Grey House School, Hartley Wintney – Demolition of the existing Grey House School and ancillary buildings and erection of 22 new extra care apartments and a 25 bed care home with associatedlandscaping and parking– 20/00330/FUL

Below is the Society's letter in response to the above application.

This letter is written on behalf of the Hartley Wintney Heritage Society and refers to the planning
application submitted for the above site. While we support the usage of the site for the purposes
proposed the proposal is excessive in bulk for the space available and is contrary to Hart Council’s Local
Plan Saved Policy GEN1 in the following respects.
• This development is not in keeping with the local character by virtue of its scale, design,
massing, height, prominence, materials, layout, landscaping, siting and density.
• Will lead to material loss of amenity to existing and adjoining residential, commercial, recreational,
agricultural or forestry uses, by virtue of noise, disturbance, noxious fumes, dust, pollution
or traffic generation.
• Causes material loss of amenity to adjoining residential uses, through loss of privacy or overlooking.
• Does not have adequate arrangements on site for access, servicing or the parking of vehicles.
• Gives rise to traffic flows on the surrounding road network, which would cause material detriment
to the amenities of nearby properties and settlements or to highway safety.
Therefore, the Hartley Wintney Heritage Society are objecting to this proposal and further details for
this are described below:
• The proposal is still an over-development of this important site and the size, scale and bulk of
the buildings are out of proportion to the local street scene in Mount Pleasant, will have
significant impact on neighbouring properties and be detrimental to the character of the
Conservation Area which is confirmed from the Heritage Statement produced as part of this
application.
• The current layout concentrates parking and all site access (including both commercial and
residential waste dispersal requirements) next to and opposite the residential properties of
Mount Pleasant. This will cause constant unacceptable levels of noise and pollution to these
properties and this area should be re-located to an area where it will be less intrusive to the
local residents.
• The buildings extend too close to both the Fleet Road and Mount Pleasant and will therefore
present an over-bearing view to nearby properties and adversely impact the street scene
approaching the High Street. Additionally, the corner balconies shown in the South-West
elevation add to this over-bearing nature and should be reduced in size.
• The trees that are within the site along the Fleet Road, if maintained, will only provide limited
screening and will not reduce the over-bearing nature of the development from being visible.
This is also true of Mount Pleasant where several of the Lime trees bordering the site have been
felled and not replaced limiting the available screening. These should be replaced as a matter
of urgency.
• Mount Pleasant is an area of low-density Edwardian houses on one side with low-rise bungalows
on the other and any redevelopment should seek to complement this. The differing heights and
physical size of the care apartment block is therefore inappropriate, will significantly change the
street scene and character of this part of Hartley Wintney and will dominate the entrance to the
village to an unacceptable extent. Reduction in height to no more than 2 storeys will help to
address this and reduce the increase in light pollution that will occur from the sheer scale of this
development.
• Parking and traffic
o Where 2 people are living together in a single apartment it is likely that in some cases
there will be 2 cars per household (especially in light of the limited public transport now
available). We would suggest that
1. The number of parking spaces is therefore not adequate.
2. The number of disabled spaces is understated for this type of development and
should be increased. Alternatively, all underground parking spaces should be
increased in size to add flexibility of usage.
3. With the proposed number of apartments and care rooms there will be inadequate
provision for the number of visitors of all types that are likely to use or need access
to the site. There will also be a need for disabled parking spaces in this area.
4. Off street parking in Mount Pleasant is insufficient to cater for any shortfall in the
items above.
o Although the traffic patterns are likely to be reduced from the previous usage as a school
on a daily (Mon-Fri in term time only) basis we are of the opinion that the level of car
usage by the residents is understated in the application.
There will now be constant 7 day usage of the site by both the apartment residents and
their visitors and the care home visitors, health workers, delivery drivers, service vehicles
etc. which will result in unacceptable increased usage of Mount Pleasant and the
auxiliary roads around the Cricket Green and Cricket Green Lane where there are no
pavements. Alternative access to the site should be considered to mitigate this impact
and the associated danger of accident – both pedestrian and vehicular.
In conclusion, any proposal for this site needs to be sensitive to and in keeping with the existing
environment and Conservation Area which is not the case with this current proposal. It is our opinion
that an alternative scenario more in keeping with the current street scene, with a lower housing density
and elimination of the issues outlined above should be further explored.

Submitted by the Hartley Wintney Heritage Society - April 2020

 

The Parish Council will be reviewing the application on May 14th but the final date for comments to HDC has been extended until July 2nd. With the high level of interest and comments already generated the committee encourage you to view these and add your own comments if appropriate to ensure that the decision by HDC will be made with the full views of the community taken into account. The link for this is as follows (view under 23 April 2020):

https://publicaccess.hart.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q5C9RMHZHJ800