THE 8th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF
COMMUNITY CAMPAIGN (HART)
HELD ON 29th FEBRUARY 2011 COMMENCING AT 7:30 P.M.
Minutes of the 8th Annual General Meeting held at the Crookham War Memorial Hall, Church Crookham, on Wednesday 29th February 2012, commencing at 7.30pm.
There were 25 persons present
The Chairman welcomed those present, to the 8th Annual General Meeting of CC(H). It was good to see so many familiar faces.
There were 25 people present for the meeting.
Apologies for absence were received from Col. John Evans, Richard Rowley, Fran and Barrie Jones and Julie Lesniarek.
The Minutes of the previous AGM held on 3rd February 2011 were recorded as a true and accurate record. The motion to accept the draft minutes was proposed by John Bennison and seconded by Chris Axam and voted unanimously.
There were no matters arising that were not covered by later issues.
Update from Local Community Beat Police Officers: PC Caroline Webster and PCSO Adam Merrick.
PC Webster and PCSO Merrick introduced themselves as the local Neighbourhood Beat Police Officers for Church Crookham. PC Webster has been the manager for this beat since 2006 and assisted by PCSO Merrick since 2009.
There are changes taking place. Fleet Police station will be closing from 16th March 2012, but they do not expect it to be sold for another 2 years. The nearest Police Station will then be in Aldershot.
If people want to contact the Police they should call the 0845 045 4545
or ring 101 to report non-emergency issues.
The emergency number is: 999
E-mail: email@example.com and: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Police can also be contacted on Twitter: Twitter @FleetPolice
Neighbourhood Police web-site:
People can find out what is happening in the local area by using the Crime Report system by computer: www.crimereports.co.uk
The Police are holding regular local Beat Surgeries where people can come to see the police officers and raise any concerns.
Current issues include:
anti-social behaviour on a nearby estate, the police are working with the relevant authorities to arrange for 2 families to be moved on.
recent burglaries within a residential area, plain clothes officers are patrolling the area.
damage to vehicles parked near a shopping parade, police would like to be informed about any suspicious behaviour.
speeding along Aldershot Road, traffic speed checks are conducted.
Local Development Framework (LDF):
The LDF is the development strategy for the next 20years in Hart District. Last year it was hoped that a figure of 220 residential dwellings per year would be adopted for the district but the government is introducing the National Planning Policy Framework which may force Hart District Council to increase this figure due to the demand for more housing. Developers seem to think that we need to meet housing demand which could amount to 1400 dwellings per year, which would be about 1.5 QEB estates each year for the next 20 years! This is far too much.
We are arguing strongly for Zero Net Migration model, this is a calculation that provides for the housing need within the district rather than housing demand which would provide for the people that want to move to this area. There is still much debate about what figure the Zero Net Migration model would have to be but it is expected to be in the region of 320 houses per year. This will still mean the need to identify sites for a further 2000 houses across the district.
There have also been discussions about sustainable development, which is a term that is frequently used but is not well defined. Hart planners seem to think that sustainable development means development next to existing main settlements without questioning whether this could overwhelm the existing infrastructure.
There is currently tense internal debate as to whether new development should be considered to be targeted on a new town location, such as Winchfield. Can we continue to put houses around the established settlements or would there be less damaging impact by considering an eco-town in a location where there are better links to the railway and highway system and would be less impact on the local ecologically sensitive environment?
The debate about sustainability will continue but it may rest with the district election results in May.
A question and answer session followed with questions about: the demand for rail travel within the district, which is high as many residents work outside the district (especially having to travel to and from London); definition of sustainability and eco-towns; how the housing demand is being calculated; local infra-structure needs such as water resources or lack of them; use of land to allow more high density housing by permitting high rise development in the towns; the impact of developing Grove Farm; the CCH approach to the debate; what is the environment impact assessment process.
Current Works: Work has started on the Crookham Park former QEB site. Trees are being removed, roadworks are taking place and there is to be a consultation about traffic calming.
A question was asked about the new roundabout that is being built on Beacon Hill Road. There were delays as the road construction contractor had gone bust and the developer had to send out for new tenders. Other delays were happening along the construction route through Quetta Park where utilities and services were found that had not been expected.
School proposal: It had been agreed that the school site would be used to provide a site for relocating Tweseldown Infant School where it would be able to expand for the growing local need and allowing the remaining site to be used to expand the adjacent Church Crookham Junior School. Money was also being provided to expand Calthorpe Park School in Fleet to take more secondary school pupils.
New applications Phases I, II and III: Phase I has started with development to the western side of the site and work will also be starting on Wakefords Copse. The plans for Phase II have only recently been made available. A member of the audience said that he thought the latest plans were an improvement with layout and quality of materials. It was not as crowded as the first application. Phase III was originally supposed to be for employment use, but was now being proposed for a further 100 dwellings. This was contrary to the understanding for sustainable development. We understand that although there is surplus of office space in the area, there is a real need for small business units. This would also help to reduce the need for residents to have to travel longer distances to work. The need for employment use had been established at the earlier appeal, and accepted by the Planning Inspector, so this new proposal will be challenged. The site will also be cramped for this many houses and will add demand on the limited local infra-structure.
Fleet Town Council Update:
Chris Axam spoke as one of the 19 members of Fleet Town Council (FTC). Fleet is the largest town in the district and they have taken over many responsibilities.
Achievements include much more efficient and cost effective management of The Harlington, the events held there are popular and attract a wider age group and the cost to run it has decreased considerably so it is less of a burden on the precept.
FTC have worked closely with the Friends of Oakley Park as a role model to help set up similar community groups for Ancells Farm, Calthorpe Park, and Basingbourne Park.
FTC arrange Action Days with the help of the Fleet and Church Crookham Society to encourage local people to develop a much stronger community spirit to help keep up the local environment clean and tidy. The next Action Day will be on 21st April 2012.
FTC are assisting with the Fleet Town Access Plan to improve alternative routes for walkers and cyclists. The plans for the cycle route between Calthorpe Park School and the town centre is progressing.
FTC are working with Fleet Lions to make better use of Calthorpe Park. The Fleet Firework events are able to provide spectacular events for more local people and the Carnival Committee have moved their focus of events to Calthorpe Park. They are now planning 3 days of events based mainly at Calthorpe Park for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee between 2nd – 4th June 2012.
FTC have also carried out a survey of all residents to help inform them about what residents really need and want from the town council. Thety were successful in receiving over 700 responses which will provide good evidence for future work plans.
FTC provide a regular newsletter ‘TownTalk’.
FTC are also working with Hart District Council to work on the Fleet Vision, which is a chance to redevelop the town centre at focus points such as the Civic Offices which are considered to be no longer fit for purpose. They hope to help to steer the plans toward a layout that will bring real benefit to the town.
Questions followed including: problems with changes to parking at Calthorpe Park, low level bollards were damaging cars but there was need to stop commuter parking there all day. The plan was for the new cycle route through Calthorpe Park which would provide taller bollards and this would avoid the problem that drivers had with not seeing them.
Church Crookham Parish Council Update:
John Bennison spoke as one of the members of Church Crookham Parish Council (CCPC), which was established almost 2 years ago now. John joined soon afterwards. CCPC are dealing with some major issues.
The Peter Driver recreational site is now owned by the CCPC, but the former Shotts site adjacent to it has been sold for development and they have planning permission for a 60 bed nursing home for frail elderly residents. The developer has agreed to a deal to provide a new all-weather surface enclosed 5 a-side football area between the grass football pitches on the Peter Driver site because they would like the old 5 a-side pitch to provide a garden area at the new home. They are also obliged to build a new car-park area for 36 cars where the derelict bungalow is and soon to be demolished as part of the land swap. This work will be done in advance of the main development to avoid interrupting the recreational seasons for the users of the Peter Driver areas.
There have been some problems on the site with vandalism at the changing rooms , it is hoped this will be less of a target once there is more regular recreational use of the area and the nursing home is built.
Crookham Park (former QEB site). CCPC objected to the original application but they were part of the negotiations that took place to ensure a suitable education contribution due to demand for more school capacity that would be required, but the developer covered their costs by reducing the element of affordable housing from 40% to 30%. TJ Motors car repair garage on Sandy Lane will be provided with a car-park in the woodland area opposite to take the number of cars off the road, but this car- park will be given to the parish council who will charge peppercorn rent to the garage.
CCPC have negotiated for an increase in the number of houses with bat bricks on the site from 25% to 35%, as there are recognised to be 5 species of bats in the area which are protected species.
CCPC meet about 3 times each month and these meetings are open to the public and they welcome support and involvement from the local community. Currently the CCPC offices are in The Harlington but will move to the new Community Centre on the Crookham Park site when that is built.
Some of the features that CCPC have negotiated for the Crookham Park site will include the new Community Centre, an Athletics Track which has long been required for the popular local running clubs and 80 half plot allotments which will be given over to the CCPC to run in future.
Finally notice is given that CCPC will be holding a Big Lunch event at Tweseldown Race Course on the 3rd June as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which will be free entry.
Questions followed including why a large bag of ballast was blocking the entrance to the Peter Driver car-park, this was explained to prevent entry of large vehicles using the car-park, as there was warning of travellers moving into the area, so the developer had positioned the bags which would only allow space of entry for cars. Was there a plaque to commemorate Peter Driver for his athletic achievements? CCPC will talk to the Athletics Club about this.
The Friends of Oakley Park had also assisted the setting up of the Friends of Azalea Park, of local people who were planning to improve the local park, who were involved with plans by CCPC to revamp the play area on the park.
There will be elections for some of the district wards on 3rd May 2012.
James Radley will be standing again for Church Crookham East and there will be candidates standing in Fleet Courtmoor and Crondall.
There is also known to be an Independent movement in Fleet West due to major concerns about more local development with the current LDF proposals.
In 2013 there will be county council elections.
In 2014 there will be changes to all district wards and all up elections. The number of district councillors will reduce from 35 to 33 and there will only be 11 district wards, and so there will be 3 members for each district ward.. There was a boundary change consultation and a Sense of Place Survey that was carried out by HDC to inform the work to determine the new parish councils and this information has also helped to identify the new district ward boundaries. The intention is that there will be elections each year for each ward followed by county council elections that will cover the 4 year election term.
Church Crookham will be divided into 2 district wards, one will be Crookham and Ewshot which will include Ewshot, and Crookham Village and Crookham Park , and the other will be Crookham East which will include part of Courtmoor. Crondall will become part of the Odiham ward.
Statement of Accounts
Membership report: 105 members in 2009
98 members in 2012
Explanation of the numbers in the accounts:
There are 2 sources of revenue: Donations are made by the councillors toward their own elections
Member subscriptions pay for the newsletters.
Income is up a little.
Expenses are for the printing of the newsletter and expenses for elections.
Comments: Suggestion that a welcome pack be provided for new residents to the area to help introduce the CCH. This should include new residents to Crookham Park. Generally agreed.
Election of Officers:
Chairman James Radley proposed by JB and seconded by Pat Lowe
Vice Chairman Simon Ambler proposed by JR and seconded by GB
Secretary Fran Jones proposed by JR and seconded by JB
Treasurer Chris Axam proposed by JR and seconded by JRR
Membership Secretary Gill Butler proposed by JR and seconded by CA
Election Agent Julia Ambler proposed by JB and seconded by JR
Officers were elected unanimously as proposed.
Well wishes to Fran Jones for a good recovery.
Open Floor Session –Members questions:
Q. When will there be first occupancy at Crookham Park?
A. The first occupancy is expected in September 2012. The build out is expected to run at about 100 dwellings per year.
Q. Can we urge that housing numbers are reduced for the LDF so that there will be no need to direct toward development in Winchfield? As someone who appreciates the countryside this is not an option that he as a member can entertain. Should encourage use empty of empty office spaces in Fleet for residential development instead.
A. Need to evaluate the options. It will depend on the housing quota that is agreed by the Planning Inspector. There may be scope to provide up to 200 dwellings on land with unoccupied office space but that may not be enough. If the current level of infrastructure is unable to support more development then an option is for major development that will need to provide the necessary new roads and schools and have access to major transport links and within an area that is not so ecologically sensitive as is found around the western boundaries of Fleet, which is also at capacity for car-parking at Fleet Station. There is also the factor that value of land will determine the viability of major sites. Poor agricultural land may be an option for future development within less sensitive areas of the district.
CA: Want to notify the audience that Fleet Town Council would be holding their AGM on the evening of 14th March at The Harlington. He would urge people to attend if they were concerned about future housing development in the area. One of the important items at the meeting would be about future development plans for the next 20 years.
He hoped that the annual figure for housing development would stay much the same but there is great uncertainty about how the NPPF will affect the numbers.
Fleet Town Council would welcome an indication of what local people would allow and this should also help inform Hart District Council to plan their way forward.
There is deep concern and the impression is that most people feel there are enough houses. We are responsible for representing the people who elect us.
There is also the concern about the 5 year land supply. If Hart DC cannot demonstrate that they can provide sufficient development sites for the next 5 years, they will be unable to reject unsuitable planning applications by developers, who will appeal and show that their applications can help to provide this supply.
JB: There may be other land areas that come forward for development across the district. Hook has a railway station and Odiham is well placed for access to the motorway. There is a need for rural exception sites to provide necessary affordable housing within villages for local families. Landowners are already being asked to offer such sites.
Q. Fleet and Church Crookham are within easy access to the countryside and are at close proximity to the Special Protection Areas which add to the high quality of life that we all enjoy. Hart were recently voted one of the best places to live in the country, so there will be high demand for more housing. How will this quality of life be protected?
A. The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) was carried out by HDC as part of the LDF process and landowners offered sites that could provide 7,000 houses. There seem to be plenty of options but there will need to be very careful considered strategic decision as to which sites and how many would be appropriate. Currently the sites being considered by the planning policy team are focussed on Fleet and Hook as the larger settlements that would be expected to support further new development. However, there is great concern from local people about the capacity of local schools and road network in these areas.
If Hart were to be allocated more housing they will need to look for alternative sites.
Q.: Some councillors are said to be saying they would not allow development in certain areas such as south of the A287. Are people being divided up into local areas in a divide and rule approach? Should the parish councils be encouraged to work together to defend against overwhelming development? Are people satisfied with the paid officials?
A. It is frustrating. Hart do have good planning officers but they have to follow government guidelines and policy and this has been changing with a presumption for development.
Q. When do people get the chance to see plans?
A. There have been exhibitions and consultations and information on the HDC web-site. Many people have spoken to officers but so far there have been no show stoppers on the LDF process. It is important to remember that discussions and comments made verbally do not get recorded, if people want their comments to be taken into consideration they need to make them in writing.
If people do not make a written response they assume that people are satisfied. Need to be aware.
Q. There is much talk about the Big Society and Localism. How will this work for communities?
A. One could be quite sceptical about the Big Society. But on a more positive note if people are able to be well informed and do not like what they see is happening and they become more agitated they can make their concerns known by considering carefully who they vote for. Elections are a chance for people to let the authority know what they want and it can make a difference.
Look at the changes that were made on the QEB site, when we were elected they had to listen to local public opinion and what we had to say. The development is a big improvement on the original application.
The meeting closed at 9.52pm.
Next CC(H) AGM meeting to be held at:
The War Memorial Hall, Sandy Lane, Church Crookham,
on Thursday 7th March 2013.