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Jan 2021

The facts:

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.  The two barn structures on the site were not used as 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.

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 buildings were 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 buildings were also used for other purposes at that time.

On the eve of determination on 27 August 2020 the "prior approval" application was withdrawn.

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 building was solely in agricultural use on 20 March 2013. 

As before, several residents have commented that the building was 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. Our response can be read in this link

The consultation period ends on 14 January and the application is due to be determined  by 18 February 2021.

Our understanding:

We believe that if the July 2020 application had not been withdrawn, it would have been refused.  The December 2020 application is essentially similar.

Chartfield Homes are developing options for new proposals, which may include conversion of the barns to houses, a detached house on the site of the mobile home and / or a possible alternative proposal for further homes fronting on to Crondall Road.  They are also suggesting other potential (but unlikely) outcomes for this land if their proposals were not to proceed.  Chartfield Homes are hoping to be seen to engage with local residents and groups; however until there is a specific planning application, it is perhaps difficult to provide meaningful comments.

A full planning application for the actually intended use or development of the site would be subject to a full public consultation and be considered on its merits against a number of planning factors, including

- the very principle of development on the site

- Hart's housing need

- the status of the land as countryside

- compliance with the Hart Local Plan 2020,

- compliance with the Crookham Village Neighbourhood Plan,

- consideration of the impact on the neighbouring Conservation Areas,

- affect on the SPA (Special Protection Area) and availability of SANG (suitable alternative natural greenspace),

- access arrangements and highway works

- contamination on the site,

- approval by Hart of the proposals.