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Enhancement proposed for Alton

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New strategy to Enhance East Hants

East Hampshire’s towns and villages are set to be enhanced so they become even better places for people to live and work.

A new strategy, to be discussed by East Hampshire District Council’s Cabinet next week, sets out how it would improve Alton, Petersfield, Whitehill & Bordon and the southern parishes of Horndean, Rowlands Castle and Clanfield.

If approved, it would see EHDC work alongside parish and town councils and local community groups to improvement each area while preserving its own distinctive identity.

Called Enhance East Hants, the plan would draw on the place-making expertise gathered over the last 10 years of work transforming Whitehill & Bordon from a garrison town to a green, healthy and connected place.

Cllr Robert Mocatta, Portfolio Holder for Community Development, Placemaking and Infrastructure, said: “There is not one East Hampshire, but many towns, villages and hamlets which all boast proud identities with their own diverse characters and distinct attractions.

“With easy transport links from coast to capital and more than half the district inside the South Downs National Park, the district is a highly desirable place to live.

“However, among the rolling hills and historic market towns there are pockets of deprivation. It is vital that we continue to improve our district so that all our residents can enjoy their best quality of life, both physically and mentally.”

The strategy provides a framework to build on the council’s current work around the district, including building two new sports and leisure centres and refurbishing a third, mitigating the effects of climate change and delivering the development and infrastructure our communities need.

The work will be collaborative and community-led and will include consultation through the council’s Let’s Talk programme.

Enhance East Hants will see the knowledge gathered through the Whitehill & Bordon project shared across the other areas of the district without interrupting the delivery of objectives there.

Cllr Ferris Cowper, Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said: “We have learnt so much through our work in Whitehill & Bordon, not least the value of working in partnerships with other organisations, authorities and communities.

“Together we can all work to enhance our built and natural environments, our residents’ lives and fulfil our district’s potential.”

Additional resources will be provided to make sure the team can continue its work in Whitehill & Bordon unabated, while the skills and experience acquired can be put to good use elsewhere in the district.

A plan will be drawn up for each area, although they will share a focus on town centres, character and identity, infrastructure and housing growth.

Examples of the kinds of projects carried out through Enhance East Hants include improving walking and cycling routes, redeveloping key town centre sites, promoting the area for tourism and using developer contributions effectively.

Editor’s notes

Each area will have its own bespoke plan.

Alton – The overarching place-making opportunities for Alton include:

  • strengthening its identity and sense of pride of place
  • improving public areas in and around the High Street
  • delivering key development sites (i.e. the Coors Brewery and Station Forecourt)
  • improving walking, cycling and wayfinding routes
  • and effectively deploying developer contributions for the most benefit to the town.

Petersfield – The overarching place-making opportunities for Petersfield include:

  • making the town more walking- and cycling-friendly
  • taking forward the Spine Programme (creating an attractive route through the town centre)
  • building on the town’s special status within the South Downs National Park
  • and effectively deploying developer contributions for the most benefit to the town.

Southern Parishes – The overarching place-making opportunities for the Southern Parishes include:

  • improving facilities and infrastructure for cycling and walking
  • improving connectivity to Havant Thicket, Dunsbury Way and Waterlooville
  • supporting the villages to develop and articulate a strong sense of place with separate, but linked, identities
  • effectively deploying developer contributions for the most benefit to the town
  • building on the work being done in Rowlands Castle to develop and consult on a Neighbourhood Plan
  • ensuring the development at ‘’Land east of Horndean’’ fully reflects the character of the local area and has the right infrastructure to support the population across the Southern Parishes.

Whitehill & Bordon – The overarching place-making opportunities for Whitehill & Bordon are well-established and form the basis of the existing regeneration plans that have been agreed by the Whitehill & Bordon Partnership.

These are to create a new green, healthy and connected town by 2036 and to ensure that the design and physical components of the new town are underpinned by place-making principles that encourage community participation, develop civic pride and support healthy and active lifestyles.

ENDS

Media Contact: Will Parsons, EHDC Communications Officer, 01730 234030