Archive for the “2011 Newsletters” Category
Chairman: Ray George 75 Bassett Green Rd
Secretary: Debbie Smith 74 Bassett Green Rd
Treasurer: Andy Sharvill
Tree Planting Sub-Committee
Ethelburt Avenue Road Improvement Group
Non-Committee Representatives for Ethelburt Avenue
Swaythling Lawn Tennis Club will be holding its annual fund-raising Quiz Night in the Chilworth Village Hall (next to the Chilworth Arms on the A27) on Saturday 19 November. Doors open at 7 pm with the quiz starting promptly at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £7.00 and a ploughman’s supper is included in the ticket price. Please bring your own nibbles, drinks and glasses. For further details of the quiz, or to book a place, please phone Sarah on 8055 4645.
Dan Hopgood provided an update at the AGM. That very day the Planning and Rights of Way Panel had granted planning permission by a majority decision. The development will house an 8 consulting-room doctors’ surgery, pharmacy, convenience store and other undefined retail and community uses along with accommodation for 368 students. The community use would be at commercial rates and if not taken up could be used for retail purposes. There will be 24 on-site car parking spaces plus 8 allocated exclusively to the doctors’ surgery staff on weekdays. There will be no enforcement to prevent students bringing cars to the city and parking in local roads. This is of great concern to local residents and the main reason for Dan leading such a strenuous campaign against the development. Dan felt the only way forward would be to seek a judicial review because the planning process was technically flawed. Unfortunately the costs would be exceptionally high and therefore not feasible.
The campaign of Dan and Ethelburt Avenue residents pushed the developers as far as they were prepared to go. They agreed to “All student contracts to include the agreed penalty clause wording to the effect that they shall not bring a car to Swaythling Ward whilst living at City Gateway and may be evicted if found to have done so. In the event that evidence is provided by residents or the City Council that a resident has access to a car they will be given a warning leading to possible eviction. This will be at the discretion of the University of Southampton and/or any designated operator and/or the landowner upon receipt of valid evidence.”
The developers will also provide, at their expense, explanatory signage in Ethelbert Avenue about not parking. Our current thinking is that this will be on matching plates below the street name plates.
Hampshire Police held a public meeting, lead by Hampshire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Laura Nicholson, at St George’s School on 13th September to explain policing in the area after the closure of Portswood Police Station. The meeting was well attended, especially by City Councillors who spoke vociferously against the closure. The police maintained that as most people contact the police by phone or internet they would notice little difference. There would be no reduction in the number of neighbourhood police officers for the area. For those who needed it, they were looking into surgeries at venues such as supermarkets.
Woodhill Properties Limited was asked under the restrictive covenants for permission to put solar voltaic panels on a roof. Before deciding this matter, Woodhill Properties wanted to know the views of the Residents’ Association. Three options were put to the AGM: no solar panels on roofs, solar panels anywhere on a roof and the view which had the overwhelming approval of the meeting “Solar panels on roofs are OK provided they are not too visible from a road.” This view will be taken into account by Woodhill Properties when determining applications to put solar panels on roofs in this Conservation Area.
Our friendly book group meets on the last Thursday of each month (except August and December). We read the same book as each other and then discuss it at the meetings, followed by a cup of tea and a biscuit. Books are borrowed in sets from the local library so no costs are involved. Members take turns in choosing which books. Please ring Peter Martin on 80322332 for more details.
Following the recent fall of a large branch from the Robinia on the top green in Ethelburt Avenue, a survey of the trees has been undertaken. The Robinia is infected with a fungus and the appropriate action is still being considered. A hawthorn, also on the top green, is in poor condition and needs to be replaced. The Lawson’s cypress on the bend at the top of Ethelburt Avenue will have the dead ivy cut out to see if it recovers. In the SW corner of the bottom green a silver birch is diseased and will be felled. The small sickly Cupressus in the same group will stunt the growth of the Scots pine and needs to be removed.
Kevin White, the City Council’s Historic Environment Team Leader, spoke to the AGM about Conservation Area Appraisal. This will result in a new document “Character Appraisal and Management Plan” to replace the current “Design Guidance”. It will be used when determining planning applications and should make clearer to residents what is allowed. Kevin would like the Committee and local residents to be involved in producing this document. A focus group would redraft and update the Design Guidance and photograph architectural features to replace the current drawings to form the new document. It is felt that by being part of this process, residents will be able to have some influence over the document. This process has already been very successful with the Oakmount Triangle and Portswood Residents’ Gardens Conservation Areas. If you would like to join the focus group, please contact our secretary Debbie Smith or email. The Article 4 Direction would also be amended.
Robert Williams proposed that Summerfield Gardens be included in the Conservation Area and Kevin White said he was happy to look at this.