In November, a report was issued stating that an error had occurred in the predicted Alresford population figure in 2031, which resulted in a reduction of around 600 people. At the request of some residents, the Employment, Infrastructure and Open Spaces Needs Groups met to discuss changes that may be required in light of the changes in population figures. The Housing Needs Group did not meet since the number of houses remains unchanged.
Following the February full Town Council meeting, papers have been submitted to WCC as Appendices to the original needs groups reports and WCC will consider how this affects the proposed Local Plan for Alresford.
The LPF Cabinet will meet on 30th March to agree the Officers’ recommendations following the consultation responses. It will likely be a whole day meeting to review Alresford, Bishops Waltham and the City.
There will be further clarification meetings with the Town and Parish councils at the end of May. That will be the last consultation before the Plan is submitted to the Inspector. When he examines the issues in Feb/March 2016 he will invite respondents he wants to hear from. The full plan is as follows:
- Publication of pre-submission plan - June 2015
- Six weeks consultation on pre-submission plan - June/July 2015
- Submission to the Secretary of State - November 2015
- Examination of hearings - Feb/Mar 2016
- Inspector's Report- June 2016
- Adoption by WCC - July 2016
This will not result in a change to the housing target, and this in itself is the major contributor to the population projections, but could result in a change to the amount of land required for commercial employment use. Full details of the report are available here.
In its response to the the draft Local Plan 2 the Town Council actually questioned the amount of land being allocated for commercial use on the Sun lane site and recommended it be reduced from 3 - 5 hectares to 1.5 - 3 hectares.New Alresford residents made almost 50% (565 comments) of the total comments (1125 comments) received in the whole of Winchester district. Approx 1 in 10 of our residents submitted a comment Form whereas in Winchester Town with its Population of 120,000 only one person in 1600 submitted a comment (75 comments). Although 90% of Alresford residents did not comment we had, by far, the highest response.
Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996
Alresford has been an area with some irresponsible dog owners for a few years.’. Winchester City Council (WCC) do carry out occasional patrols in the area but it is difficult to catch offenders. Offenders need to be identified. You are asked to provide names and addresses of owners where they fail to clear up after their dog has fouled a public area.You can contact WCC on 01962 848350 during office hours, or Email. You can also find some information on their website . Fixed fines of £50 can be issued by the Dog Warden or up to £1000 if taken further for prosecution.(Full report)
Lights on The Soke
The lights installed in The Soke and Broad Street are not those that were agreed between the Town Council and County Council. We have raised this matter with HCC and have requested that the lights be replaced with those that were agreed in January 2014. This lamp projects all the light downwards and not upwards and outwards.
Traffic at The Soke
Despite numerous approaches to Hampshire County Council (HCC) over the last 12 months they appear to have done nothing to address the traffic problems at The Soke. The Traffic Management Report promised for February, when the traffic light proposal was rejected, has still not appeared and despite re-assurances there is little evidence to suggest it will be forthcoming in the immediate future. Some suggestions have been made by the Town Council in an attempt to mitigate the nuisance to residents and damage to property, in the short term, which is almost entirely created by the volume of heavy goods vehicles going to and from Alresford Salads at The Nythe on the Bighton Road.
In the short term we are asking for a response to the suggestions below with regard to dates, viability and the likely success:
- The installationof a bollard outside No 2 The Soke to protect that building and the Bridge.
- Hi-Vis signage to be installed on the bridge that will maximise visibility.
- Height/width/length detectors to be installed to prevent large vehicles co-occupying the restricted part of the highway.
- The immediate production of the Traffic Management Report now seven months overdue.
In addition hopefully with the support of our District Councillors, Winchester City Council will be requested to investigate and take action on all alleged breaches of planning consent regarding hours of deliveries, volume of traffic, and business classification. They will also be asked why Alresford Salads pays agricultural rather than commercial rates for what is in reality an import/export business.
Finally we will request the Environment Agency to check and give us assurance that the river and Alresford Pond are not being polluted by Alresford Salads business.
West Street Improvements
The County Council has now issued a contract for the West Street project and work is expected to commence at the end of April. As we have previously mentioned the service road in Pound Hill will be resurfaced as part of this project.
There is one major change to the plan, which was publicly displayed this time last year, and that is the provision of a Zebra crossing in Jacklyns Lane. The bus stop, currently outside Shapla has been re-located further up West Street and has been positioned in such a way as not to lose three parking spaces. Changes to the drainage will also be undertaken as well as one or two other detailed alterations. The revised plans can be viewed in the Library, the Coop and the Town Council Notice Boards as well and on the Environment page.
The first phase of the Recreation Centre refurbishment has now been completed. A new meeting room on the ground floor has been brought into use and allows for a greater number of residents to attend Council meetings.
The function room has been re-modelled and is now avaialble for hire. Two small meeting rooms will be available shortly for public use on the first floor.
The SLR (the lit speed limit sign) is now being used in Sun Lane in addition to other areas of the town. Following a request from the Town Council a 'Unsuitable for large vehicles' sign has now been installed at the bottom of Sun Lane at the junction with East Street.
Clearance of Public Footpaths
We have received numerous complaints in respect of public footpaths being obstructed by over hanging vegetation from resident’s gardens. We would ask, that where properties abut public footpaths residents ensure that it is not blocking pedestrian passageway. It is the responsibility of the householder to ensure that any growth which overhangs a public footpath is cut back regularly to ensure safe passage of pedestrians or passers-by.
Dog Waste Bins
It is now possible for dog waste to be disposed of in normal waste bins and during the course of 2015 the dedicated dog waste bins will be phased out. Advisory signs will be posted on ordinary waste bins and additional waste bins will be provided when the red bins are removed. This should bring a considerable saving to the Council and hopefully prevent dog owners hanging unwanted plastic bags in hedges.
Order forms for this year’s hanging baskets will be delivered immediately after Easter. A decision was taken to extend the hanging basket up-the-pole displays to Station Road. We need sponsors for the up-the-pole baskets and anyone wishing to contribute should contact the office.
RESULTS FROM THE ALRESFORD ROAD TRAFFIC OPERATION
The police carried out a road traffic operation on the 17th November in Alresford with the following results:-Between 10.10 and 12.00, 4 vehicles were stopped outside the Police/Fire Station for not wearing their seatbelts whilst driving.
Several other drivers were spotted either not wearing their seatbelt or using their mobile phone whilst driving which the police •were unable to stop.
Between 15.10 and 16.00, 4 vehicles were stopped on Jacklyns Lane for speeding offences. The average speed was 39mph.
All drivers were reported for the offences and will be dealt with by the Central Ticket Office who will decide whether they receive Driver Awareness courses or fines and points, this wili he dependent upon their driving history.
20 mph Zones
Following the introduction of 20 mph zones in central Winchester, a number of residents have raised the question of 20 mph zones in New Alresford. Yes, we can support requests to the highways authority but ask residents who think their road should be made a 20 mph area (or suggest an area in the town) to email or write to the Town Council to let them know their views. NATC will then make these views known to see if and how we can introduce any changes to speed limits.
Market Town Manager
A Market Town Manager has been appointed to work one day a week with the following objectives:
- Increase footfall into the shops and services in town
- Improve communication among disparate community groups
- Develop greater cohesion of community group activities
- Increase residents’ use of town businesses
- Fill in gaps in the existing events calendar and encourage residents’ participation
The Council has funded this part time post and we look to her to provide the catalyst to bring new events and initiatives to the Town. Whilst she is nominally responsible to the Tourism Committee we do not intend to either approve or veto any community event or activity. She will be making contact with key community groups to seek their engagement and to bring greater co-ordination and promotion to current and new events. She will also be looking to introduce one or two new events, with the support of Community Groups, throughout the year.
Riverside Footpath Repairs
Regular users of the riverside path will be relieved that we have managed to cap the gusher. The work was delayed because HCC could not undertake the work as it was the landowner’s responsibility. However, the landowner of this stretch of the path, by the Memorial Gardens, could not be established from a search of the Land Registry. As no land owner came forward we had no alternative but to step in and take responsibility.
Our proposals for the repair were nearly thwarted by the Environment Agency who insisted on approving them and this would have delayed the remedial work until the spring of 2015. This was unacceptable to us and it was finally agreed that emergency repairs were essential and these could be done without approval. The emergency work undertaken should provide a long term solution and the footpath has now been fully restored and is once again open to the public.
Broad Street Paving
You will have noticed the increasing amounts of tarmac appearing between the paving slabs in Broad Street. This has been done as a temporary measure as Hampshire County Council (HCC) HCC is unable to match the existing slabs with anything currently available. Following discussions with HCC it has been agreed that all vehicle accesses in Broad Street will be laid with ‘cobbles’ as has been done outside the Horse and Groom. This should release sufficient slabs to infill in other areas to replace the missing and damaged slabs.
Bollards in Broad Street continue to be knocked down and it is essential that when these are re-instated they are set in concrete or they continue to be uprooted. Concrete does not sit well with the existing slabs so all future bollard replacements will be set in concrete a little below pavement level and will finished off with a coloured artificial surfacing to match the existing slabs.
Roads - Potholes everywhere
Go to www.fixmystreet.com for the easiest way to report them and get them fixed.