Outstanding Successes

Challenging and Shaping Planning Proposals.

At the Hill Farm inquiry the Society was the only body to draw to the attention of the Inspector that the proposed development would significantly affect the integrity of the Yateley Common Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Although that appeal was refused, primarily on access grounds, environmental considerations were not deemed important planning considerations in 1982. Some 14 years later in 1996, the Society played a major role in the Cobbetts Lane inquiry for the same site. This resulted in the first planning decision in the country to refuse an application from the standpoint that housing development would significantly affect the Yateley Common SSSI which is now a Special Protection Area (SPA) for wild birds under the European Union Birds Directive.

The Society identified the significance of the wet heathland bog at Castle Bottom which led to its achieving SSSI status. Castle Bottom is now one of only nine National Nature Reserves (NNR) in Hampshire, and a significant site in the Thames Basin Heaths SPA.

The Societies evidence was pivotal in saving Yateley Lodge from being converted into a public house.

Clarks Farm has been a long running saga involving the Society almost from its inception. Over the years there has been pressure to develop the site for housing and mixed use, all in turn failing to get permission. But in 2010 an application was made to convert the existing mushroom compost building into a Waste Recycling Facility. This time the planning authority was Hampshire County Council. The Society joined up with the local residents group and Yateley Town Council to fight the application through the various appeal processes. However, the application was withdrawn at the last minute when a new plan by Ashill developments was unveiled for housing and a SANGS (Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space). Although not ideal this was considered by all parties an acceptable compromise. The scheme has undergone a number of changes since the first plan was proposed but in February 2012 the application received planning permission by Hart Council.

The Society played a role in the long running saga (1996 – 2006) of producing the Hart Local Plan, appearing at the inquiry which opened in 1997. Although no further housing was proposed for Yateley, developers objected, proposing up to 800 new homes increasing the population of Yateley by a further10%. This would mean developing the Cobbetts Lane, Fox Farm and Urnfield sites as well as Love Lane fields thus seeking to join Yateley up with Eversley

The Society has also played a major role in developing the Conservation Areas of Yateley. We now have three, Yateley Green, Darby Green and Cricket Hill.

After many years of work the Society was also instrumental in producing the Village Design Framework for Yateley Town Centre. In 2009 this was adopted by Hart and is now a Supplementary Planning Document in the Local Plan.