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Update: North East Hampshire District Group

27th April 2021

News from North East Hampshire

Sadly, development and budget deficits seem to be in the local news again.

The building of some four hundred dwellings in Hitches Lane, Crookham Village is now progressing which will undoubtedly put additional strains on our roads, watercourses and drainage systems.

Hart District Council has now published its proposed budget for the coming year which shows a large deficit, but it appears that continued costs of some £270,000 to promote the Shapley Heath Garden Community project (plans to build some 5,000 dwellings on greenfield land between Winchfield and Murrell Green which were struck out of the current Local Plan) will go ahead while other worthwhile expenditure on homelessness, voluntary organisations and Fleet Pond may well be cut.

Recently Lord Taylor of Goss Moor was employed to give presentations on Garden Villages. This was part of a continuing expenditure on public relations regarding this not needed project, was very superficial and had little or no direct relationship to the planned loss of our green fields.

Following these presentations, the parishes most affected by these plans were invited to propose candidates to join various thematic groups within a Stakeholder Forum that Hart has set up to seek advice from the community about the project.

Guess what, we now find that four out of the 10 places on the Stakeholder Forum Steering Committee are now to be held by Hart Council Officers. In addition, the Hart Project Manager, team members and the joint Chief Executive attend the meetings, giving Hart overall control.

In doing this, Hart has effectively broken its own rules governing the core functions of the Stakeholder Forum which state that it should:

1. provide a space for representatives from parishes, community organisations, business sector, voluntary sector, public sector and housing associations to consider topics raised through community engagement activities

2. provide a steer for continued community engagement to ensure that the wider community’s views are fully captured and responded to

So, as you will see we have a long uphill battle on our hands and anyone wishing to join our Hart & Rushmoor District Group team will be most welcome to contact us through the Winchester office.

Alastair Clark
North East Hampshire District Group Chairman

Shapley Heath Garden Community Stakeholder Forum - is it representative?