously.
Recommendation D: Authorise the Head of Place in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Place to make minor alterations and corrections to the Local Plan and the updated Policies Map. (With the proviso that members of the council are notified of any changes). Agreed unanimously.
As a result the Hart Local Plan is now adopted.
This has taken over 8 years of work and finally fills the gaping hole in local planning policy that has existed during that time in which Hart did not have a Local Plan.
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.
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:
-  The proposed development would be contrary to the Development Plan considered as a whole. The appeal should, therefore, be dismissed [...].
-  The proposal would cause less than substantial harm to the significance of [the Crookham Village Conservation Area] and to the significance of the  listed buildings, but the harm should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal.
-  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.
-  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.
-  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.
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