PLANS to build 550 new homes near Hook have received a mixed reaction after they were unveiled to the public.

The plans, which have been submitted to Hart District Council by developer David Wilson Homes, went on display at Basingstoke Country Hotel last Saturday.

The all-day event was organised by Hook Parish Council, and was aimed at giving people a proper chance to study the proposal.

Councillor Robert Leppard said: “We felt that there was such a short period of consultation, and so it would be easier for members of the public to come and see some of the application. It’s a general information event to make the material available to the public.”

David Wilson Homes wants to build the dwellings on land north of London Road.

Members of Hook Action Against Overdevelopment were at the exhibition to talk to those viewing the plans.

Nick Charles, of Newnham Road, Hook, said: “We don’t mind development but we do mind over-development. All the developments that are happening in Hook, and it’s happening left right and centre, is not part of what Hart wants or Hook. It’s all decided by the developers, and that’s what we are unhappy about.”

The father-of-three believes that because Hart has not yet adopted a Local Plan, which determines the areas where houses can be built, it leaves the area vulnerable to development.

He said: “Without a Local Plan, Hart are nervous of opposing anything. They have in the past, and it’s gone to appeal and lost.”

He added: “This plan is going to dramatically change Hook. It’s not part of any plan – it’s only because developers are asking for it. Without a plan, they can’t be rejected.”

Neal Roberts, a father-of-two, from Rosebay Gardens, Hook, supported the plans.

The 41-year-old said: “I think we have got to accept that in Hook, because of its location and transport links, we have to have development.

“The problem at the moment is that a lot of people can’t afford a house. The only way to do it is build more houses. Hook has the capacity to take more houses.”

However, Mr Roberts, who works in London, was keen to point out that David Wilson Homes should also invest in the local infrastructure, such as sporting facilities.