Chapter 6 Policies
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6.5 SPECIFIC POLICIES FOR THE TOWN AND VILLAGE CENTRES OF FLEET, YATELEY, BLACKWATER AND HOOK
 
Fleet Town Centre
F1 Fleet Town Centre: General Policies
F2 Fleet Town Centre : Primary Retail Area
F3 Fleet Town Centre : Secondary Retail Area
F4 Fleet Town Centre: Area F4 - Peripheral Area
F5 Fleet Town Centre: Area F5 - Peripheral Area
F6 Fleet Town Centre: Area F6 - Peripheral Area
F7 Fleet Town Centre: Area F7 - Peripheral Area
F8 Fleet Town Centre: Area F8 - Peripheral Area
F9 Church Road Car Park
F10 Victoria Road Car Park
F11 Rear Servicing
 
Yateley Town Centre
Y1 Yateley Town Centre: General Policies
Y2 Area Y2 – Harpton Parade: First Floor Uses
Y3 Area Y3 – Gayton House: Uses
Y4 Area Y4: Uses
Y5 Area Y5: Redevelopment
Y6 Area Y6 – Martins Parade: Uses
Y7 Area Y7 – Rear of Royal Oak etc: Development
Y8 Area Y8 – South of Reading Road: Redevelopment
 
Blackwater Town Centre
B1 Retention of Retail Uses
B2 Redevelopment of Green Lane Public Car Park
B3 Redevelopment of White Hart Parade
B4 Redevelopment of Garage site
 
Hook Village Centre
H1 Area H1: Upper Floors
H2 “The Acorn”: Uses
H3 Hook Parade: Redevelopment
H4 Area H4: Redevelopment & Uses
H5 Area H5: Uses
   
 
National guidance on planning for town centres is included in Planning Policy Guidance Note 6, Town Centres and Retail Development. This guidance advises that local planning authorities should provide positive policies to encourage uses that will contribute to town centre vitality and viability. The role of existing town centres and local shops is emphasised as an important component of sustainable development patterns, helping to minimise the need to travel and the resulting pollution. A balance should however be struck between town centre and out-of-centre retail facilities, taking account of accessibility and effective competition between retailers.
PPG13 on Transport also stresses the need for employment and other activities generating significant numbers of trips (such as shopping and leisure) to be concentrated in town centres as this can increase the potential for public transport uses and thereby reduce dependence on the private car.
The policies for specific town and village centres within this local plan aim to maintain and enhance the vitality and viability of the centres, so that they can provide for the shopping needs of local residents within a pleasant environment.
 
Proposals for Fleet Town Centre
Fleet is the largest settlement within the District and includes a significant proportion of the District's employment opportunities. The town benefits from its location adjacent to the M3 (junction 4a) and on the main Waterloo railway line. Fleet Town Centre is the primary shopping centre within the District, providing a variety of retail outlets. The range of retail uses has improved in recent years with the development of the Hart Shopping Centre.
As a shopping centre, Fleet is in competition with a number of surrounding town centres such as Farnborough, Aldershot and Camberley. In recent years it has also come under increasing pressure from nearby out-of-town superstores along the Blackwater Valley. In order to assist the town centre to compete with these surrounding centres, and to meet the shopping needs of residents, it is important that the vitality and viability of the town centre is maintained through the provision of a wide range of retail and other services and the improvement of the town centre environment. A Fleet Inner Relief Road is proposed: this would enable environmental improvements to be carried out on Fleet Road.
 
 
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The Hart Chamber of Commerce has carried out a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) of the District, concentrating on Fleet Town Centre. This brings out a number of issues and problems to be addressed, including the need to improve the attractiveness of the town centre, the currently poor access to the centre from employment areas such as Ancells Park, and competition from surrounding centres.
A Town Centre Management Group has been set up for Fleet, including representatives of the Hart Chamber of Trade, the mangers of the Hart Shopping Centre, Fleet and Church Crookham Residents Association and the District Council. This Group has had a considerable input into the formulation of policies in this section of the local plan, and it has helped the Council to prepare a Fleet Town Centre Management Plan.
A shopper survey has been carried out in Fleet by the Town Centre Management Group. This showed that the majority of shoppers are from the immediate area of Fleet and Church Crookham. Environmental improvements would be welcomed by most shoppers.
The following proposals should be read in conjunction with the Fleet Town Centre Inset Map. This shows the areas within which specific proposals apply.
 
 
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F1 DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS IN FLEET TOWN CENTRE WHICH CONFORM TO OTHER PROPOSALS IN THIS PLAN, WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE:
  (i) They do not prejudice the maintenance of Fleet Town Centre as the principal shopping centre of Hart District;
  (ii) They maintain or enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre by contributing to an appropriate mix of uses;
  (iii) Buildings of local interest are retained;
  (iv) Improvements to highways and car parking are secured or facilitated where necessary.
   
This policy is intended to support Fleet's position as the District's principal shopping centre by concentrating principal retail uses along Fleet Road, encouraging a mix of uses in order to maintain the centre's vitality and securing environmental quality. Where appropriate, landscaping schemes will be encouraged in association with new developments in order to enhance the attractiveness of the town centre.
Proposals GEN 4, URB 3, URB 4, URB 11, URB 15, T3, T7, and T12, also specifically apply within the town centre.
The following proposals relate to specific areas of the town centre. The proposal numbers are marked on the Fleet Town Centre Inset Map in order to indicate the areas to which the proposals apply.
 
Primary Shopping Area of Fleet Town Centre
Within the primary shopping area of the town centre, the local planning authority wishes to encourage shopping as the main use. The concentration of shops in one area is of benefit to shoppers and retailers. However, a mix of residential, recreational and business uses can add to the variety and vitality of the centre, particularly above ground floor level. The area of primary shopping designation in Fleet has been slightly expanded since the previous local plan. This has been altered at the request of local traders, and in order to accommodate increased shopping provision for the higher population when the developments at Freelands Farm, QEII Barracks and Railroad Heath are completed.
 
 
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F2 AREA F2 (DEFINED ON THE FLEET TOWN CENTRE INSET MAP) IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR RETAIL (A1) USES ON THE GROUND FLOOR WITH RESIDENTIAL, LEISURE OR BUSINESS USES ABOVE. PROPOSALS FOR CHANGES OF USE FROM RETAIL (A1) ON THE GROUND FLOOR WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE THIS RESULTS IN MORE THAN 15% OF THE TOTAL SHOPPING FRONTAGE, WITHIN 50 METRES ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CENTRE OF THE APPLICATION SITE, BEING IN NON-RETAIL USES UNLESS THE PROPOSED USE IS COMPLEMENTARY TO OTHER RETAIL USES AND WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF THE TOWN CENTRE.
   
Policy URB15, on changes of use to and from residential units above ground floor level in town centres, will be applied within the town centre. While offices are an appropriate use above ground floor level, the loss of purpose-built residential units will be resisted if this detracts from the viability and vitality of the centre. The conversion of existing properties above ground floor level into flats will be encouraged.
In order to cater adequately for the daily shopping needs of the population of Fleet and the surrounding area, the maintenance and enhancement of shopping facilities will be encouraged. At ground floor level within Area F2, shopping is the main use, and the concentration of shops within this one main area increases the convenience for shoppers. Financial and professional services such as banks, building societies and estate agents are usefully located within main shopping areas. However, it is important that these uses do not dominate the retail core of the centre as this can fragment the shopping area, increase the distance between different shops or reduce the overall centre. All proposals will, however, be assessed on their merits, taking account of trading patterns in the area.
 
 
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The local planning authority recognises that certain non-retail uses such as public houses, restaurants and leisure uses can act as a focus of activity within town centres and increase pedestrian "foot-fall" past shop units in the immediate vicinity. The local planning authority also recognises that new technology could lead to a reduction in the amount of space needed for financial service uses (such as banks and building societies) within town centres.
Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.
Proposals for new development must comply with Proposal T7 for the Fleet Inner Relief Road. Proposals which would encroach on the proposed alignment of the Relief Road will not normally be permitted. Hampshire County Council is expected to withdraw the policy for the Fleet Inner Relief Road from the next review of the structure plan. When that happens, it will be withdrawn from the local plan by way of an alteration to the plan. In the meanwhile, the proposal will remain as a technicality to keep the local plan in general conformity with the currently adopted structure plan.
 
Secondary Shopping Areas of Fleet Town Centre
The secondary shopping areas of Fleet are less central and a wider variety of uses can be accommodated within them. They may be particularly suitable for more specialist shops, and a greater proportion of financial and professional services, such as estate agents and solicitors, may be appropriate in these areas. This variety can assist in maintaining the viability and vitality of the town centre.
   
 
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F3 AREA F3 (AS DEFINED ON THE FLEET TOWN CENTRE INSET MAP) IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR RETAIL (A1), FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL (A2), CATERING (A3) OR LEISURE USES AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL, WITH RESIDENTIAL, FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL (A2), CATERING (A3), LEISURE OR BUSINESS (B1) USES ABOVE PROVIDED THAT A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF NON-SHOPPING USES IN THE TOWN CENTRE DOES NOT RESULT. THE SITE OF THE TELEPHONE EXCHANGE IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT FOR BUSINESS (B1) OR RESIDENTIAL USE ON BOTH GROUND AND UPPER FLOORS, PROVIDED THAT AN APPROPRIATE ROUTE IS MADE AVAILABLE ON SITE TO ACCOMMODATE THE LINE OF THE FLEET INNER RELIEF ROAD.
 
Properties with permission for class A3 use (catering/food and drink) may normally be changed to class A2 (financial or professional services) without requiring planning permission.
The intention is to ensure there is no disproportionate cluster of any one use that might undermine the vitality and viability of the town centre. For the purpose of this policy, and in this secondary shopping area, "disproportionate" is taken to mean no more than 25% of the total shopping frontage within each separate area marked F3 on the Fleet Town Centre Inset Map.
Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.
Hampshire County Council is expected to withdraw the policy for the Fleet Inner Relief Road from the next review of the structure plan. When that happens, it will be withdrawn from the local plan by way of an alteration to the plan. In the meanwhile, the proposal will remain as a technicality to keep the local plan in general conformity with the currently adopted structure plan.
 
 
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Peripheral (Business and Residential) Areas of Fleet Town Centre
The peripheral areas of Fleet Town Centre have few retail uses and are generally characterised by either business or residential uses. In many areas, one or other of these uses dominates. Where there are extensive areas of business use, the environment may not be so appropriate for residential use and so business uses will continue to be encouraged. Residential uses in these peripheral areas are important however as they provide housing which is immediately accessible to the town centre. This is of particular benefit to people working in the town, and to elderly people needing easy access to shops. These locations are often appropriate for high-density housing including flats.
 
 
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F4 IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE DIVERSITY OF THE CENTRE AND TO PROVIDE ACCESSIBLE RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION, AREA F4 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE PRIMARILY FOR RESIDENTIAL USES, INCLUDING FLATTED DEVELOPMENT, BUT ALSO FOR BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY USES.
 
This area is currently principally in residential use, including a mix of older terraced or semi-detached properties and newer flatted development. Small units for business and community use could be accommodated without detracting from the residential environment.
 
 
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F5 IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE THE DIVERSITY OF THE CENTRE, AREA F5 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE PRIMARILY FOR BUSINESS USES BUT ALSO FOR RESIDENTIAL USES, INCLUDING FLATS.
 
This area currently includes a mix of business and residential units. As it is now dominated on one side by the rear of the Hart Shopping Centre, the environment may be preferable for business uses.
 
 
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F6 IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE THE DIVERSITY OF THE CENTRE AND TO PROVIDE ACCESSIBLE ACCOMMODATION, AREA F6 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE PRIMARILY FOR RESIDENTIAL USES, BUT ALSO FOR BUSINESS USES.
 
This area is currently mainly in residential use, providing homes within easy reach of the town centre. This use will continue to be encouraged, but the area also provides opportunities for small scale business development.
 
 
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F7 IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE ECONOMIC VITALITY OF THIS CURRENT BUSINESS AREA, AREA F7 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR BUSINESS (B1) USES. PROPOSALS FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR BUSINESS USES WILL BE PERMITTED.
 
This area is currently dominated by business uses, which contribute to the diversity and economic vitality of the town centre without adversely affecting retail or residential uses. The continued development or redevelopment of existing units will be encouraged.
 
 
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F8 AREA F8 IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR BUSINESS, CIVIC, LEISURE AND COMMUNITY USES.
 
This area currently forms the civic centre of the town, incorporating the Civic Offices, Library, Harlington Centre and Gurkha Square. Proposals to use the area for civic, community and business uses, replacing outworn buildings and enhancing the area's general environment, will normally be permitted. The Views Meadow to the rear of the area, on the other side of the proposed Fleet Inner Relief Road, is an important area of open space within the town and will be protected from development, in accordance with advice in PPG17 on Sport and Recreation.
 
 
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Car Parks
F9 THAT PART OF THE CHURCH ROAD CAR PARK SITE NOT REQUIRED FOR COMPLETION OF THE FLEET INNER RELIEF ROAD IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR USES AS A DECKED CAR PARK, TOGETHER WITH A MIX OF OTHER USES PROVIDED THE PROPOSAL IS SYMPATHETIC IN DESIGN, MASSING, LAYOUT, SITING AND DENSITY BOTH IN ITSELF AND IN RELATION TO ADJOINING RESIDENTIAL AREAS.
 
Construction of the Fleet Inner Relief Road will create an opportunity for the local planning authority to deal comprehensively with the Church Road car park. The local planning authority is keen to see better use made of this town centre site and for it to include uses that will strengthen the role of the town centre. A development brief will be prepared for this area.
 
 
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F10 THAT PART OF THE VICTORIA ROAD CAR PARK SITE NOT REQUIRED FOR COMPLETION OF THE FLEET INNER RELIEF ROAD IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR REDEVELOPMENT, ALONG WITH NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES FRONTING FLEET ROAD, FOR A MIXTURE OF DECKED CAR PARKING, RETAIL, BUSINESS, RESIDENTIAL AND LEISURE USES PROVIDED THE PROPOSAL IS SYMPATHETIC IN DESIGN, MASSING, LAYOUT, SITING AND DENSITY BOTH IN ITSELF AND IN RELATION TO ADJOINING RESIDENTIAL AREAS. PRIOR TO REDEVELOPMENT, EXISTING PROPERTIES ARE CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR RETAIL (A1), PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (A2), FOOD & DRINK (A3), BUSINESS (B1), RESIDENTIAL AND LEISURE USES PROVIDED THAT THEY DO NOT RESULT IN A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF NON-SHOPPING USES IN THE TOWN CENTRE.
 
 
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Construction of the Fleet Inner Relief Road will create an opportunity for the local planning authority and adjoining owners to deal comprehensively with the Victoria Road car park and neighbouring properties. Hampshire County Council is expected to withdraw the policy for the Fleet Inner Relief Road from the next review of the structure plan. When that happens, it will be withdrawn from the local plan by way of an alteration to the plan. In the meanwhile, the proposal will remain as a technicality to keep the local plan in general conformity with the currently adopted structure plan.
The local planning authority is keen to see better use made of this town centre site and for it to include uses that will strengthen the role of the town centre. A development brief will be prepared for this area. Redevelopment could include an Edwardian arcade at ground floor level that incorporates walkways linking Gurkha Square, Fleet Road, Victoria Road, together with suitable low cost units for small businesses.
Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.
To ensure there is no disproportionate cluster of any one use that might undermine the vitality and viability of the town centre and for the purpose of this policy, "disproportionate" is taken to mean no more than 25% of the total shopping frontage within the area marked F10 on the Fleet Town Centre Inset Map.
 
 
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Rear Servicing
F11 PLANNING PERMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT, REDEVELOPMENT OR CHANGE OF USE OF PROPERTIES BETWEEN FLEET ROAD AND THE INNER RELIEF ROAD WILL NOT BE GRANTED UNLESS PROVISION IS MADE FOR STRICTLY LIMITED VEHICULAR ACCESS TO THE FLEET INNER RELIEF ROAD IN A WAY THAT IS COMPREHENSIVE RATHER THAN PIECEMEAL AND WHICH MEETS SERVICING AND OPERATIONAL NEEDS ONLY. WHERE ACCESS IS TO BE PROVIDED, THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY WILL SEEK A LEGAL AGREEMENT TO PREVENT THE CREATION OF A RANSOM OVER ACCESS TO NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES IN ORDER TO KEEP ACCESS ONTO THE RELIEF ROAD TO A MINIMUM. DEVELOPMENT WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO MAKE PROVISION FOR AN IMPROVED PEDESTRIAN ACCESS LINKING CHURCH ROAD CAR PARK TO FLEET ROAD AND TO PROVIDE FOR NON-OPERATIONAL CAR PARKING REQUIREMENTS ON A CENTRAL SITE IN THE TOWN CENTRE.
 
Hampshire County Council is expected to withdraw the policy for the Fleet Inner Relief Road from the next review of the structure plan. When that happens, it will be withdrawn from the local plan by way of an alteration to the plan. In the meanwhile, the proposal will remain as a technicality to keep the local plan in general conformity with the currently adopted structure plan.
 
 
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Proposals for Yateley Town Centre
Yateley Town Centre lies within the north-east of Hart District, a few miles from Blackwater and within the wider Blackwater Valley conurbation. It is close to the M3 (junctions 4 and 4a), A30, A321 and B3272. As well as providing facilities for its own population (some 15,600 people from the Yateley wards), the town centre supports the wider catchment area that includes Hawley and Blackwater. A shopping survey carried out recently by Yateley School in conjunction with the District Council and Town Centre Management Group demonstrated that nearly 85% of shoppers came from Yateley, Blackwater or Hawley, and confirmed Yateley's role as a local shopping centre.
The centre comprises a mix of uses, primarily retailing, some of which is in the form of separate parades within the centre. There are also some offices, financial and post office services, a few light industrial units, petrol stations and some car parking. The retail area is confined, for the most part, to the northern side of the B3272, in two distinct and separate areas.
The continued prosperity of Yateley Town Centre is threatened by nearby competing centres, and to some extent by out-of-town shopping across the County boundary at the Meadows. The recent shopping survey carried out in Yateley showed that 39% of shoppers also regularly shopped at Camberley and 29% at the Meadows. Nearly half of those interviewed however shopped more than once a week at Yateley, using principally food shops, banks and post offices. This clearly demonstrates the continued need for local neighbourhood shopping in Yateley.
Other problems within the centre include traffic along the B3272, car parking (the car park is not well positioned to serve the needs of shoppers) and the need to maintain Yateley as an identifiable centre with its own "sense of place". There are opportunities for land-use changes, which could enhance the town's environment and allow a more appropriate distribution of facilities. The District Council will also encourage smaller scale environmental improvements such as tree planting and street furniture.
A Town Centre Management Plan has been prepared for Yateley by the Town Centre Management Group.
Proposals GEN 4, URB 3, URB 4, URB 11 and URB 15 also specifically apply within the town centre.
The following proposals should be read in conjunction with the Yateley Town Centre Inset Map. This shows the areas within which specific proposals apply.
   
 
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Y1 WITHIN YATELEY TOWN CENTRE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS, WHICH ARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH OTHER PROPOSALS IN THIS PLAN AND WHICH DO NOT DETRACT FROM THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF YATELEY AS A LOCAL SHOPPING CENTRE, WILL BE PERMITTED.
   
 
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Y2 WITHIN HARPTON PARADE, CHANGES OF USE AT FIRST FLOOR LEVEL TO FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OR BUSINESS USES WILL BE PERMITTED.
   
 
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Y3 PROPOSALS FOR THE CHANGE OF USE OF GAYTON HOUSE TO FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OR BUSINESS USES WILL BE PERMITTED.
   
 
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Y4 IN AREA Y4, CHANGE OF USE AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL TO BUSINESS USE (B1) WILL BE PERMITTED.
   
 
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Y5 WITHIN THE AREA SPECIFIED "Y5" ON THE YATELEY TOWN CENTRE INSET MAP, PROPOSALS FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR RETAIL UNITS AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL, WITH BUSINESS, FINANCIAL OR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES ABOVE, WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE:
  (i) Buildings do not normally exceed 2 storeys in height;
  (ii) The scale and appearance of the development reflects its surrounding environment;
  (iii) Car parking is provided in accordance with adopted standards;
  (iv) Landscaping schemes are incorporated;
  (v) New premises for the Women's Institute are secured either on the site or at another appropriate location in the town centre.
 
Where redevelopment is proposed in the interim changes of use of existing buildings will be permitted where this would add to the range and quality of shops, services and facilities available and thus foster employment and the vitality and viability of the centre.
Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.
 
 
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Y6 CHANGES FROM RETAIL (A1) USE AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL IN MARTIN'S PARADE WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE THIS DOES NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF THE TOWN CENTRE.
 
The local planning authority is keen to see the frontage of this purpose built parade retained primarily for retail (class A1) uses, together with other uses such as a cafeteria or restaurant that could add life to the area in the evenings as well as during the day. The local planning authority wishes to avoid the sterilisation of the retail frontage with office (B1) uses. It accepts that financial & professional services (A2) uses may have a place here, but it will have regard to the effect that particular proposals will have on the number of people heading for, or passing by this parade: this is because the parade is on the very edge of the town centre, and the local planning authority would not wish to see it "sidelined" by uses that fail to draw customers into that part of the town.
 
 
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Y7 AREA Y7 AS DEFINED ON THE YATELEY INSET MAP IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR A POLICE STATION, FIRE STATION AND 100% AFFORDABLE HOUSING, HAVING REGARD TO SITE AND MARKET CONDITIONS AND THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
  (i) Development is for affordable housing by a registered Housing Association or other appropriate body supported by the Council;
  (ii) Premises for the Citizens' Advice Bureau are provided either on site or at another appropriate site in the town centre;
  (iii) Access to the Police and Fire stations is not adversely affected;
  (iv) Development does not intrude into the open and undeveloped character of the Royal Oak Valley.
     
The site is in public ownership (Hart District Council and Hampshire County Council) and is located close to shops and services. There is an ongoing shortage of housing association property in Yateley, so the public ownership of this site provides an opportunity to provide this kind of housing in the area.
   
 
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Y8 PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE AREA TO THE SOUTH OF READING ROAD BETWEEN THE "DOG AND PARTRIDGE" PUBLIC HOUSE AND TINDAL CLOSE, FOR RETAIL USE AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL WITH RETAIL OR BUSINESS USES ABOVE, WILL NORMALLY BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THEY DO NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE CHARACTER OF THE CONSERVATION AREA.
 
Proposals should provide appropriate access and servicing arrangements with a minimum number of access points onto Reading Road. Landscape buffers to adjoining residential properties will be requested.
Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.
Redevelopment of the site should complement the scale and character of the historic buildings opposite in Reading Road, the White Lion and Saddlers Court, and respect the privacy and amenity of the adjoining residential properties. Proposals should provide appropriate access and servicing arrangements, keeping the number of access points onto Reading Road to a minimum.
 
 
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Proposals for Blackwater Town Centre
Blackwater Town Centre, at the far north-east corner of the District, lies immediately adjacent to the Hampshire/Surrey/Berkshire border. Its prominent "gateway" location provides Blackwater with an important and recognised role.
The town centre lies within the Blackwater Valley conurbation, benefiting from its proximity to the M3 (junction 4 and 4a), A321 and A327. It also has its own railway station on the North Downs line, linking it to Guildford, Reading, London and Gatwick Airport.
Blackwater provides facilities for its immediate population, as well as supporting the wider catchment area of Yateley and Hawley, and benefits from some of the wider strategic initiatives that cover the Blackwater Valley area. At present, the town centre comprises a mix of uses on the northern side of the A30. These are primarily retail uses, but include some office space, financial and professional services, some community use, as well as some limited parking. The southern side of the A30 comprises a garage, public house, some warehousing as a spill-over from the industrial estate and a small amount of retail/services frontage.
The continued viability of the centre has been most significantly threatened by The Meadows development which lies across the county boundary in Berkshire. While this large out-of-town scheme has placed considerable pressure on businesses in Blackwater, there is a continuing need for Blackwater Town Centre to provide smaller scale, neighbourhood shops to meet the requirements of the local community.
Other problems identified by the Town Centre Management Group include the increase in traffic on the A30, the dissection of the town centre by the A30 and indiscriminate on-street parking. These all detract from the environment within the centre, jeopardising its attractiveness for both commercial and community activity. Improvements to the town centre environment will be achieved largely through highway policies as part of the County Council's A30 Strategy. There is also the opportunity for development within the centre to enhance its environment.
A Town Centre Management Plan has been prepared by the Blackwater Town Centre Management Group, addressing the problems identified above with a series of policies.
Proposals GEN 4, URB 3, URB 4, URB 11 and URB 15 also specifically apply within the town centre.
The following proposals should be read in conjunction with the Blackwater Town Centre Inset Map. This shows the areas within which specific proposals apply.
 
 
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General Proposals
B1 IN ORDER TO SAFEGUARD THE VITALITY AND NEIGHBOURHOOD SHOPPING FUNCTION OF THE TOWN CENTRE, DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS INVOLVING THE LOSS OF RETAIL USES FROM THE EXISTING SHOPPING AREA (FRONTING THE NORTHERN SIDE OF THE A30, BETWEEN THE WHITE SWAN PUBLIC HOUSE AND THE SUPERMARKET ON THE CORNER OF ROSEMARY LANE INCLUSIVE) WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
 
Proposals for Redevelopment
In order not to exacerbate Blackwater's existing car parking problem, all redevelopment proposals should comply with policy T14 (iii), by satisfying adopted car parking standards.
 
 
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B2 PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE PUBLIC CAR PARK AT GREEN LANE FOR BUSINESS (B1) USE WILL BE PERMITTED, PROVIDED THAT ADEQUATE AND SATISFACTORY PUBLIC CAR PARKING HAS BEEN SECURED ELSEWHERE IN BLACKWATER.
 
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B3 PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF WHITE HART PARADE FOR RETAIL (A1) AND CATERING (A3) USES AT GROUND FLOOR LEVEL, WITH BUSINESS (B1), FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES ABOVE, WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:
  (i) Catering (A3) uses do not exceed 50% of the retail frontage;
  (ii) Design, massing and density are appropriate for this prominent location.
     
Access and servicing should be from the side of the development fronting the A30, rather than from the rear, so that the amenity of neighbouring residential properties is not affected.
Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.
 
 
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B4 PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE GARAGE SITE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE A30 WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE DESIGN, MASSING AND SCALE ARE APPROPRIATE IN THIS VISUALLY PROMINENT SITE, AND THAT APPROPRIATE ACCESS ARRANGEMENTS ARE PROVIDED.
 
Proposals for Hook Village Centre
Hook Village Centre is located in the western part of the District. It has good access to the M3 at junction 5 and is on the main Waterloo railway line. In recent years there has been considerable residential development, as well as the development of the Bartley Wood Business Park providing employment opportunities in the area. Retail facilities within the village centre area however are still limited. The centre would benefit from improved retail provision to more adequately meet the needs of local residents and employees, as well as environmental improvements to maintain its village atmosphere. The Hook Business Forum has been set up by the local business community to tackle issues of concern to the Village Centre and its environment.
Proposals GEN 4, URB 3, URB 4, URB 11 and URB 15 also specifically apply within the village centre.
The areas to which each proposal applies are shown on the Hook Village Centre Inset Map.
 
 
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H1 WITHIN AREA H1, CHANGES OF USE TO FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (A2) AND CATERING (A3) WILL BE PERMITTED. CHANGES OF USE TO BUSINESS (B1) WILL BE PERMITTED ON UPPER FLOORS.
 
 
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H2 MIXED USES, TOGETHER WITH USE OF THE ACORN FOR BUSINESS (B1) AND FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (A2), WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE LOCAL AUTHORITY IS SATISFIED THAT:
  (i) Rear access and adequate parking is available for the Acorn;
  (ii) The design and landscaping of the development is in keeping with the character of the Village and surrounding residential area.
 
The Council will encourage the retention of the Acorn, a building of local interest, which contributes to the appearance and vitality of the village centre.
 
 
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H3 IN ORDER TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF HOOK VILLAGE CENTRE, PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF HOOK PARADE FOR RETAIL USES (A1), FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL USES (A2) AND CATERING USES (A3) ON THE GROUND FLOOR WITH RESIDENTIAL, OFFICE, DENTAL AND MEDICAL USE ABOVE, WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE DESIGN AND LANDSCAPING ARE APPROPRIATE TO THE VILLAGE CENTRE.
 
 
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Having regard to the Caborn Statement on PPG6: Town Centres & Retail Developments, February 1999, the local plan process has not identified a need for further strategic retail or leisure development during the Plan period that would be of a sufficient scale to change the role of this and other centres in the retail or leisure hierarchy. Therefore, retail and leisure development proposed under this policy is not intended, either on its own or in combination with other proposals, to be of such a scale as to change the role of the centre in the retail or leisure hierarchy.
   
 
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H4 IN ORDER TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF HOOK VILLAGE CENTRE, AREA H4 AS DEFINED ON THE HOOK VILLAGE CENTRE MAP, IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR MIXED RESIDENTIAL, LEISURE [CLASS D] AND COMMERCIAL [CLASSES B1 (A), B1 (B), A2 AND A3)] USES. ANY REDEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE ON A DOMESTIC SCALE.
 
It is considered that an unfettered B1 (business) use incorporating light industry would be wholly inappropriate on this village centre site, as it would adversely affect the vitality and viability of the centre. Moreover, the site is on a visually important entrance to Hook where office buildings are more likely to be appropriate. In granting planning permission therefore, the local planning authority may impose conditions limiting the development to B1 (a) and (b) uses.
By "domestic scale" the local planning authority means that buildings should not exceed 3 storeys unless it is an architectural feature (turret, clock tower etc.). Frontages should not exceed 20 metres without a break or defined architectural feature.
The local planning authority will encourage the retention of Hazelcroft and Hursley.
 
 
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H5 AREA H5 AS SHOWN ON THE HOOK VILLAGE CENTRE INSET MAP IS CONSIDERED SUITABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT FOR BUSINESS (B1) AND INDUSTRY (B2) USES.
 
This site is centrally located with respect to public transport and other employment and residential uses. Its development provides the opportunity to make more effective use of this brown field site and create more employment opportunities within the village centre. There is a particular need for more sites for industry (B2) in Hart.
 
 
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