by Ray George
About a year ago, I sent a letter to residents seeking help to draft an Appraisal and Management Plan for this conservation area. I’m sorry to say that the road to hell being paved with good intentions, we didn’t get down to it. I was therefore surprised to recently receive a call from Kevin White, the Historic Environment Team Leader of the City Council, to say that he had drafted the document himself. He proposed to hold a public meeting in late March, with a six week consultation to follow. It would then go to the City’s Cabinet in May for approval.
What is driving this? In January 2010, the City Council adopted a Core Strategy of which the supporting text of policy CS14 said that ‘over the next three years, character appraisals will be conducted for all the Conservation Areas’.
Kevin White came to the last HCERA Committee meeting to present the Appraisal and Management Plan draft. Following this meeting, the Committee members looked carefully at this draft, the original Design Guidance and again at the new documents that have been produced for Oakmount Triangle and Portswood Residents’ Gardens. The Committee felt that the latter two documents were of a very high standard and reflected the importance of these areas and the need to manage them for the future. As the Appraisal and Management Plan for this Conservation Area will be in place for many years and be of long term importance to all current and future residents, the Committee would like to ensure it is of the same high standard as the those for Oakmount Triangle & Portswood Residents’ Gardens. This will obviously take some time to research and complete and therefore the Committee would like to defer the public consultation until our AGM, usually held at the end of September. The formal consultation period would then commence.
The draft Appraisal and Management Plan has been put on our website. We intend to add the comments and the suggested additions and amendments received from residents to this copy of the draft. Do please look at the draft and email your contribution to HCERA. The link to pages of the draft can be found at the bottom of page www.herbertcollins.co.uk/appraisal/
In the light of suggestions received, a revised draft will be prepared.
As well as the Appraisal and Management plan, there will also be a new Article 4 Direction which will go to public consultation at the same time. This is likely to be controversial. A change in the law since the Article 4 Direction in 1992 means that the Council can make some Article 4 Directions without having to get them confirmed by the Secretary of State. In 1992, the Secretary of State made substantial changes to the Article 4 Direction made by the Council.
We will be taking photographs around the estate to go into the booklet.
The Committee has confirmed that we will not hold an Open Gardens Day this year. Gardeners have a year’s notice to prepare for the best ever Open Gardens Day next year.
by Anne Dempsey
In the 1950s, Britain had 36 million hedgehogs. Now there are fewer than a million and numbers have fallen by 37% between 2003 and 2012. Habitat fragmentation is believed to be the biggest cause of the decline. A project called the Hedgehog Street has been trying to get neighbours to ensure connectivity between gardens. It can be as simple as building a small hole into the base of the adjoining fence. It would be sad if these lovely creatures died out. The hedgehog has been around since the time of the dinosaurs. So please, when you are erecting a sturdy fence, please consider a hedgehog friendly garden.
The little egret, a small white heron, first appeared in the UK in significant numbers in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996. Its colonization followed a range expansion into western and northern France in previous decades. It is now at home on numerous south coast sites, as a breeding species and a winter visitor.
The HCERA Committee wondered whether there would be any interest in holding a yard/car boot sale. If you have items you want to get rid of and this appeals to you please email us.
The Swaythling Lawn Tennis Club is a small and friendly, LTA affiliated, tennis club with two well maintained grass courts, located in the corner of the lower green in Ethelburt Avenue. We welcome beginners and juniors as well as more experienced players. Fees for first time members are £60 for adults, £20 for under 18′s and £80 for families. The new season will start at the end of April, depending on the weather. Please come along to one of our mix-ins on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6pm, or on Saturday afternoon from 2.30pm.
Further information can be obtained by visiting our website www.swaythlingtennis.org.uk, emailing our Membership Secretary, Claire Buckley or by phoning Eryl Penney on 80254371.
Swaythling Lawn Tennis Club – Annual Plant and Cake Sale / Open Day
The HCERA Midsummer Party will be on Saturday 29th June. Date to be confirmed.
The Association is 23 years old. In March 1990, a small group of residents were invited to a meeting with Julie Ozwell, Director of Woodhill Properties Ltd in the Methodist Church vestry, Burgess Road. Arising from this, a meeting of all residents was held at the Methodist Church, on 30th April. The meeting warmly supported the idea of a residents’ association and set up a working party to carry the idea forward. The working party, under the chairmanship of Robert Kerr, formerly of 60 Ethelburt Avenue, met several times in the summer. One task was to choose a name: “Herbert Collins Estates Residents’ Association”. This name reflected the intention to include all properties of which Woodhill were the freeholders and initially Bramdean Road and Pine Drive East at Thornhill participated. Today, the area covered is confined to Swaythling. The first annual general meeting was held on 29th October 1990 and formally established the Association.
by Brian Johnston, 15 Ethelburt Avenue
Would you be prepared to spare a couple of hours occasionally to help a worthwhile charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution? No house to house collections are involved. Please contact me on 8055 4385.