THE residents of Hook and Hartley Wintney have overwhelmingly voted to back their neighbourhood plans.

The plans were put to referendum on Monday, with 96.1% of people saying ‘Yes’ in the Hook poll, whilst 91.6% were in favour of the Hartley Wintney plan.

Turnout was 31% for Hook, the highest of the three neighbourhood plan referendums that took place in Hart on Monday, whilst in Hartley Wintney it was 25%

Reacting to the news when it was announced on Tuesday, Councillor Jane Warlock, Chairman of Hook Parish Council, said: “I am delighted that 96% of residents who turned out to vote said a resounding ‘Yes’ to the adoption of Hook’s Neighbourhood Plan.

“My sincere thanks, on behalf of Hook Parish Council, go to both the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group who worked tirelessly to write the Plan document and to the office staff at the Parish Council who organised a fantastic publicity campaign to vote for a say in Hook’s future.”

The proposals, drawn up by residents in conjunction with the Parish Council over the last five years, will be seen as a representation of residents’ wishes when planning applications are to be decided on by Hart District Council.

The turnout was also important, with a higher turnout representing more support from residents.

Speaking to the Gazette last week, Anne Atkins, Executive Officer at the Parish Council, said that the plan was about the “retention of existing and enhancement of business in the centre of Hook”.

“It recognises that things don’t stand still.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Chris Farrance, Chairman of Hartley Wintney Parish Council, said: “This is about actively engaging our community in the future of Hartley Wintney.

"I would like to warmly thank the members of our Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group for all their hard work, our consultant Liz Bourne and her team, Parish Councillors and the Parish Council staff for their support.

"A particular thanks to the many members of the community who engaged in the consultations that were carried out during the development of the Plan."

The plans will now go to Hart District Council to be adopted as planning policy next month.

The result of the referendum comes at a time when residents in the area are concerned over plans for a new garden village near Winchfield.

Plans for Shapley Heath had no relation to the Neighbourhood Plans, and Anne Atkins said that the timing had caused confusion amongst residents.