Newsletter of the Community Campaign (Hart)
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
Bourley Road Car Park (a much valued local amenity)
The application was dismissed for 3 reasons:
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
Wimpey (TW) wanted to develop too much of the site and were
proposing to build too far out into the surrounding countryside.
- TW had
offered an insufficient sum of money for education,
particularly in respect of secondary school provision.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
by John Bennison
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
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
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
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
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