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29 March 2021
Hart District Council (HDC) are planning shortly to distribute a District wide survey inviting feedback on the proposed ‘Shapley Heath’ Garden Village development. From a Parish perspective, although we welcome learning more about the beneficial community attributes of a Garden Village, we lament the continuing fixation by HDC with the manifestly unsuitable proposed Shapley Heath location.
Just to put it in context, the ‘Shapley Heath’ site (formerly Winchfield) is being threatened by the building of if not 5000 then 10,000 homes and still this rumbles on despite it being withdrawn at the Inspector’s insistence from Hart’s Local Plan. It threatens to coalesce Fleet, Hartley Wintney, Hook and Winchfield creating an urban sprawl which will ravish the countryside. As a Parish Council, we believe it our role to challenge this unwanted development rigorously.
We have written a letter to HDC expressing a number of concerns regarding the draft survey we have seen co-signed – amongst others – by Dogmersfield, Hook, Odiham and Winchfield Parish Councils.
In particular we challenge:
In summary the survey in its present form, in our view, misrepresents the status of the Project and this will bias the tone of the responses. This could lead the council open to a charge of predetermination because the survey in effect promotes Shapley Heath over and above any alternative strategies that could be considered.
Let’s see if Hart are prepared to listen!