The Crookham Village Conservation Area was first designated by Hart District Council in 1982 and last updated in 1994. Although much of it relates to the historic environment and clearly not a lot has changed, several developers have argued that it should be disregarded for planning purposes as it is out of date. It is a statutory requirement for local planning authorities to review their conservation areas from time to time and in recognition of this, in 2022 Crookham Village Parish Council (CVPC) started work on the re-designation of the Crookham Village Conservation Area in accordance with the planning requirements in the latest version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
The purpose of a Conservation Area Appraisal is to both inform the planning authority and help the local community to preserve the special character of the area. The appraisal does this by providing homeowners, developers, Council officers and other interested parties with a framework against which future development proposals affecting the Conservation Area can be assessed and determined. Its main purpose will be to be a material consideration in all planning decisions affecting our area. This will be a significantly updated document from that used before which was first created 1982.
In May 2022, CVPC appointed a planning expert with experience of our Conservation Area to assist with preparing the new document. Work continued throughout the year resulting in an early draft of the new document in September 2022.
Following the early draft, CVPC asked the consultant to look at what additional information can be used to support the section of the Conservation Area between Crossways and Stroud Lane, which is the only section of Crondall Road that falls within the existing Conservation Area boundary. An examination of that area of Crondall Road clearly showed a considerable amount of back land development which changes the way that the area is described. A number of important views have now also been included with photographic evidence in the revised document. This should provide strong support for the continued designation of that section as an essential element of the Conservation Area.
A final draft of the Conservation Area document is now in production (May 2023). This will include the relevant maps and photographs to illustrate the major features and important views with our Conservation Area.
Following completion of the draft document, residents will be given an opportunity to review the work and provide their comments. All the comments will be assessed and after any necessary changes have been made, the Parish Council will work with Hart District Council to formally adopt the document.
Please watch out for this consultation as your comments are important. This vital planning document can then be put in place to protect our Conservation Area and ensure that all future development meets the requirement to preserve or enhance this area.
In due course it may be possible to extend the current Conservation Area along the length of Crondall Road to join up to the boundary of the Basingstoke Canal Conservation Area - which covers the lower part of Crondall Road including the Exchequer Pub and Zephon Common Lane. However this will have to wait for the refresh of the Hart Local Plan.