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Community News
The Newsletter of the Community Campaign (Hart)
Issue 7, Spring 2008


The long running Public Inquiry into the proposals by Taylor Wimpey to restrict the Bourley Road Car Park and to build over 1,000 new houses on the former Queen Elizabeth Barracks (QEB) site in Church Crookham finally drew to a close in early December.

QEB Site

CCH members, Andrew Macallan & James Radley assisted Ken Blockwell’s QEB Campaign by presenting the Campaign’s proof of evidence to the Inquiry. This involved them both being subjected to a long, tough and detailed cross examination by Taylor Wimpey’s QC, Mr Keith Lindblom. This was in addition to the first phase of the Inquiry which took place over 5 weeks in the summer. James Radley took 5 weeks leave of absence from his employer in order to attend every day of the summer sessions to be on hand during the cross examination of Taylor Wimpey’s expert witnesses.

The highlight of the Public Inquiry was the dedicated public participation evening in November which was held in the Prince’s Hall Aldershot. A packed audience came to see a succession of heart felt submissions by members of the public expressing a wide range of concerns. These ranged from the obvious anger at why Taylor Wimpey should be allowed to restrict the Bourley Road car park to just 5 spaces, through the unmitigated impact of the traffic and the risk of flooding due to inadequate provision for water run-off. The Inspector could not have failed to be impressed by the dignified passion and articulate way in which all people in the meeting conducted themselves.

The outcome of the Inquiry is expected to be published in early May.


As we reach the deadline to put this Newsletter to press, we are still waiting to hear the result of last year’s planning inquiry into TAG’s application to double the number of weekend flights to 5,000. It is now nearly a year since the Inquiry and the Government has still failed to publish its decision.

We would like to believe that this delay reflects the fact that the Inspector’s report has created difficulties for the Government, who have been very supportive of TAG in the past. Alternatively it may be that the Government is trying to see how it can reconcile its thrust to build more and more houses in the area along with an expansion of flying at Farnborough.

Cllr. James Radley, who spoke to the Inquiry on behalf of Hart residents (and was one of the few members of the public to be vigorously cross examined) says of the delay, “I think that TAG’s legal team were taken aback that members of the public could mount such a well argued case against them. I am confident that the points we raised will have made it through into the Inspector’s recommendations to the Government. TAG are no longer keeping it a secret that they have an ambition to drastically increase their overall flying numbers – the outcome of this appeal is therefore of crucial importance to the area”.


Before the CCH became an integral part of the Hart administration in 2005, the Conservatives were in the final stages of a programme to cease Hart’s funding of the Basingstoke Canal.

Since then, the CCH have been acting to ensure that Hart will return to contributing its full share of the running costs of this highly valued pubic amenity. Despite a tight budget this year, a CCH initiated plan to get Hart and Parish Councils to fully fund the canal was supported by all parties in the budget setting process. We are proud to be doing our part to secure the future of this much loved canal.

Parish Ballot, what happens next?

James RadleyBy James Radley

The CCH are delighted with the overwhelming vote by the residents of the unparished areas of Fleet and Church Crookham to have their own parishes. This is an issue for which the CCH have been campaigning since our inception. It was our parish petition which ultimately gave the impetus to the other political parties to support giving the unparished area the same level of local democracy enjoyed across the rest of the District.

Despite the fact that one political party had actively campaigned against our parish initiative in 2005, it was gratifying to see that by early 2008, they too had recognised that Fleet and Church Crookham should be parished.

Over the last few months, Hart has conducted a Parish Ballot to determine the views of the residents on this important issue. The results of this ballot show that a clear majority of the people who voted were in favour of forming new parishes. Also, in Church Crookham and Elvetham Heath, the majority wanted to see smaller parishes created. The CCH strongly believes that a huge single parish which covered the whole unparished area would be too large. Smaller parishes will have a greater understanding of the local issues and can give a tighter focus on major local priorities.

Unfortunately the ballot questions asked in Courtmoor were not as comprehensive as they could have been. Early in the process, Hart decided to exclude local Councillors from providing input to the final form of the questions on the grounds of keeping any potential bias out of the wording. This had the unfortunate result of the omission of an important choice from the ballot paper. In the event that the vote lead to the formation of smaller parishes, those residents voting to be part of one large parish were unable to state whether they would want to be part of the new Fleet or Church Crookham parish. This is now an important question as the choice has been made for separate parishes. Unfortunately there is now neither the time nor the resources to ballot Courtmoor residents a second time.

The Parish Ballot was an information gathering exercise; the final decision as to the structure of the new parishes rests with the Full Council which is currently scheduled to debate the matter at their meeting of 27th March 2008. The CCH firmly believe that there are numerous good reasons why Hart should combine Courtmoor with Church Crookham in the same parish;
In the parish ballot, the majority of Courtmoor residents who wanted to be part of a smaller parish, chose the Church Crookham and Courtmoor parish option. However, it would be presumptuous to make any assumptions about the preferences of those who voted for a single large parish as these voters were unable to express their views on this important point in the recent ballot.

If you live in Courtmoor, the CCH would like to hear from you. Would you prefer to be part of the Fleet or Church Crookham parish? Please drop us an e-mail to and let us know your thoughts ahead of this important debate.


With 3 Councillors sitting on Hart’s planning committee it would be improper for the CCH to make any specific comments on the application for a major distribution warehouse complex on the Pyestock site. This application has certainly generated much local concern over how the traffic generated might impact our local roads. The meeting to decide the application is scheduled to take place in the Princes Hall, Aldershot on 19th March at 7:00pm. The planning committee will need to consider many factors when debating this complex application, including the potential impact of traffic on the wider area.

Difficult Crossing

Gill ButlerBy Gill Butler

When I was elected as a ward councillor for Church Crookham East nearly two years ago, I was aware of the existence of a Hampshire Highway’s pot of money to build a crossing on Reading Road South. There are a number of safe crossing points at the northern end of the road but nothing at the Church Crookham end, except the refuge island at Crookham Crossroads.

There is a clear wish amongst local people for there to be a safe way of crossing this very busy section of road. With more cars on our roads, a desire for children to walk to school and an increased footfall at Tesco Express, a sensible and practical location for a crossing is badly needed.

It therefore came as a surprise to find that Hampshire was actually proposing to build this crossing between the entrance and the exit of Tesco Express. CCH councillors have been lobbying both the County officers and our County Councillor to ask them to reconsider the placing the crossing in a more appropriate location.

At a recent meeting between CCH Councillors and Hampshire’s officers, CCH expressed the view that the proposed location was a dangerous and unsuitable place to build the crossing, being so close to the Crookham crossroads and lying between the often grid-locked Tesco Express entrances. It appears that Hampshire may have based their proposed location on out of date traffic data.

A suitable alternative location might be at a point which is nearer to Compton Road. This would not only be safer but would assist children from Pine Grove who are heading to the Church Crookham schools. They want to cross Reading Road South at a point which is closer to Compton Road, which they can then use to get to Aldershot Road.

However, our County Councillor seems determined that either the crossing should go in the stipulated place or not get built at all. We urge him to listen to and respect all the voices raising serious concerns about the logic and wisdom of placing a crossing in such an unsuitable place and to consider the alternative location proposed by CCH. We have waited far too long for this crossing. It will be unforgivable if the opportunity to build a safe crossing in a suitable place is allowed to slip by.

Crondall Report

John Bennison By John Bennison

As part of the parishing project, Hart are conducting a review of some of the existing parish boundaries across the district. Hart is consulting with Crondall and Crookham Village parishes regarding possible changes to their boundaries. Crookham Village have given a strong response supporting the present makeup of their parish and have emphasised the complimentary nature of the three wards of the parish, the residents of which all have similar needs and aspirations for their community. They do however see a need to rationalise the boundary around the edge of Zebon Copse which currently divides roads and is the cause of much confusion for affected residents.

The suggested options for Crondall parish arising out of the recent ‘sense of place’ survey are far more significant in nature. This survey has identified that families in the MoD housing on both Humphrey and Quetta Park see themselves as being more closely associated with Church Crookham than Crondall. This has lead Hart to suggest that the parish boundary should be redrawn to move these communities into the newly created Church Crookham Parish. There is also consideration as to which parish the QEB development would belong, if given the go ahead. Currently this site lies just within the Crondall parish boundary.

If such a break up of Crondall parish were to happen, then Ewshot would be left with a significantly reduced representation on Crondall parish council. Parishioners in Ewshot voted at a recent public meeting to investigate the financial viability of Ewshot breaking away from Crondall and forming their own parish. It is too early to say if the split of Crondall parish will go ahead, but I would appreciate knowing the views of those of you who wish to express an opinion as to what you think should happen.

Chris Hannan

Finally, I am delighted to announce that Chris Hannan will be the CCH candidate for the Crondall ward in the District elections on 1st May. Chris lives in Crondall and has two young children, the eldest attending the village school. He is passionate about local affairs and will be a great asset to the team. I look forward to working with him and having someone with whom to share the workload of looking after the interests of Crondall, Crookham Village & Ewshot residents. When elected, Chris is looking forward to supporting his residents in a pro-active manner. The Crondall ward needs and deserves to have two Councillors both of whom are actively involved with local issues.

Please give Chris your support on 1st May – thank you

County Matters

What does the term Fleet Town Access Plan (FTAP) suggest to you? Well it seems that FTAP may mean different things to different groups of people. If you are Hampshire County Council looking to build much needed infrastructure, such as a footbridge crossing over the canal in Courtmoor or cycle ways running through Fleet, it is about making Fleet Town centre more accessible. Such initiatives are welcome additions to making Hart a better place to live. The main problem with the initial plans was that all of the proposals stopped abruptly at the Fleet boundary and so were of limited benefit to the communities just outside the Fleet area such as Church Crookham and Crookham Village.

However, although concentrating on improving access into Fleet, FTAP funding is drawn from a much wider area. FTAP collects the majority of the developer contributions not only from Fleet but also from the surrounding villages such as Crookham Village and Crondall. These contributions include the pot of money that has been accumulating for the A287 / Redfields Lane junction and the footway along Pilcot Road to Dogmersfield School. If the QEB were to get the go ahead then an estimated £2 million that the developer would give to try and mitigate the impact on local roads would also be channelled into FTAP.

The CCH believes that FTAP must take a fair approach to ensuring that money is used for the benefit of the areas for which it was originally collected. FTAP has been reluctant to engage with Church Crookham and Crondall Councillors to investigate which projects would most benefit the local area. We have persisted in our attempts to talk to FTAP and now have secured their agreement to look beyond the Fleet boundary with a view to extending some of the cycle ways into the surrounding area. Despite this limited progress, we still don’t feel that those behind FTAP are really listening with an open mind as to what local infrastructure is needed beyond Fleet town centre.

We would have hoped that our County Councillors would have shown greater support for the CCH efforts to demand that FTAP takes a more inclusive approach to investing money in all the contributing areas. Unfortunately, Hampshire’s policy is to set great store by the views and recommendations of the elected Councillor for each County Division so without their active involvement, it is difficult for CCH Councillors to get local infrastructure needs given the correct priority by Hampshire.

This is why we have to face up to the possibility of having to contest the County Elections in 2009. We were formed to fight for the needs of the area which we felt were being ignored by the District Council at the time. It is now clearly apparent that our area is not always fairly treated by the County Council.

Before then we will also be contesting the District Elections on 1st May 2008. Hart District Council seats are contested in ‘thirds’ (1/3 of seats being contested in each of 3 years on a 4 yearly cycle). The 4th year, which will be 2009, being used for the County Council elections. Most wards in the CCH area are facing District elections this year, apart from Church Crookham West. The CCH will not be fielding candidates against sitting Councillors who work hard on the Council, regardless of which party they represent. However, we make no apology for challenging those who sit on the Council and do little for their residents.
Published by: Julia Ambler, 39 Du Maurier Close, Church Crookham, Hampshire, GU52 0YA