Our open letter sent to all Hart District Councillors, 2nd January 2018

On the 4th January 2018 you will debate a Regulation 19 Local Plan. We are pleased that Hart is now at last taking a pragmatic and forward-looking approach to its local planning.

This is the fourth time a Regulation 19 plan has been promised (October 2015, Winter 2015/16, Autumn 2016 and Winter 2017/18) but the first time it has actually been delivered.

We understand that the decisions involved in creating the Local Plan are difficult and we know there will never be a Local Plan that pleases everyone. However this is an evidence-based process where the will of the majority, as expressed through you our elected representatives, needs to be heard. There have already been three consultations allowing the people of Hart to express their wishes.

Hart has suffered in the last four years and the delays in delivering the plan have enabled developers, rather than Hart Council, to lead the planning process, resulting in Watery Lane, Grove Farm, North East Hook and other urban extensions that the majority of people did not want.

Delay by points of order and spurious amendments as we saw in the Council meeting in November 2014 must not be allowed to derail your decisions. At the conclusion of the evening we need you to take a robust plan forward to the Regulation 19 consultation. The plan must be capable of standing up to an examination in public on all aspects, including but not limited to: affordable housing supply, provision of space for schools and housing numbers, allowing for the current uncertainty in government methodology.

If you fail to deliver a Regulation 19 plan at this Council meeting it will serve no one but the developers. The people of Hart will see that as a failure of the process as a whole and a failure of its Councillors to represent them and do what is required for the district.

Sent on behalf of:

Fleet and Church Crookham Society (FCCS)

Fleet And Crookham Environment Is Threatened (FACE IT)

Hook Action Against Overdevelopment (HAAO)

Stop Elvetham Chase Development (SECD)