Meeting on Tueday 31st August 2021
|1.1 Present: Jason Simper, (Chair), Mandi Sowik (Clerk), Phillip Pascoe (Chair), Jenny Perring, Paul Schofield and Malcolm Williamson
1.2 Apologies: Keith Murray, Donal O’Connell
|Diana Tennyson, Ian Robertson , Claire Klare and Charles Cookham|
|3.||Minutes of last Meeting|
|Approved and signed as a true and correct record by the Chair|
|Awaiting the next District Council report from Cllr Tennyson|
|5.||Planning and Development*|
Chaton Park Farm Proposal for 1200 homes
The following statement was released by the Council prior to the meeting:
Update on proposed Chawton Park Farm development
“In June, as you no doubt know, East Hants District Council (EHDC) made a shock announcement that Chawton Park Farm had been chosen as a large development site for 1,200 homes as part of the new EHDC Local Plan. This site first appeared on the radar in the EHDC land availability assessment of 2018 which noted that a large part of the site was undevelopable with significant viability issues for the rest of the site. Common sense won over in 2020 and the site was discarded as an option from the draft local plan in favour of a “broad area of search for the [required] additional homes along the A31” and extra development at Bordon. However, in June this year Chawton Parish Council were given less that 24hrs notice to attend an emergency meeting with EHDC (with no agenda provided) where we were informed that Chawton Park Farm would be the preferred development site; a few hours later it was announced publicly.
We are not sure how a site, a large part of which having been identified as undevelopable by EHDC themselves, which was recently excluded as a realistic site has suddenly become one of the “most sustainable areas” in the words of Cllr Glass of EHDC. Chawton Parish Council are extremely disappointed by the confused decision making, apparent inconsistency of approach to prospective sites and lack of engagement by EHDC.
The Chawton Park Farm site is perhaps the least sustainable EHDC could have chosen for a new ‘Garden Village’. The location is in a beautiful valley of productive farmland nestled between important ancient woodland. Access is already very poor via a single lane railway arch and the hazards and traffic of the narrow Chawton Park Road, soon to be exacerbated with the Ackender Hill development. The core of the site is 3.8km from Alton town centre, meaning primarily car-based journeys with little or no footpaths and cycleways. This is not a sustainable site.
Additionally, the development would require a new primary school (as is planned) and probably a new secondary school to cope with demand. The western part of Alton, where the development is proposed, already has the most housing allocation of any area in East Hampshire outside Bordon.
If the development proceeds the impact on the parish and our parishioners will be very considerable. Parishioners, particularly the residents living adjacent to the development, will face huge disruption during the many years of the construction phase and the prospect of being consumed into a 1,200-house development. The proposed development would see the destruction of historic farmland to become a suburb of Alton covered with acres of housing. These changes will fundamentally alter the character of the parish and have a very detrimental impact on the village.
Chawton Parish Council are wholly opposed to the proposed development at Chawton Park Farm and will be working with other local and national organisations to object to it in the strongest of terms.“
The Council reiterated their stance on the proposal and understand that a full Cabinet Council at EHDC will convene on 23rd September to vote as to whether CPF will be accepted into the Local Plan proposals.
The Council also questioned the poor process adopted by EHDC in recent weeks which has shown little or no clarity over their decision making, giving CPC 24 hours notice of the possible inclusion of CPF and adding and cancelling teams workshops.
Meetings with Alton TC, Farringdon PC, Beech PC and Medstead PC are being arranged.
*-The Parish Council can make observations regarding the Parish as a whole and comment on applications made but there is no guarantee that these comments will impact the ultimate decision.
6.1 Dates for a proposed meeting with Alton TC Planning and Beech PC – these would be agreed with the relevant Councils and circulated.
6.2 Outdoor Classroom – Awaiting delivery of logs for seating in the area which has been created and trimming back the overhanging branches, once logs have been delivered a fence will be erected to stop parking and keep dogs out.
6.3 Stiles & Kissing Gates – MS to walk the footpaths with contractors to gain quote.
6.4 Pier Caps – Sourcing of more ‘in keeping’ pier caps from reclamation yard or similar – Council deferred this action.
6.5 Area before underpass – Any ideas on how to tidy this area up and make it useful – Council deferred this action.
6.6 Purchase of a Red BT Box and associated building work to install, looking for a builder who will carry out the groundwork – Council deferred this action.
6.7 Speed Indicator Devices – awaiting confirmation of meeting with the traffic team
6.8 Purchase of a circular seat to commemorate the Queens Jubilee next year – The clerk will look into a circular seat and the location for instalment.
|Salary and overtime for the Clerk, Grass Cutting, G Kitching, Magazine delivery J Fryer, Bin emptying|
At the June meeting the PC discussed installing a collapsible bollard opposite the school at the entrance to the recreation ground in order to prevent parking in this area. Once the outdoor classroom is installed there will be little or no space to park. One space for the green keeper would be considered however all other cars should be parked elsewhere. A quote for a bollard would be obtained.