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Community News
The Newsletter of the Community Campaign (Hart)
Issue 8, Autumn 2008


We are sure that you will already be aware that the appeal process into the QEB planning application has resulted in the plans being thrown out. This is a great result for those of us who have expended a huge amount of personal time and effort to fight these applications. As has been reported in the press, in reality, the Inquiry process concluded that, on the whole, the applications were acceptable but that there were a number of issues that warranted these particular plans being thrown out.
Bourley Road Car Park
Bourley Road Car Park (a much valued local amenity)

The application was dismissed for 3 reasons:
  1. Taylor Wimpey (TW) wanted to develop too much of the site and were proposing to build too far out into the surrounding countryside.
  2. TW had offered an insufficient sum of money for education, particularly in respect of secondary school provision.
  3. The Inspector agreed with Hart’s argument that TW were not offering to provide a suitable mix of ‘live/work’ units. The Inspector was not convinced by TW’s argument that as people can now work from home on a laptop then conventional homes provide a place of employment.
The QEB & Community Campaign groups are disappointed that the Inquiry did not support our arguments in relation to the unnecessary and unfair proposal to restrict the Bourley Road car park. Natural England, who were supportive of reducing the Bourley Road car park, did not present any evidence to demonstrate the need for this measure. However, the Secretary of State did throw this application out - on the basis that it needed to be considered in terms of a new substantive development application.

As imposing restrictions on access to the Special Protection Area (SPA) runs counter to the policies being adopted to protect the SPA elsewhere across the region and, in light of the changes which are required in relation to the areas of the site that can be built upon, it is hoped that any potential future application would not need to reintroduce this draconian measure. It could be argued that by giving the public full access to the area of the site which fell outside of the settlement boundary, there would be no need to restrict access to the Bourley Road car park.

It should be a matter of local concern that the appeal Inquiry found that the proposals would not have a significant impact on the local roads. By accepting TW’s traffic analysis, Hampshire Highways prevented us from succeeding in our argument that there would be an adverse traffic impact. It is difficult to win when the County Council’s experts support the developer without taking account of local knowledge and ‘on the street’ experience.

Where do we go from here? It is firmly in TW's court to decide if or how they want to pursue the development of the site. They have been given the clear message that they cannot develop as much of the site as they had planned; that they need to play fair with regards to provision of live/work units; and that they need to provide adequate funding for education. There is room to argue that any future application should not propose to restrict access to the Bourley Valley, so we should be hopeful (and ever vigilant) that this important amenity can remain open to the public.

Taylor Wimpey can now choose to increase the density of development or reduce the number of units to be built to fit in better with the usable area on the site. Given the current economic climate, they may also decide to shelve plans for the site for an indefinite period. We will find out in good time.

In conclusion, the plans for the QEB have been thrown out, and this is a magnificent victory. We have always maintained that something should go on the QEB site but that it should be in balance with the infrastructure and nature of our community. The opportunity to realise such a development has now reopened.


The appeal into the application to build a 24 hour mega-warehouse on the Pyestock site will start on 25th November and is expected to last four weeks. Given the adverse impact that this application is bound to have on local roads, the Community Campaign wish SPLAT well with their efforts to have the application thrown out.

Election ‘08 results

The elections to Hart District this year saw one third of the seats on the Council coming forward for election, as part of Hart’s four year cycle of ‘all up’ County Elections and District Elections by thirds. The Community Campaign (Hart) had two candidates this year.
Chris Hannan     
Chris Hannan
James Radley was defending the Church Crookham East seat which he had originally won in 2004. James was delighted to retain his seat with a significant increase in his majority. He said “It is great to see that all the hard work is appreciated and I’ve got the mandate to go on doing more of the same.”

Our second candidate was Chris Hannan who stood for us in the Crondall ward (which includes Crookham Village and Ewshot). Unfortunately he was unable to displace sitting Councillor Nippy Singh. Both Chris and the Community Campaign are disappointed as we know that Chris would have made a very capable, enthusiastic and hard working Councillor for his home ward of Crondall. However, Chris is keen to try again next time and the Community Campaign will be back to challenge for the seat.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if some of our opponent’s election promises actually come to fruition. For instance, whether people are still waiting for Nippy’s bus.

Alison Macallan

At the Community Campaign we are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Alison Macallan, who lost her battle with cancer in May. Alison was one of our most active supporters and gave us much of the knowledge and impetus to start the fight against the original QEB application. She was also the Community Campaign’s Secretary and was the inspiration and driving force behind the parish petition.

Undoubtedly without Alison’s parish petition, Hart is unlikely to have had the impetus to bring about the parishing for themselves. Although parishing was talked about from time to time, reluctance on the part of at least one of the major political parties to give up direct control of the urban area meant that such initiatives never got beyond the discussion stage. Alison had observed first hand how effectively the other parish councils were able to look after their respective areas and firmly believed that the various communities in the unparished area would fare better with the care and attention of their own parish council.

It is a great pity that Alison did not live long enough to see the parishes that she was instrumental in bringing about, come into existence, or to know that the QEB appeal was dismissed. The area has lost a valiant campaigner on local issues. Those of us who were privileged to have known her have lost a great friend.

Your Community needs you

It is now decided that three new parishes for the previously unparished area of Church Crookham, Elvetham Heath and Fleet will officially come into being in May 2010. These parishes will consist of 10, 5 & 19 elected parish councillors respectively.

It is vital that in 2010, suitable individuals come forward to stand for election to the new Parish Councils (PCs). The success of these parishes is dependent upon the quality of the people elected to represent their community.

Would you make a suitable Parish Councillor? Do you care about what happens to your community? Do you feel strongly about the provision and maintenance of the amenities of your local area? Are you prepared to put in a few hours each week to represent local people? Are you above politics and able to see issues from all angles? Do you feel able to make balanced decisions that are in the best interest of the community?

Parish Councils always work best when they consist of individuals and are not unduly affected by party politics. However, if this is to be the case then selfless individuals have to come forward to stand for election to the parishes.

In the year leading up to the formation of the real Parish Councils interim ‘shadow parishes’ will be formed to gradually take over the reins of local administration from the District Council. Church Crookham & Elvetham Heath will have 3 shadow parish councillors each, with Fleet having 5. Volunteers are therefore needed to sit on the shadow parishes. Each shadow parish will be ‘blessed’ with an additional District Councillor – but don’t let that put you off.

So if you consider that you would make a good Parish Councillor, please think about standing in May 2010. Or if you know of someone who you believe would make a great parish representative – why not try to persuade them to stand.

Crondall Report

by John Bennison Jon Bennison    

Unfortunately, there has been a spate of anti-social behaviour across the Crondall ward over the last few months. As community police funding is tied to reported crime rates, it is vitally important that these incidents are reported to the Police. This will provide the justification for them to assign resources according to the growing need.

Since the retirement of our long serving resident community police officer and the sale of the police house, the new officer assigned to Crondall, PC Martin Bowman, has to travel from the police station in Yateley to patrol this area. Therefore, local vigilance is as important as ever in combating these incidents.

In order that the level of anti-social behaviour is officially recognised and the appropriate level of police resources directed to the problem, these incidents must be reported. If you are bothered by anti-social behaviour, please keep a log of the date and time of each incident, what is happening and where. A description of the perpetrators is also useful.

While anti-social behaviour should be reported on 0845 0454545, any crime in progress should always be reported on 999. There is also information on the parish notice boards in Crondall and Ewshot. As the tag-line states; “Report it and reduce it ‘OR’ Leave it and live with it.”

Ewshot is fortunate to have an active Neighbourhood Watch Scheme which has for many years been regularly e-mailing members with up-dates from Crondall’s previous Beat Officer, PC Nick Sexton, who is now based out of Odiham. This is a very worth while scheme with many benefits to the community.

Crondall used to have such a scheme but unfortunately it has lapsed. If anyone in Crondall feels they could spare a little time to help resurrect this scheme please give me a ring and I will put you in touch with the Senior Co-ordinator.

There are also strong Neighbourhood Watch groups active for Zebon Copse (part of the Crookham Village PC area) and for the Fleet & Church Crookham areas.

Future of Farnborough

Later this year, TAG, who own Farnborough aerodrome, will produce their draft Master Plan which is designed to outline their plans for the development of the site over the next 20 years. This document should make known the extent of TAG’s expansion plans for the growth in number and size of aircraft which will be allowed to use the aerodrome each year. TAG are obliged to undertake wide ranging public consultation on their plans, before submitting the final document to the government.

The Master Plan is likely to be a lengthy document, so it is not going to be either feasible or appropriate for every home in the affected area to be sent a copy. The Community Campaign are in discussion with TAG in an attempt to ensure that all affected residents receive at least a notification of the draft Master Plan consultation and, hopefully, a briefing document that outlines the major points. We are optimistic that TAG will send notification letters to all the residents of Fleet, Church Crookham & Ewshot this time.

It is vitally important that if you feel you would be affected by the proposals, whether adversely or beneficially, you take the opportunity to comment on the draft Master Plan. The Government is very keen on public consultation exercises. Unfortunately, this means that we all get bombarded with requests to comment on this or that proposal, etc. This can lead to ‘consultation fatigue’ and over time people may give up responding. With a small dash of healthy cynicism, this is, perhaps, the intention. If very few people respond to a particular consultation, then this could be taken as implying that people do not have strong feelings one way or another on a subject. Hopefully this will not happen with this consultation.

The Community Campaign actively encourage those who have a strong view to respond to this consultation – while advising that as a community we are going to be consulted again and again on this topic over the coming years. However, when the comments stop flowing, then it would be very easy to claim this silence to be tacit agreement and support.

Those who responded to the earlier pre-consultation, and who entered their comments on-line, may have found the experience somewhat unsatisfactory. There was no ability to save your comments or print them out. There was no notification that they had been received and, most annoyingly, access to the site required a ‘scrambled’ password to be deciphered and typed in. Very often this didn’t work and would result in all your input being deleted. The Community Campaign has been particularly vocal in getting TAG’s consultation company to fix these issues for this new, more detailed consultation.

Complaints about individual flights which cause an undue degree of concern or annoyance should be reported to TAG on their dedicated complaints line (01252) 526001.

Published by: Julia Ambler, 39 Du Maurier Close, Church Crookham, Hampshire, GU52 0YA