Village News & Events:

Letter to HCC regarding the proposed safe walking route to RMS from Hook

During the meeting on 4 March 2019, the full council approved the following letter to the Director of Children’s Service at HCC:-

Odiham Parish Council (OPC) have had representatives attend several meetings with Officers from Hampshire County Council and Hook Parish Council to review the proposed plans to create a safe walking route from Hook to Robert May’s School in Odiham.

At a recent public meeting in Hook, it was implied by HCC that OPC were supportive of these plans. OPC would like to make it clear that at no point has this Council formally been asked to provide feedback or endorse the plans.

Given our concern that OPC were positioned as supportive of these plans, we would like to make it clear that, from the information shared with OPC, our Councillors and Executive Officer who attended your meetings raised concerns about your proposal, specifically with regard to the crossing of the A287 at the Derby/Lodge roundabout within our parish.

It is not apparent to OPC how HCC Highways can make this a safe crossing for the potential numbers of children that will need to use it, particularly in the morning.  We have also strong doubt with regard to the strength of the traffic gap analysis undertaken by HCC at this busy junction.

While our resident’s children will not have to endure this route and it’s obvious risks, OPC Councillors have been vocal that they would not let their children undertake such a route if the situation were reversed.  Our clear impression is that HCC are looking at the “safety” of this route purely from a Highway safety aspect with no consideration for any other aspects of children’s safety/behaviour.

Although the primary area of concern of our members is the safety of the children, Councillors have also raised issue with regards to the impact this route will have on traffic congestion around Odiham.  The impact of hundreds of children crossing a busy A road, as well as added traffic from the parents not wishing their children to walk such an obviously unsafe route, will undoubtedly create significant traffic issues for our residents and people who work in and around our village.

While it would be correct to say that both OPC and Hook Parish Council have explored an amenity route between Hook and Odiham for many years, this should not in any way be seen as an endorsement of your plans, which we believe as a designated route to school would be to the detriment of children’s safety and add congestion to our roads.

 

 

Extra-care Professionals Event

Hart District Council, Hampshire County Council and Vivid Homes will be holding an Extra-care Event for professionals and volunteers who work with people aged 60+. The event is being held at the extra-care scheme at Campbell Place in Fleet. 

If you are a professional or volunteer who within your role may encounter people age 60+ who have a care need, you are invited to attend this information event to find out more about how extra-care housing could be an option to offer independent living for this client group. 

The event will include talks from Hampshire County Council’s Adult Services Team, Hart District Council’s Housing Team, Vivid Homes and the on-site provider – ACASA regarding what extra-care housing is and what Campbell Place can offer. There will also be a showing of the new Campbell Place information video and an opportunity to have a tour of Campbell Place and a look at the type of accommodation which is available.

The event will be held on Wednesday 3rd April 2pm – 4pm and refreshments will be available.

 

Hart Local Plan – Announcement by Cllr Coakarill

We have received a letter from the Inspector, Jonathan Manning, giving us some provisional feedback on a couple of issues associated with the Local Plan. I must stress that this is not his final report but the letter gives us a clear indication that, subject to the Council agreeing a couple of important modifications, we are close to having in place a sound Local Plan. It is a very important milestone because we have never reached this stage before.

The Inspector has accepted our assessment of what is our objectively assessed housing need at around 388 dwellings per annum and recognised our positive approach to meeting that need. It is for this reason that the Inspector recommends that we agree to meet Surrey Heath’s unmet need because he considers that it can be done within our projected targets without changing our plan or having to find further sites.

The Inspector’s other key recommendation is that we do not, at this time, pursue Policy SS3. In his view the new settlement approach is not sufficiently developed to be included within the Plan particularly as the numbers of new homes it may deliver are not necessary to meet our housing numbers within this Plan. The important point is that the inspector does not rule out a new settlement option for the future. He recognises our clear aspiration to deliver a new settlement to meet long-term housing needs. He accepts that it would be acceptable for the Plan to retain the Council’s aspirations to plan for long-term needs beyond the Plan period, which could refer to the delivery of a new settlement through (potentially an early or immediate) review of the Plan or a subsequent DPD. He says that this would not change any timescales.

The letter has been published on our web page.

I  intend to work with respective Group Leaders and through the Local Plan Steering Group to agree the next steps but it would seem to me that our best interests lie in getting a sound local plan swiftly in place in the form as recommended by the Inspector.

This is great news for both the Council and its residents because having a local plan in place will give us a sound basis to make future planning decisions and it removes the threat of planning by appeal.

Sent on behalf of Councillor Graham Cockarill

Portfolio Holder for Planning