Hart defeats legal challenge to block neighbourhood plan

Hart District Council has successfully fought off a legal challenge to the Hook Neighbourhood Plan.

Wilbur Developments, promoting the development of land at Owens Farm west of Hook, challenged a local gap designation, which keep settlements separate, and a policy to protect certain views. The challenge was brought on three grounds, all of which were rejected.

Hook residents voted in favour of the Plan at a referendum in October 2019. Once formally adopted at Council on 27 February 2020, Hook Neighbourhood Plan will be part of Hart’s development plan. It will be the seventh Neighbourhood Plan to be made in the district.

Councillor Graham Cockarill, Cabinet member for Place, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this outcome. The local community has put a huge effort into preparing this Plan which will serve to protect Hook from unwanted development and encourage the regeneration of the village centre.”

A Neighbourhood Plan gives local communities a way to decide the future of the places where they live and work. It enables residents to have more say in where new houses, businesses, shops and community facilities should go in their area and can allocate sites for development.

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