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Earlier this year Hart Council undertook to carry out “testing” with a view to determining which sites in the district might be suitable for major development or a New Town.

The minutes of the latest Cabinet meeting on July 9 contain hermes handbags birkin  . It is the minutes from the Local Plan Steering Group of June 23.

This is the group which is tasked with determining the contents and creation of the Local Plan. It is chaired by Hart Council’s Leader and Portfolio Holder for Planning, Cllr Stephen Parker, who is an avid supporter of Winchfield as a New Town location. Our new ward councillor Andrew Renshaw, who is of course a staunch supporter of keeping Winchfield rural, attended this meeting although our other regular supporters, Cllrs Anne Crampton and Ken Crookes, were unavailable.

I would draw your attention to a number of items in the document.

Section 4 details the SHLAA shortlisting exercise. (SHLAA is the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and it is a list of potential development sites submitted to the council.) This shortlisting exercise involved identifying SHLAA sites from the list that will be filtered out

Sites that have been filtered out will not be assessed further and will not be included in the draft local plan (Section 4.2)

Any sites that are not filtered out will still remain for potential inclusion in the local plan.

Reasons were provided as to why a site has been filtered out at this stage. These reasons were based on ‘high level’ site assessments and sustainability appraisals of each SHLAA site. Information submitted by developers was taken into account in reaching the officer recommendation to filter a site out (Section 4.4)

In other words the council is listening to developers about what sites they want to include in the SHLAA. Furthermore, Cllr Parker told the meeting that the sites that have been filtered out are the ‘bonkers’ ones. This includes the site next to Winchfield Hospital which Winchfield Parish Council and at one time a planning officer last year supported as being developable. Reasons for rejection include: “Heritage issues due to the presence of a number of listed buildings there including potentially an old mortuary (unlisted).” That statement, rather than the site, is “bonkers”. Other sites outside Winchfield have been filtered out on grounds that could equally apply to sites in Winchfield.

Section 5 concerns itself with Infrastructure.

As the minutes show, the meeting was attended by Peter Home from Adams Hendry who performed the initial ‘high-level’ site assessments. He spoke on infrastructure issues. Adams Hendry are the ‘independent’ advisers helping Hart Council with its Local Plan. The individual is also an adviser to the development of Welborne New Town of 6,000 houses in Fareham. A common factor between Welborne and Winchfield is that Barratt Homes are involved at both places. We challenge the independence of the individual in question.

For rail,

“improvements to Winchfield Station can be made, or alternatively a potential new station to the west is provided that would ultimately replace the existing station”. (Section 5.2)

This is complete news to WAG. Despite having sight of the Network Rail strategy document covering the Wessex line improvements for the next 20+ years we have not heard of any plans to build a new station west of Winchfield. Certainly this is not on the timeline provided by Network Rail. So where is this coming from? Are Hart Council proposing to provide this? (Despite having a huge funding shortfall for infrastructure?). Will they make the developers provide this? It appears that this came up from a conversation between Hart Council and South West Trains who basically said that as Fleet Station had been developed, so too could Winchfield Station. Given that infrastructure upgrades are dealt with by Network Rail in conjunction with local major rail companies (such as South West Trains, who may not retain the franchise), this conversation was, effectively, worthless. Network Rail have no plans to improve Winchfield Station (where the car park is already full) or build a new station at Murrell Green.

Section 6 discusses Duty to cooperate and unmet housing needs. Hart appears to be concerned about a decision taken recently by the Planning Inspectorate to reject Warwick District Council’s Local Plan as being unsound.

The recent Warwick District Local Plan decision was discussed in which although Warwick did enough to pass the duty to cooperate, their plan failed the NPPF tests of soundness. (Section 6.1)

Hart must now be considering the information that WAG passed to them earlier this year where we provided a planning barrister’s legal opinion to them detailing certain facts about their local plan which might result in it, too, being found unsound. This would be the second time a Hart Local Plan has been rejected and would be disastrous for the current council leadership.

We would encourage everyone to spend five minutes looking through this document and the associated document detailing which sites have been filtered out. It should be noted that most of the sites that form the council’s proposed New Town in Winchfield remain in, whereas the other sites that were being tested are no longer in.

To summarise:
Hart’s planning officers have filtered out several sites using developer input as a reason (amongst others), it believes that Winchfield Station can be developed or that a new station west of Winchfield can be built, and it is concerned that other Local Plans have been rejected despite having been told several months ago that the Hart Local Plan fails to clear several of the NPPF hurdles. On top of that, they’ve removed non-Winchfield SHLAA sites from the potential New Town development sites. Furthermore, they are being advised by ‘independent’ assessors who are linked with the developers.

Does this seem right to anybody? It certainly concerns us here at WAG and we will be noting a lot of these factors for any judicial review of the local plan that may be needed.

Meanwhile, everyone is urged to respond by July 20 to Rushmoor’s draft plan. Rushmoor is planning to build a major urban extension to Aldershot at low density, and then argues it must offload 1,600 houses to Hart because it has no other available sites. As a result, Hart is planning to accommodate this overspill at Winchfield.


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Sunday 7th June saw the first Winchfield summer picnic in the field next to the Barley Mow pub.
This was organised as a means of bringing people together and raising funds for the battle to stop large scale development in Winchfield
Prior to the event there was a neighbourhood plan update meeting held in the Winchfield Village Hall

Winchfield Neighbourhood Development Plan meeting 7th June 2015 at Winchfield Village Hall

  • Clare Worley (CW) gave an overview of the 1st review meeting with the Consultants. Work is needed to ensure that our vision and objectives are more clearly defined and would be understood by an external reader unfamiliar with our village. Once this had been achieved and approved it will influence our draft policies; work on this is now underway and will be brought to the next public engagement meeting for comment.
  • Timelines were discussed, we are still ahead of the HDC Local Plan and the consultant advice was ‘don’t rush it but don’t wait’.
  • Public engagement was regarded as ‘good’ and the evidence and history already included was commended.
  • Environmental statements are now required and there are several ways we might achieve this work being done, applying for grants etc. The scope of these has not yet been clearly defined.
  • Some issues we have covered, e.g. speed limits, protection of bridges are not really NDP issues but should be incorporated into the appendix for the Plan and later incorporated into a Community Plan.
  • There is a meeting with HDC on 10th June and this will be attended by local parishes currently preparing their NDPs, CW will attend.
  • Cllr Andrew Renshaw gave an update on the newly elected membership of HDC Cabinet Committee. Until such time as HDC has a new Local Plan in place the existing Rural Policies provide some protection against extensive development.
  • Support for use of brownfield sites is increasing and government is encouraging same, the excellent work being done by hermes handbags replica was noted
  • The current applications for Solar Farms and other developments in our Parish were briefly outlined
  • CW confirmed that the NDP group will not review offered sites until the vision, objectives and policies have received public endorsement.

To comply with transparency requirements NDP meetings will be held at the Village Hall and any member of the public is welcome to attend. Dates will be posted on the Winchfield PC website and notice board.

Meeting attended by 26 residents and closed at 1510.

The Village Picnic

The picnic was very well attended and the weather helped immensely. As well as a nice BBQ and associated foods there were several games, stalls and face painting.

Here are some photos from the event (Thank you to Pam Whittle for her efforts in providing these pictures).
Intense Conversation

Clare Worley chats with Cllr. Ken Crookes about important matters

Two couples

Ron & Jeanie and Beverley & Harry check out the contents of some of the stalls

Intense Conversation

Yvonne Bates brought her face painting skills to the picnic to the delight of many of the children there.

Overall the event raised in excess of £250 pounds which will be added to the fundraising kitty held by the Parish Council on behalf of  the neighbourhood development plan.

Thank you to everyone who attended, assisted and contributed. Your efforts are very much appreciated.


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Below are a list of some of the frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) related to the Hart plan to build a New Settlement in Winchfield. Click the link to skip to the answer to the question.

How many houses does Hart need?

According to the Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN) Hart needs to provide approx. 370 houses per annum in the period to 2023. This information comes from an objectively assessed housing need (OAHN) document produced by a third party company called Wessex Economics. This is the figure that Hart District Council are using to base their Local Plan on. Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

Where does this figure of 5000 houses for a new settlement come from?

The number of dwellings Hart wants to build in a new settlement is calculated by subtracting the total number of dwellings needed from the number of dwellings currently approved or in process. That figure is around 2,400. However Hart have a duty to co-operate with neighbouring councils so they can take overflow housing from those areas. As a result they want to find land that will accommodate more than the 2400 houses required. In reality they are looking for somewhere that will take 5000 houses and more. Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

What is CIL?

CIL is the Community Infrastructure Levy. A payment made by developers to the council based on the area of the dwelling. For Winchfield this will be around £250 per square meter. The intent of CIL is that it will be used by the council to develop infrastructure to be used to support the development. Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

Where are the council wanting to build?

Several development plots have been identified to the council. In simplistic terms this includes all available land in the Winchfield area other than about 100 acres owned by people like Andrew Renshaw who have not put their land up for sale. The development plots includes land between the M3 and the railway, and land from Bagwell Lane right up to the B3016 Odiham Road. In total it is around 677 acres. For comparison purposes, The town of Hook has an area of 538 acres. Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

Why Winchfield?

In the consultation document sent out by Hart District Council in 2014 they identified a new settlement as an option and named Winchfield as a possible location for that New Settlement. As a result a lot of people who responded to the consultation questionnaire believed that Winchfield was the place that had been approved by the council. As it meant development would not take place in their location they readily agreed and accepted it as a fait accompli. However it still has a minority of support across Hart (See below)Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

Is Winchfield the only place they can build?

No. Documents prepared for the council when creating there Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) indicate that there are enough plots of land elsewhere in Hart to allow almost 9000 dwellings to be built without having to build a new Settlement anywhere in Hart. Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

What is Overflow Housing?

Hart has been linked up with Rushmoor and Surrey Heath councils as a Strategic Housing Market (SHM). This means that the target is set for the SHM and it is up to the individual districts to ensure that they provide the number of houses needed. If one district has available land this can be used to site the dwellings needed from the other districts(s). This is known as Overflow Housing. It means that Hart will be obliged to take up to 3100 houses from Rushmoor and Surrey Heath if they opt for a new settlement. Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

What is the ‘Duty To Co-operate’?

Under the SHM listed above the concept which forces the districts to share their housing needs is known as a ‘Duty To Co-operate’. The total SHM has to provide the number of houses needed. If other councils in the SHM cannot provide them, Hart will have to. Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

Do developers think this is a good idea?

No. In Christian Louboutin wedding replica shop , 14 different developers provided their feedback regarding the options provided by the council. Of the 14 only one of them thought that a new settlement was the right solution. Without exception 13 others believed that one or more of the other options on combination was the solution the council should pursue. If major developers like Christian Louboutin shoes online discounts and Red bottoms sandals online shop themselves don’t think building a new settlement is the right option, why would the council? Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

Will there be affordable housing?

Hart DC has undertaken to make sure that 40% of any new development will be affordable housing. Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

Can Hart build enough houses without a new settlement?

Yes. Figures provided by consultants engaged by Hart have shown that there are enough developable pieces of land in Hart to allow for between 8200 and 9500 new homes without even coming anywhere near Winchfield as a location. These have been classified according to the various options in the consultation document. Extract from SHLAA site work document (additional calculation added by WAG)
In addition there are numerous brownfield sites in the district which could – with the right density of dwellings – easily accommodate a huge percentage of the housing need. Unfortunately Hart does not have an accurate register of brownfield sites and those sites it does have registered Red bottoms shoes sale cheap .
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Will we get infrastructure to support development?

Yes. The big question is how much. Under CIL policies released by Hart DC the council will get funding from the developers in the form of a payment per square metre for every dwelling built. Our initial calculations indicate that for a new settlement this will be in the area of £50million. This is lower than Hart DC have originally stated, primarily because the CIL does not apply to affordable housing which will make up 40% of the dwellings in Winchfield. Furthermore, once Winchfield Parish Council have had their Neighbourhood Plan approved, 25% of the CIL money will go straight to them for use as they see fit. From the remaining money the council will have to fund infrastructure upgrades to roads including new roundabouts and road widening which will cost in the region of £45M. Then there are upgrades to the two railway bridges in the area plus a new water/sewage treatment plant to support the 5000 new houses. Our ‘back of the envelope’ calculations indicate these will cost in the region of £76m. That’s before any provision has been made for the three new primary schools and one secondary school Hart are looking for. Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

What’s the Neighbourhood Plan?

Under the localisation laws passed recently, each parish/ward in the country has the right to define certain criteria related to development in their area by means of a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The NP is a legal document that sets down criteria developers have to adhere to when building in the area. It could, for example, mandate “Measures to protect rural and other views” and “Guidance on the scale of new developments”. What the NP cannot do is stop development all together. It has to align with the strategy set out in the Local Plan created by the District council. WAG is actively working to put together an NP and more information can be found Prada evening replica cheap Christian Louboutin womens outlet authentic

Will a new settlement affect other areas of Hart?

Absolutely. Once a new settlement is developed there will be numerous knock-on effects to areas in the close (and not so close) proximity

  • More traffic. There could be 3 million more car journeys per year. 10,000 extra vehicle trips per day will need to be accommodated on the district’s roads. A lot of these will go through to Fleet, Church Crookham, Dogmersfield, Hartley Wintney, Odiham and Hook. Access to the M3 motorway at junction 5 will get slower and busier, as it will at Jct 4a.
  • Fewer rail seats: The already overcrowded trains from Winchfield will take an extra hit. People will end up travelling to Hook or Basingstoke to get a seat. This will have a knock-on effect at those stations.
  • Further pressure on doctors and dentists.
  • More demand for parking near local shops.
  • Further pressure on Police resources to assist a road accident or a break in.
  • Loss of amenity for cyclists / walkers / horse riders who currently use the countryside for their activities
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Will we get a new secondary school with the new settlement?

Hampshire County Council are mandated to manage the school development in the area. Their policy is to ensure all available school places are allocated and that demand is needed before building a new school. The current five secondary schools in the area are approaching capacity so both Prada wallets online cheap . If a new school is built, it will be when the need has been identified rather than prior to the need being identified. Furthermore, when the school is built it will be filled with the children of the occupants of the new settlement. Any added value to the rest of the area will be minimal.
However, there are complications over the proposed secondary school. The Government has prohibited local authorities from opening any new schools; they can only extend existing ones.
No prospective operator of a school wants to commit to a venture which might or might not become operational in ten or twelve years’ time. The most successful ones tend to have parental involvement but few parents want to spend their time and energy on a school that their own children would have outgrown by the time it opened. More commercial operators are hesitant because any commitment would inhibit their ability to take up any other opportunities which may arise sooner. Hampshire County Council can think and plan on long time scales but would rather like to have some idea as to who would operate such a school before they spend 40 million pounds on buildings
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Why should I support WAG when it means development might come to my village instead?

There is a common misconception that Winchfield will take all the development in Hart and nowhere else will be developed. This is inaccurate. The reality is that the Winchfield new town is being proposed for no better purpose than for dealing with the housing capacity shortages in Rushmoor and Surrey Heath districts, with which Hart has a duty to cooperate in covering overall housing demand. If the new town is built, it will do nothing to stop development in other smaller villages in Hart. The new town is needed for later in the Local Plan time frame and interim developments will help Hart Council fulfil requirements in the meantime. With the green light given to the new town, it will mean greater future housing requirements will be placed upon Hart, given the larger base thereby established, and a greater threat to all our rural communities.

If you support building of the new town, you will simply help set a precedent for urbanising more of Hart which could lead to the very result you are trying to avoid.
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Is everyone in Hart in favour of a New Town?

Absolutely not.
Hart Council would have you believe that the “favoured option of a large scale development in Winchfield” has widespread support across the whole of the district. In reality the public consultation held in 2014 identified 226 people from a total population of 90,000 who supported the New Town. The large majority of developers considered it the wrong option as did several adjoining parishes.
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So are you saying you don’t want development in Winchfield?

In an ideal world Winchfield would remain the same size and composition as it does today. This would be the same for all rural village in Hart – it is, after all, what makes the area so attractive to visitors. But WAG do understand that development is needed across Hart and we believe that all areas should have to take development of some sort. Exact figures will need to be worked out for each area, but WAG believes that there is sufficient capacity to build a good number of additional dwellings in Winchfield without resorting to a new town. Our Neighbourhood Development Plan will set out specific sites which will allow development and enable Winchfield to take its fair share of new dwellings. Clearly a village of 260 houses should not have to take an additional 5000 dwellings while places that are ten times that size take none.


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As a direct result of the kind and generous donations from WAG supporters we are pleased to provide the following update on the fight against a New Town in Hart:

Top planning QC, Peter Village (commissioned by WAG) has produced a legal opinion on Hart Council’s Local Plan process and pronounced that they are in a “hopeless position“.  The legal opinion can be downloaded from .   Hart Council have received this opinion, but although our first route was to work with them to resolve, Hart have refused a meeting to discuss ways of improving the Hart Local plan.  In fact, at the council meeting this week, council leader Stephen Parker dismissed the report as “just one opinion among many”.   The council’s attitude displays a staggering level of complacency (and lack of willingness to consult one might say) that may lead to more delays and extra costs to get the Local plan right.  We urge all voters to press their council candidates to push to get the Local Plan process back on track by adopting the legal opinion 5-point plan and dropping all ideas of a New Town in Hart District.

The essence of the opinion is:

  • The public consultation in the autumn of 2014 (‘Reg 18 consultation’) addressed housing options and did not consider other vital issues such as employment, retail, transport and infrastructure.
  • Hart District Council said in April 2014 that they would conduct a second Reg 18 consultation in March 2015, which they have since dropped and now intend to proceed directly to a Regulation 19 consultation on the Draft Plan for Final Inspection.  This plan is likely to fail because either the Local Plan will not contain all the elements it should, or they will not have consulted on all of the things they should consult upon.
  • Hart have not consulted upon the demands from Surrey Heath and Rushmoor that Hart build 3,100 houses for them.
  • Hart have not considered a medium growth “policy on” scenario of not meeting the full housing need on environmental grounds.
  • Hart have not properly considered the brownfield capacity of the district, highlighting that the capacity could be up to 3,500 dwellings, far more than the 750 dwellings Hart is still insisting upon.

The legal opinion 5-point plan to address these issues and this is summarised below:

  • Create a medium growth scenario with a lower housing requirement than the current high growth scenario to give an option to reduce the environmental impact of development.
  • Create a formal brownfield option and invite a competition to design the best way of using our brownfield land.
  • Do the work and consult upon the additional elements of a proper Local Plan such as employment, education, transport, retail and other infrastructure.
  • Consider the Environment and Landscape by carrying out proper habitat studies and landscape character assessments.
  • Fix the management and governance problems within Hart Council that have resulted in the past failure and current hopeless position.

If you want to press for change, please vote for someone in the coming week who is against a New Town (council candidates link shows our current intelligence on who is against and who voted for a New Town).

And if you have not already, please sign the We Heart Hart petition:

Go to Petition

Thanks again for all your support – we couldn’t do this without you.

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People often question us about the ‘value’ of having a Neighbourhood Plan in place. The following example should serve to indicate that, as a legal and strategic document, their worth is virtually priceless.

In Cheshire there is a company called Gladman Developments. They bill themselves as ”one of the UK’s largest developers of office and industrial accommodation”.

Further research into their website identifies an area known as ’strategic land’. They say they:

“take a proactive approach to strategic land, focusing on optimising the value of potential residential development land. Our in-depth knowledge of the complex and rapidly evolving planning system makes us the ideal partner for landowners keen to promote their land’s potential”

In other words they like to try and game the planning system.

That may sound harsh but it is backed up with facts. In an article published in a leading national newspaper in November last year it stated ”one successful land agent is now so confident it can bulldoze past local objections that it does not charge farmers an upfront fee for its services.” (incidentally Gladman have this link on their own website as a positive article despite the fact the article is entitled ”Developers ruining our countryside: They bankroll farmers seeking permission to build on their fields”)

However, recently they’ve hit a bit of a roadblock. Winslow, in Buckinghamshire (half way between Milton Keynes and Bicester), is a town which has recently finished creating their own Neighbourhood Plan.

Gladman were trying to get the town doubled in size to 4000 houses whereas 98% of the local residents voted for a 450 house development instead.

Here’s what Gladman did:

  • They sought an injunction to stop the Neighbourhood plan referendum from taking place. It was denied.
  • Then they challenged the legality of the Neighbourhood plan in the high court. The judge dismissed it.
  • So they appealed. They recently withdrew that appeal.

This means that Winslow’s neighbourhood plan will now dictate the development in the area.

A lot of this stemmed from a planning application that was referred to the Secretary of State (Eric Pickles). After local planning permission was denied a public inquiry recommended that the permission be given. The decisions was referred to the SoS who overruled the inspector. He said he:

“placed “very substantial negative weight” on the conflict between the appeal proposal and the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan“, adding ”Neighbourhood plans, once made part of the development plan, should be upheld as an effective means to shape and direct development in the neighbourhood planning area in question … Where a planning application conflicts with a neighbourhood plan that has been brought into force, planning permission should not normally be granted.”

What this indicates is that Neighbourhood plans are a vital part of protecting and controlling development, but they have to be approved and in place. Pickles also recently allowed a large development in a place where they have been designated as having a neighbourhood plan but had not progressed it.

Now comes the not so good news:

Fleet are currently looking at their Neighbourhood Plan process and – as a result of this – they received a note which effectively says ”We don’t think you should be looking at a Neighbourhood Plan until the Local Plan is in place” Who did this note come from? Gladman Developments. Given that they like to game the system I can only assume that Gladman either have options on land, or have identified available land, in Fleet which they want to develop on and are wanting to make sure they’re are minimal numbers of obstructions for them in the process.

Hart Council have replied to Gladman telling them that developing a neighbourhood plan prior to the Local Plan is completely acceptable and should not prejudice its acceptance in any way.


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There was an interesting article in a recent Sunday broadsheet talking about Garden villages (which is, effectively, what Hart District Council want to put in Winchfield)

The thrust of the discussion was that garden villages are neither gardens nor villages.

The thing is that 15,000 homes is not a village. It is a town. Without inspired planning, it is Los Angeles-style sprawl. Any resemblance to century-old garden cities, such as Letchworth, is purely coincidental.

The article is related to a proposed 15,000 dwelling development in West Tey, near Colchester, Kent. A lot of the issues they have are echoed here in Hart

This … process is a consequence of the government’s simplification of the planning system. It has taken out the layer of bureaucracy known as regional planning and pushed responsibility down to the boroughs.

The problem – as the author sees it – is that it has left local authorities struggling to find enough developable land. The difference that West Tey have is that they have a brownfield strategy but all the currently available brownfield has been used up. Hart, by contrast, Canada Goose toronto sale discounts .

His solution – and one we support – is to look at town extensions rather than existing villages. Development in all areas of Hart is to be expected, but to expect one village to increase in size 2100% is not feasible.

If you are a subscriber to this broadsheet I would recommend reading the article in its entirety. (Canada Goose toronto replica shop ).


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