Odiham "vulnerable" to new development as Hart planning chiefs redraw new long-term housing plan (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Odiham "vulnerable" to new development as Hart planning chiefs redraw new long-term housing plan
ODIHAM and its surrounding villages could get more houses than expected following the Government's rejection of a housing plan.
That’s the view of Daryl Phillips, corporate director at Hart District Council, who has told parish councils in some “western parishes” to expect more development.
In August this year, planning inspector Kevin Ward rejected Hart District Council's Local Plan, a blueprint for housing development in Hart until 2029.
He called the plan “not sound”, criticised Hart’s work with other local authorities, and said its figure of 236 homes per year was too low.
The council has since scrapped its initial plan and is working on a new one. It approved an interim housing strategy for the district earlier this month.
At the last meeting of Odiham Parish Council, its chairman Councillor Mark Faulkner said that the corporate director gave his warning at a meeting for town and parish councils in Hart.
He added: “There are no official figures yet but we need to decide whether that is something we would live with and prepare residents for, or something that we would resist.”
Speaking to The Gazette, Mr Phillips said that some of Hart is protected from development by the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area, which limits house-building to protect ground-nesting birds on land such as Hazeley Heath.
But he said villages like Odiham, North Warnborough, South Warnborough and Long Sutton are outside that area, making them more vulnerable.
He said: “People are right to be concerned, and we are concerned, but we are still working out what should our housing numbers be.
“If the Government is driving higher growth rates, then clearly more development will take place.”
Planners in Hart are now looking at the latest plans for an 89-home development at Hatchwood Farm, in Odiham.
An outline plan for development on the site was controversially approved by the district council, and agent Carlton Design Partnership submitted a full planning application earlier this month.
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