Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum

January 2014

It really is quite frightening how quickly the time passes. The last UPDATE, written five days before Christmas, looked forward to the New Year and already we are within sight of the end of January. One New Year resolution which I have no intention of breaking, however, is to keep you informed of developments concerning the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum.

It has been a busy month and we shall be even busier over the first half of the year, a key date being Saturday 15 March when we stage our ‘Drop in’ event at the Tennis Club in Pine Road about which, more later in this UPDATE.

Hatches, matches and despatches

The turn of the year has seen a number of personnel changes and change of responsibilities within our three working groups and the steering group. Colin Kite and Shaun Glanville have both stood down from their roles as leader of our Opens Spaces Working Group (OSWG) and Forum project co-ordinator respectively. My thanks and appreciation to them both for their contribution to the development of our Neighbourhood Plan project, and I am delighted that they will continue to support us.

Giorgio Varda has taken over as the Forum’s project co-ordinator.

Liz Hewitt, who has made a huge contribution to our work, despite her very considerable professional commitments, has agreed to join Ron Brandman as co-leader of the OSWG. Two new members of the group are Chris Bore and Peter Howitt. They will bring their knowledge and expertise to bear as the group moves into policy development mode.

Mike Cooke, who retired from business at the year end, volunteered to help with the development of the Neighbourhood Plan soon after he and his wife arrived in Hook Heath Road in July last year from their last home in Scotland. Willing volunteers are always welcome. Mike has joined Maxwell New, Judith Oakley, Ben Bridgeman and Clare Hawse on the Built Environment Working Group (BEWG).

Growing membership

At the time of writing, 218 people have registered as members of the Forum or have expressed an interest in the development of a Neighbourhood Plan: they represent around 10% of the total population in the Neighbourhood Area (2011 Census). There must be many more residents who have an interest in helping to shape the future development of Hook Heath but who are not sure of how they can help.

If you know someone who might be interested, point them to the home page of the Hook Heath Residents’ Association website (www.hhra.co.uk) and invite them to click on ‘Be in the know, join the Forum for free.’

Helicopter over Hook Heath

Maxwell New, leader of our BEWG, fastened his seat belt last autumn and, armed with a camera, took to the skies over Hook Heath in a helicopter. The stunning results of his flight can be viewed on the website (www.hhra.co.uk) from a series of different viewpoints. Webmaster Neil Cryer has provided some helpful signposts. Take a flight with www.hhra.co.uk and try to spot where you live.

New developments

I mentioned two significant planned developments in the last UPDATE: first, the planning application to demolish all the existing buildings on the existing Woodbank site at the junction with Holly Bank Road and Hook Heath Road and build a new care facility on the site, and second, the application to make changes to an existing planning consent at De Vere Venues Gorse Hill. A number of residents visited the displays by the two organisations, staged - albeit at rather short notice - at Gorse Hill, to view the plans at first hand. Good to see organisations making the effort to consult local residents.

Green Belt Review

Consultants appointed by Woking Borough Council (WBC) to carry out a review of the existing Green Belt were scheduled to deliver their report to WBC on 22 January. This document will be the basis for the updated Site Allocation Document (SAD), likely to be published later this year, in which WBC will lay out plans to meet its target number of dwellings thorough to 2027.

The fields between Hook Heath and Saunders Lane, on either side of Hook Hill Lane and between Hook Heath and Egley Road, could well be among those threatened with development.

You have been warned! The Forum will be watching carefully.

Anyone for tennis?

Well, actually not for tennis. However, the Woking Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Pine Road will be the venue for our first Forum’ Drop-in’ event between 11.00 am and 3.30 pm on Saturday 15 March to which all residents living within the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Area are invited.

Formal invitations will be delivered in the second half of February. Enter the date in your diary - NOW - before you press the delete key. This is your opportunity to let us have your views on how you would like to see Hook Heath develop, provide us with your feedback on the policies which are being developed, and meet members of the working groups. Free refreshments will be available. Do come along.

Many thanks for your interest and support.

Help us to grow the Forum’s membership.

Keep up to date with developments by visiting: www.hhra.co.uk/hookheathforum

I look forward to meeting you at the Tennis Club on Saturday 15 March.


Peter Hill,
Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum


Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum
an initiative of the Hook Heath Residents' Association

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