July 2010 Meeting Report
Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 6 July 2010 in the Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall.
Social and Affordable Housing
The main item on the agenda of this month’s meeting was social and affordable housing. John Lancaster, Community Action Hampshire, briefed councillors on his report on potential ‘rural exception sites’ for social and affordable housing in Compton and Shawford. Mr Lancaster advised the council that he had conducted an exhaustive examination of land within the settlement boundaries and concluded that there are no potential sites that could be developed or redeveloped.
Nine possible exception sites had been explored but only one appeared to be acceptable to the Winchester City Council Planning Department. Known as site 5, this area is to the north of existing properties in Martins Fields. Mr Lancaster suggested that this site could accommodate three pairs of semi-detached properties but it would be important to soften the impact on the landscape and marry the extension into the existing development.
In the subsequent discussion, which included comments from representatives of the Compton Tenants’ Association, councillors agreed that site 5 provided a reasonable area for the development of social and affordable housing but, given current parking problems in Martins Fields, any future plans should include a suitable provision for parked vehicles.
The chairman, Councillor Una Stevens, reported that the public meeting on 17 June had provided parishioners with an opportunity to express their views on Hampshire County Council’s plans to introduce a ‘pinch point’ outside the school to restrict the flow of traffic. Despite some opposition to the plans, HCC believed this was still the best option for ensuring the safety of pupils entering and leaving the school. The plans would now be implemented.
Following her discussions with the chairman of the school’s board of governors, it had been agreed that the Parish Council’s representative on the board should have a ‘business background’. The chairman proposed, seconded by Councillor Millar, that Councillor Southgate should be appointed as the Parish Council’s representative on the school’s board of governors. All agreed.
PC Smith reported that there had been three thefts, including one from a parked vehicle, four incidents of criminal damage, two of which were caused by family members, and one assault. He also reported that there had been five suspicious incidents, ranging from telephone calls to youths playing football in the Compton Street play area and refusing to leave, and a vehicle (involved in a collision in Attwoods Drove) had been abandoned in a track off Compton Street. PC Smith added that he had carried out two speed gun checks in Compton and Shawford: only one vehicle had been found exceeding the limit and the driver subsequently attended a driver awareness course.
District Councillor’s Reports
Councillor Eleanor Bell reported that WCC and East Hampshire are planning to enter into a joint contract for the provision of environmental services. The Coalition Government’s decision to revoke Regional Spatial Strategies with immediate effect would also have an impact on housing development within the district. Councillor Beckett emphasised that the Government’s proposed changes meant that the Parish Council would need to ensure that it was closely involved in any changes to the Local Development Strategy (LDF). He also advised that, since WCC provided a subsidy of £800,000 towards concessionary fares, it was important that the Parish Council kept a close eye on plans to move this provision from the District to the County Council, with effect from 1 April 2011. Councillor Southgate subsequently agreed to represent the Parish Council at the meeting on concessionary fares on 27 July 2010 in the Winchester Discovery Centre.
Councillor Bailey reported that the resurfacing of Otterbourne Road should begin in September. She understood that engineers would use a ‘smaller type of stone’, which should reduce traffic noise. She also reported that Hampshire County Council had completed its traffic survey of Otterbourne Road and was in the process of drawing up plans to lower the speed limit between Southdown Road and the boundary with Otterbourne, where a 30 mph speed limit is currently in force. The chairman expressed surprise at this announcement because the survey undertaken by Mrs Caffyn, in the autumn of last year, had indicated a majority of parishioners (albeit a small one) in favour of retaining the current speed limit. The council had received assurances that the traffic data would be shared with the Parish Council, which would be allowed to comment before any decisions were taken on the speed limit. The clerk confirmed that this was correct. Following discussion, it was agreed that the clerk should contact HCC Highways Department to request that the traffic data, collected during the review of the speed limit along Otterbourne Road, should be made available to the Parish Council and that it should be allowed to comment, before the detailed consultation process begins.
Councillor Broomfield advised the council that he had encountered considerable problems in activating the flashing speed lights. One socket was in the wrong location, posts were missing and batteries had failed! However he was optimistic that these problems would soon be resolved. He had agreed that the council should meet 1/5th of the cost of the new batteries [£36.20]. (The speed lights are shared with Hursley, Otterbourne, Colden Common and Sparsholt.) Councillor Campbell-White informed the council that, because HCC had installed one of the sockets in the wrong location, he had negotiated a discount of 1/3rd on the cost of the installation. He also commented on Bill Goodyear’s excellent renovation work on the parish notice boards and the BT telephone kiosk: the gold crown on the latter was most impressive.
Councillor Southgate reported that he had had discussions with Councillor Bailey and HCC representatives about the positioning of a recycling bin, and free parking for those parents collecting their children from Compton school, at the South Winchester Park and Ride facility. He had also had discussions with Neil Broadbent, HCC, about widening, and cutting back vegetation on, the footpath from the Park and Ride to Compton.
Date of the next meeting
7.30 pm Tuesday 7 September in the Compton Room, Shawford Village Hall.