Cabinet reshuffle means Hook residents must wait to grill planning minister

New planning minister, Brandon Lewis, was unable to attend yesterday's meeting

New planning minister, Brandon Lewis, was unable to attend yesterday's meeting

First published in by , Senior Reporter

VILLAGERS in Hook will have to wait to grill a planning minister after a meeting was postponed for a second time.

Nick Boles was due to speak to residents angry about perceived overdevelopment at The Harlington Centre, in Fleet, yesterday after an invite from North East Hampshire MP James Arbuthnot.

However, Mr Boles was moved from his position as planning minister to the Minister of State for Skills, Enterprise and Equalities in the recent Government reshuffle.

In an email to constituents, Janet Walker, from Mr Arbuthnot’s Westminster office, said the new planning minister, Brandon Lewis, was unable to attend.

She wrote: “Mr Arbuthnot is very sorry, not least as this news comes so late. He is talking to the minister to find another date in the diary for this as he is extremely keen that a meeting is held and as soon as possible.

“He has impressed on Mr Lewis how important this is. He wants the minister to hear his constituents’ views.”

Mr Boles had been invited to speak after Mr Arbuthnot attended a public meeting at the Basingstoke Country Hotel, where more than 200 Hook villagers turned up to complain about overdevelopment.

More than 500 homes are earmarked for the north east of the village and residents also feel developers are taking advantage of the fact Hart District Council’s Local Plan, was rejected by a planning inspector.

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