Draft minutes of the 6th Annual General Meeting held at the Crookham War Memorial Hall, Church Crookham, on Thursday 11th February 2010, commencing at 7.30pm.


There were 30 persons present including:


Chairman                                 James Radley

Vice Chairman                        Simon Ambler

Treasurer                                 Chris Axam

Secretary                                 Fran Jones

Membership Secretary            Gill Butler

Election agent                         Julia Ambler

County Councillor                  Jenny Radley


  1. The Chairman welcomed those present, on a very cold evening, to the 6th Annual General Meeting of CC(H). It was great to see so many familiar faces.


  1. Apologies for absence were received from John and Sandra Forsyth, Jeremy Keep, John and Kerstin Douglass, Richard Rowley, Mary Barry, Elaine Fearn, Tim and Lynda Fisher and Julie Lesniarek.


  1. The Minutes of the previous AGM held on 15th January 2009 were recorded as a true and accurate record with the proviso that Chris Axam had been left off the list of those attending.


  1. There were no matters arising that were not covered by later issues.


  1. QEB:

A letter had been sent out by Taylor Wimpey to announce their upcoming public exhibition. A show of hands revealed that only half of those present had received this.

Hart had won the appeal and the original application had been thrown out, but the door had been left open for Taylor Wimpey to re-apply. The development was thrown out because the plans showed that part of the development sat beyond the settlement boundary.


Taylor Wimpey (TW) had been told to try to maintain the target of  1,150 houses within the constricted site. However, to fit in that many properties TW would need to build more flats than they wanted to. The estate would also be left with too few car-parking spaces which often leads to community stress. So, Taylor Wimpey is coming back with a plan for 872 houses on the site, though they are being pressurised to increase this number. Hart needs to provide 4400 houses over the next 20 years, CC(H) wants to keep to circa 800 dwellings on the QEB. Taylor Wimpey were being threatened by Hart District Council to up the numbers but the Chairman suggested that those present who had a view on this should go to the exhibition and stress the importance of not over-developing the site..


Following the appeal result we have had the opportunity to stop the closure of the Bourley Road car park, by lobbying to get Natural England to change their position. That amenity will now not be closed as a result of the QEB.  An exhibition by TW will take place at the barracks site on Friday 26th February from 10am until 8pm and on Saturday 27th February from 10am until 4pm. Please go to this exhibition to stress your concerns, if any.


In answer to questions:

40% of the houses will be affordable.

Wakeford’s Copse is included in the 872 houses.

Comment that road traffic counting is going on at present in various areas. This is to show if traffic flow has changed since the last time counted.

What about GP surgeries? Jenny Radley said this was a decision for the Primary Care Trust. At the Hitches Lane site appeal, the developer had offered to provide land for a health centre but not the building. The PCT had not taken up the offer.


At the previous QEB application the plans were submitted before any public consultation, but this time it will go out for public exhibition and the developer would be asking the community about what needs they see can be fulfilled by the development. Secondary schools are now full, the Army is moving more service families to fill Quetta Park and some school children are having to be bussed to Rushmoor because there are no other available school places. So, the school issue was a major concern.


  1. Local Development Framework (LDF)  - Site Allocations.

At Hitches Lane a further 75 properties could be built on the site if they get permission to put the electric cables that are currently on pylons, underground. Allotments were promised, but this has been put on hold as there may be more housing and consequential changes to the site layout. Grove Farm is a potential site for more housing extending towards Crookham Village.

Watery Lane – more housing again. 2,000 houses could be threatened for this area.

All this despite the fact that our secondary schools haven’t got enough capacity.


Fleet cannot spread northwards beyond the motorway, cannot spread on to Tweseldown & Velmead Common which are part of the Special Protection Area, so areas to the south and west are the areas under threat.


If the Tories win the General Election they might be able to revert back to earlier agreed housing numbers for the district but it would probably only be back to 4000 over 20 years, only 400 less. What can we do to influence the current administration?

When more interesting items come up then the members will be informed. Talk to canvassers during election time to highlight any concerns.


There may also be a proposal for 40 -70 houses behind Redfields Garden Centre.


  1. Hart Finances:

Hart  are cutting managerial posts, including a Corporate Director. There is also a general pay freeze.


  1. Peter Driver:

Site and application issues still on-going.



  1. Jenny Radley: County Councillor.

Firstly, a very big thank you to everyone who came out to vote last June and give me such a large majority. I am one of 5 county members for Hart District and the only non-aligned member at HCC. There are 78 County Councillors for Hampshire and following the 2009 elections there are 51 Conservative, 25 Liberal Democrat, 1 remaining Labour member and me. There have been some ups and downs since my election. I have attended induction training and briefing sessions and I have been allocated to two select committees: Children and Young People and Culture Community and Rural Affairs. I was denied the chance to represent Hampshire on two important  outside bodies: Hart Road Safety Council and Farnborough Aerodrome Consultative Committee. Instead the Executive Member allocated 2 Conservative members, both from areas outside this district. Luckily I have been able to attend these meetings in other capacities but I was dismayed to see that the Hampshire appointed representatives have so far not attended any of the meetings.


Hart District is compromised by scoring highly as a healthy and wealthy community, which means that it does not reach threshold targets and is significantly under supported by government grants. This means that we have to rely on new local development to provide any necessary infrastructure improvements. Unfortunately new development is not obliged to make up for any outstanding shortfall that we already have. All the more reason to make sure that any new development proposals are given serious consideration and a robust plan for necessary provision needs to be put in place. Unfortunately instilling such common sense seems to be an uphill struggle.


I am glad to say that after persistent reminding the School Organisation Officers are working with Planning Officers to try to make sure that proper contributions for education can hopefully be obtained from every new dwelling. They are even considering whether they can ask for contributions for large house extensions too. The fact is that already every school year is at or close to full capacity in this area , it is not just secondary school level that is so tight on capacity.


Large new developments can potentially be requested to provide a new primary school. The main problem is how to provide secondary school capacity because they provide for a much larger catchment. Secondary schools are also much more expensive to provide. Even a major residential development site would not be enough to provide the necessary funding for a new or expanded secondary school. It seems that no-one has anticipated the need to start to accrue a reserve fund to start to pay for a major school expansion or a new school, until very recently. The huge incremental funding for this extra step is not available and we still wait to hear how this can be resolved. Currently there are available places in some neighbouring authorities so the School Admission Team are allocating children to go to these other schools when there is no space in this area. This is happening now. So what happens in 2 or 3 years time when new families start moving into Hitches Lane and what happens when the QEB starts to be occupied; where will displaced local school children then go?


This is one of the messages that needs to be made strongly, without adequate school capacity these new developments are simply unsustainable. We need to have a solution and soon. I just hope that is will be carefully thought out and not done on the cheap and so cause problems for the future. We have such good schools in this area and we need to make sure that these high standards are kept up. The more people who raise these concerns, the better.


The other issue of concern is the need for adequate highways and transport improvements. This too is related to new development. There will be development contributions for highways and this is supposed to be used to mitigate the impact of the development on traffic. Once again large new development sites could provide the best opportunity to provide for an improved public transport system but we must try to avoid quick or short-term fixes that lose long-term effect and so don’t help to provide more sustainable transport and highways. However, all new local development will also increase traffic, congestion and parking demands, so we need to make sure that the highways contributions are used to provide safe routes, safe road crossings (especially near schools ) and help ease congestion. Busy or dangerous road junctions will cause drivers to seek other safer and/or quicker routes. These will generally be through quiet residential roads in both town and villages. Better to enable sensible through-routes where traffic can be controlled and a steady traffic flow enabled. This will be another major challenge to try to achieve from the QEB site, especially when Hampshire Highways Officers insist that. they have already agreed to the QEB proposals, which do not include seriously improving junctions such as Redfields Lane/A287  and Aldershot Road/Gally Hill Road/Sandy Lane.


Meanwhile, the highway planning officers are drawing up the Fleet Town Access Plan (FTAP), which is supposed to identify necessary schemes to improve access to and from the town. This is where any highways development money is supposed to be collected and allocated according to their time-table and priorities. However, I do have real concerns that some of the schemes that have been identified may not be the ones that some of the large developments should require. Currently FTAP is restricted to a certain catchment area which does not include some of the difficult junctions. The main one that I have in mind is the A287/Redfields Lane junction. If that is not improved then traffic that heads south and west to Farnham, Odiham, Basingstoke and the M3 will find other routes and that will likely cause problems through Church Crookham, Ewshot, Crookham Village, Dogmersfield and Winchfield.


If they expect to use the £3million highway contribution from the QEB for FTAP then this must not disappear into just highway schemes in Fleet, there will be as much if not more impact from the QEB on roads in Church Crookham and nearby villages. I am asking for this prioritisation to be changed to make the allocation of funding fairer. In fact, the latest draft FTAP plans are due to be put out for consultation in the spring, so I urge people to take the opportunity to take a look and make comment. Clearly there are sensible schemes that need to be done in Fleet but they must not make claim to all highways contribution money from the QEB. I am also trying to make sure that the comments made at the previous consultation on FTAP in Autumn 2008 have indeed been factored into the latest plans.


Finally, there is one aspect from County that I really welcome, and that is that every county member is allocated a grant of £10,000 to provide to local groups and organisations within their own county divisions with grants for one-off projects and minor capital works. There are some tight deadlines that we need to follow, but if you can think of any local groups who require a few hundred pounds to help to fulfil a local scheme to benefit the community, then please let me know. I do have some grant money left for this year, but the grant will be withdrawn at the end of February, as it cannot be seen to be used as an electioneering tool. However, we have just been told that any money not spent this year can be carried over for next year, and the fund should be available again from the end of June 2010. I want to make sure that Church Crookham, Courtmoor and the villages do get full benefit from this fund. I have some forms available for people to use if you think this would be useful for a project you know about. Please come and talk to me afterwards.


  1. Parish Councils.

James Radley has been mentoring the shadow parish council for Church Crookham for almost a year. As of now the biggest issue for the new parish councils of Elvetham Heath, Fleet and Church Crookham is the management of the Harlington Centre. Fleet have agreed to take this on provided that Church Crookham Parish Council (P.C.) will indemnify Fleet Town Council to the value of £10,000 with regard to their incurring a substantial operating loss on the Harlington Centre.


Roughly £66,000 will be available for the Church Crookham Parish Council to invest in Church Crookham and this could be used to improve playground and recreational facilities on the Peter Driver site and/or Azalea Gardens. The parish council can use their money for works like this and therefore it is absolutely critical that parish council candidates are interested in local issues. James urges any such community minded individuals to stand for election, or suggest to someone you know to do this. It is a great opportunity to do something constructive for the local community.. It is up to all of us to make it work. The shadow P.C. is meeting in the Memorial Hall on 4th March at 7.30pm. You will also find the information on their web-site which can be found on Google.


A member asked if P.C.s should be made up of people with a political bias. James replied that this was a good question. The Tories are supposedly not putting up candidates under a political banner, but the Lib Dems might do so. Ideally parish councils should not be involved in party politics but in fact it is up to the electorate who they vote for.


  1. Accounts.

Chris Axam presented the accounts and it was proposed by Gill Butler and seconded by Jim Russell that these would be accepted. The vote was carried unanimously.


  1. Election of Officers.

                                                                                Proposed by:                          Seconded by:

Chairman                      – James Radley                John Bennison                         Simon Ambler

Vice Chairman             - Simon Ambler                James Radley                          Barrie Jones

Secretary                       -  Fran Jones                    James Radley                          Chris Axam

Treasurer                       - Chris Axam                   Jenny Radley                          John Bennison

Membership Secretary  Gill Butler                     Chris Axam                             John Bennison

Election Agent              - Julia Ambler                 Ken Blockwell                        James Radley


These were all accepted unanimously.


  1. Open Floor Session.


A member asked about cycling on pavements. Jenny Radley replied that the Beat Police Officers were pulling up cyclists in Fleet Town, but in the more rural areas where there were more dangerous roads it was up to police discretion whether to pull up cyclists.


TAG’s plans for Farnborough Airport, new housing estates, police and hospitals were all raised as concerns for the district. Why is there need to build and where does the money come from for necessary infrastructure?


Parish Councils will soon be formally established, and have much to offer local people.


Allotments: Hitches Lane is a fluid situation. The allotments that were promised are stalled for the time-being. QEB could offer a site for allotments and possibly a running track, something that the athletic club have been wanting for a very long time.


TAG: With TAG wanting to operate more aircraft and proportionally more of the larger aircraft, how will this affect the PSZ (Public Safety Zone)? A member of the audience said that TAG’s arithmetic did not tally. This should be brought up at the next consultation/meeting with TAG and the public in Rushmoor. TAG have changed their model and they are wrong to have done so.


Flooding and back-flow of sewage were raised as significant issues which should be addressed when new developments are planned.


James Radley also mentioned to those present that reports of pick-pockets had been made recently in Fleet, so people should be alert and keep purses and wallets safe.


John Bennison said that he had a copy of the Hitches Lane development and information about proposed new plans for the QEB to display.


The meeting closed at 9.13pm.