SHAPLEY HEATH – THE END?
The story of Shapley Heath hasn’t been a pretty one, or a popular one with many local residents. The development, which would have created up to 10,000 homes in an area that would have effectively joined the towns of Fleet, Hook and Hartley Wintney, received widespread objections and a petition against the project now exceeds 6000.
Although it is unlikely we have seen the end of the new mega-town, Hart have now issued a notice of termination with the developers, despite the fact they are still funding studies into Shapley Heath. The fight to save the local area is far from over though, with fears that this is just a temporary lull in the battle.
Councillor Graham Cockarill sent the following email in regards to the project:
“On Thursday 4 November, Cabinet agreed that the Shapley Heath Garden Community Project is to conclude with immediate effect. The project has given invaluable insight onto the complexity of the issues that surround the delivery of a potential new garden community. The information gained will be able to be utilised by multiple services across the Council, and the existing baseline studies and surveys completed during the project will be published early in the new year. The choice of delivering a new garden community to meet future growth needs will now be evaluated as an integral part of any future Local Plan process. It will be assessed against all other growth options, particularly those opportunities arising from regeneration, brownfield development, settlement intensification and proportionate urban extensions.”
Below: The petition against Shapley Heath, started by For Fleet’s Sake.
With arguments about housing numbers, the rights of residents and the ability of the local area to cope with such a development just a few of the heated arguments against the development, the council may just be taking a few breaths before restarting the battle of the build again. With trust levels between council and public at an all time low, it is hard to see how this issue will be resolved to the satisfaction of all but in an area already struggling with a rapidly growing population and serious lack of infrastructure, any attempts to steamroller this unwanted development through is guaranteed to end badly.
The current menus are clearly aiming for a higher end restaurant feel, with prices that are above the usual pub grub standard, but the food shown certainly looks appetising and well presented.
Only time will tell if Hart House version two will succeed where others have failed. Have you visited the new venue yet? Let us know what you think!
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