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by Steve McInally, 70 Ethelburt Avenue

Due to the success of last year’s Christmas carol concert, we are happy to announce plans to repeat the same, with an even bigger brass band this year!

The event will be held on Tuesday 22nd December 2015 around the tall decorated tree at the top of Ethelburt Avenue. Please arrive between 6pm and 6:30pm and bring your own/to share mince pies, mulled wine and other seasonal delights! The band will start at 7:00pm and based on a suggestion after last year’s event, we will try to supply some carol songbooks for those who wish to join in.

Last year, we had a gallant bunch of residents who arrived very organised with a table and a large pan of mulled wine to share. If anyone would like to coordinate “refreshments”, or anything else, please do get in touch. We will be sending out a newsletter closer to the time, in early to mid December, with further details, and so anyone who would like to help can get in touch now, so we can get organised. It would be useful if anyone in Field Close, Bassett Green Road, Leaside Way or Summerfield Gardens, who would like to take charge of distribution and interest from those areas, could please let me know.

Where possible, we ask for contributions, with any excess being paid to charity. If you are unable to contribute, please do come anyway! The band effectively play for free, as they pass their fee to charity. So I will pass any excess to them to pass to the charity. Costs will depend on how the lights we put up last year have fared over the last 11 months. More details in the December update.

If anyone can assist with tree decorating, including low priced cherry picker hire/loan, large ladder loan, it would be most appreciated.


Please call Steve for more details or to pledge your assistance on 07887 923805 or check out the Christmas page on

May I be the first to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

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We have received the following from Woodhill Properties Limited:

“An issue we discussed at our recent Directors Meeting was residents’ requests for all types of solar panels. It was felt that there were difficulties with these and their siting, even with our current policy which the Residents’ Association helped us formulate. We are trying to please everyone, and this has not worked. There are other conservation areas where solar panels are not allowed at all.

Therefore we have decided to change our policy, and from this point, not to consent to any solar panels, anywhere on the Estate. At least this is simple, and there cannot be discussions about on which roof or wall they are allowed.”

The wording of the new policy, which will be added to the Policy of Woodhill Properties Ltd on our website, is:
“The Company has received several requests recently for consent for thermal panels under the terms of the Leases. After careful consideration, taking into account the views of residents, and the visual impact of solar panels, the Directors have decided that the Company policy will be to refuse to give consent to the installation of solar panels.”

If you have any views on this matter, please email

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We are losing our treasurer, Andy Sharvill who took over the role in April 2009. He has now moved out of the Conservation Area, but is prepared to remain treasurer until the AGM.

Liesal Ackerman, whom we welcome as a recent arrival to the estate, has agreed to offer herself for election as the new treasurer, at least temporarily.

She has a very busy career and wonders whether there is somebody who is retired, with more time to spare, who would take on the role. You do not have to have any professional accountancy qualifications. Please email us, if you think that this is something you would like to do.

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by Ray George

It seems a long time ago, but residents may recall the proposals for a travellers’ transit site beside Monks Brook. One weapon against the development was an application in September 2007 for the field on the east side of Stoneham Way to be designated as a village green. This put the travellers’ site plans on hold until the village green application had been decided. What became of this application? Because about 65% of the land is in Hampshire and 35% in Southampton, an application was made to both authorities. Hampshire County Council agreed that Southampton City Council should deal administratively with the application on behalf of them both. This would have included a public enquiry, with an estimated cost of £20,000. After the Conservatives gained an overall majority on the City Council in the elections of May 2008, plans for a travellers’ transit site at Monks Brook went away. The City Council then apparently did nothing about the village green application and officers of the County Council were unsuccessful in eliciting what progress had been made. As a result, in April 2011, the County Council’s Regulatory Committee authorised the Chairman to write to the Leader of the City Council requesting information about lack of progress. Apparently, there was no response, and in April 2012, the Regulatory Committee agreed that the County Council should deal administratively with this application (and the one to Southampton City Council, if they agreed). This move had become necessary because the County Council dealt with applications in the order of date received. This one had now got to the top of the list and was holding up processing later applications.

The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 prevents an application for village green status, if a planning application has been made and under some other circumstances. This caused a rush of new applications to Hampshire County Council. In July 2015, Hampshire County Council introduced a policy to give priority to an application when the land becomes subject to a planning application.

In summary, the Monks Brook application is still alive, if not well. Of the 11 current applications, this is the oldest and is one of three that are described as “under investigation” while the rest are “to be investigated”.

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The dates for the next three Ethelburt Avenue road maintenance days are
as follows:

14th November 2015 for the Upper team,
13th February 2016 for the Middle team,
7th May 2016 for the Lower team.

We are always looking for new people to help spread the load, so if you are not on the Road Improvement Group (RIG) ‘mailing’ list, but wish to help out, please contact John Dixon on 8055 0064.

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In the week before the August Bank Holiday, you may have seen a sign saying “Hampshire Open Studios” at the entrance to Field Close. If you were inquisitive and followed the signs, you were led into a back garden to a summerhouse which proclaimed itself to be The Jim Hale Studio. On display were graphite pencil drawings by the resident artist Basi Bishop. There were also some interesting novelty clocks made as a hobby by the man of the house, from old hard disc drives and printed circuits from PCs.

Come again in August 2016.

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We have had a request for people not to park their cars on the grass of the Upper Green in Ethelburt Avenue. This of course applies equally to other grassed area of the Conservation Area. A practice that makes residents go ballistic.

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The date for the AGM has been set for Wednesday 18th November at St George’s School commencing 7.30pm. Notice of the meeting will be sent out two weeks in advance.

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If you would like some daffodil or crocus bulbs to plant in the public areas of the estate, please contact your street rep or send an email.

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