Consultations on Proposed Planning Reforms

At its meeting on 1 September Oliver’s Battery PC discussed the two consultation papers recently published by the Government on reform of the planning system in England; the PC is formulating responses to both consultations and recommends that residents actively consider their own individual responses – a higher number of responses will carry greater weight. It is expected that response templates specific to our area will be available later this month.

The first consultation paper is on Changes to the current planning system, mainly around housing numbers and formulae on affordability which are punitive to Winchester and arrive at a 50% increase in housing numbers from that expected. If you wish to challenge the assumptions behind this calculation of housing number, it is important to respond. The deadline for comments on this paper is 23.45 on Thursday 1st October 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-the-current-planning-system

The second consultation paper is the White Paper on Planning for the Future

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future

This White Paper proposes significant reforms to many aspects of the planning system, including a change in the way in which land is allocated for development, the type of policies which can be included in Local Plans and how controls over that development are implemented through development management. The means of delivering infrastructure via new development (s106 agreements – planning obligations) and Community Infrastructure Levy would also be changed. The new style of plan will look and feel very different to the current style as it will have digital and interactive format and the identification of land for development will follow a zoning approach based on three designations; growth, renewal and protected areas. This consultation period ends on the 29 October 2020.

The PC also discussed the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) 2020 that was approved for publication by WCC Cabinet on 18 August; residents may have seen media reports on the SHELAA.

The SHELAA will be launched formally for consultation soon and the PC will provide a response on the suitability or otherwise for land in our area; here again the PC also encourages residents’ individual responses.

M3 Junction 9 Winnall Roundabout (Winchester, Hampshire) Resurfacing – update

Update from Highways England:

We will be resurfacing sections of the Winnall Roundabout, to ensure the carriageway surface remains in a safe condition for our customers.

For the safety of our workforce and customers we will be closing the roundabout and all approach roads over four nights (between 9pm and 6am) starting on Tuesday 21 July 2020.

Roads within the closure will include:

  • M3 junction 9 northbound exit slip road
  • M3 junction 9 southbound exit slip road
  • A272 Spitfire Link from the A31 roundabout
  • Easton Lane link between the Tesco roundabout and junction 9
  • A33 southbound link from Kings Worthy to junction 9

Various diversion routes will be in place during the closure using Winchester town centre (for closures of A34, Spitfire Link, southbound exit slip road, Easton Lane and the Kings Worthy link); and via the M3 and A303 for the closure of the northbound exit slip road.

Signage will be displayed on the M3 prior to junction 11 to allow road users the option to exit at the junction for Winchester.

Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles on blue light calls only (under escort by a traffic management vehicle).

Please be aware that due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic, all our works are subject to change due to available resource by our Supply Chain, as well as possible adverse weather conditions – please check the yellow signs placed in advance at the junction for confirmation of the closures dates/timings.

We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience or disruption during our work. If you have any questions, or if you’d like you know more about our work please email us at info@highwaysengland.co.uk or call us on 0300 123 5000.

Alternatively, to view our weekly report of full closures please visit https://highwaysengland.co.uk/roads, scroll down and under Roadworks click on ‘Check for Roadworks’, then scroll down and under Planned full closures click on ‘Check for Roadworks’ (this will open a Microsoft Excel file that will allow you to filter by day and road).

Amended Planning Application for the vacant site behind Oliver’s Battery shops – UPDATE

13 July update: WCC’s Planning Officer has confirmed the final date for receipt of public comments on this application has changed from 14 July to 27 July. The PC’s own comments (objection) have been submitted and are available on the WCC planning website.
(AMENDED PLANS 30.06.2020) Redevelop the land at the rear of 93-95 Oliver’s Battery Road South to provide seven new dwellings.   Planning Application Ref. 19/02852/FUL   

Residents’ attention is to drawn to an amended planning application that has been submitted by Vivid Homes for the vacant plot behind the shops in Oliver’s Battery Local Centre. Vivid’s proposal is for 7 new dwellings with 14 parking spaces and open space, and 8 new garages to replace the existing garages.

This scheme replaces a previous proposal by the same applicant that the PC submitted an objection to via the Winchester City Council planning website; the PC considered the amended scheme at its meeting on 7 July and concluded the same serious concerns remain and is submitting a further objection.

The land forms a significant part of the Oliver’s Battery Local Centre as defined by Winchester’s Local Plan planning policy and is therefore designated for retail and commercial use; the proposed application seeks to convert the land use to residential.

The PC’s main concerns are that the existing opportunities on the site for local businesses and employment would be lost forever if the proposed scheme is consented, together with increased traffic through the village centre and at the Badger Farm Road junction.

The PC invites residents to review the amended scheme and submit their own comments at the Winchester City Council planning website. Closing date for public comments is 14 July and the amended scheme can be viewed here or by going to www.winchester.gov.uk/planning:

https://planningapps.winchester.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage

Playground re-opened

The playground has now re-opened.  Please follow the advice below and on the signs that have been put up.

Follow the current social distance guidelines when visiting and encourage your children to do the same.

If the playground is busy, consider coming back at a later time. Talk to your children about this possibility before visiting.

Wash your and your children’s hands before and after visiting. Take hand sanitiser with you and consider taking a bottle of water for if your children’s hands get covered in mud. Ensure your children are using hand sanitiser frequently.

Follow and adhere to all current government advice in addition to the above guidance.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Play area at the Recreation Ground

The Parish Council will be reviewing opening the play area and other facilities at the Recreation Ground at its meeting on Tue 7 July and consequently the earliest that the play area will reopen is Wed 8 July.

Update on Household Waste & Recycling Centre booking system

Here is an update from Stuart Jarvis at Hampshire County Council on the Household Waste & Recycling Centre booking system. This has been the source of frustration for some so the explanation below is welcomed:

 

Whilst we have effectively solved the nuisance traffic queue issues, we now have a different frustration with residents not always able to secure a booking to visit an HWRC when they wish to.  Whilst we will do all we can to address this, while we have any social distancing restrictions in place (and we are awaiting guidance on the latest announcements this week in relation to HWRC operations) sites will always operate at below pre-Covid levels.  The current national rules mean we are operating at around 25% capacity, and therefore demand, which is always higher at this time of year, is likely to be in excess of available capacity.

The booking system has now been in place for a number of days, and we have been able to monitor its operation and site useage to inform a review of the arrangements, based on evidence rather than conjecture.  We have also been able to take into account the comments we have received, and we are now making some further adjustments to the booking arrangements.

From next week onwards we will begin to increase the number of available slots at each site by enabling more visits to be booked in each 30 minute window.  I know that there has been concern and criticism over the use of the 30 minute window, but this is based on a misconception of how the system actually works – we do not limit the bookings to 1 visitor for each parking bay per half hour, and we will now increase this further – effectively meaning we will accommodate an additional 5,000 visits per week across the network.

I am aware that some residents have been frustrated by not being able to book a slot, and find it inconvenient to need to repeatedly log in or use the phone system to try to get a slot.  We wanted to avoid the issues raised in other areas when booking systems were introduced, and all slots were immediately booked up weeks ahead, so our system was limited initially to 48 hours ahead and slots were released in tranches to allow timely bookings to be made.  We will therefore be revising the system to allow some slots to be booked up to 7 days ahead, but will keep releasing additional slots progressively up to the day before – thereby allowing greater flexibility for different user’s requirements.  Whilst it is not a major issue, to date we are seeing a small percentage (c 2%) of ‘no shows’ in booked slots, which is obviously a frustration for those trying unsuccessfully to book slots.

I hope this information is helpful – and I attach a link to a press release announcing these changes.

Regards
Stuart Jarvis
Director of Economy, Transport and Environment
Tel: 01962 845260
Email: stuart.jarvis@hants.gov.uk

 

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)

new booking system for Hampshire’s HWRCs will take effect from Monday 15 June, with residents able to book a 30-minute slot when the booking system goes live on Thursday 11 June.

From 15 June, all HWRCs will revert to their normal summer opening hours of 9am until 6pm, seven days a week. Anyone wishing to visit a site will need to book a slot in advance. People will be able to book a 30-minute slot up to 48 hours in advance. Bookings can be made online at: www.hants.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling

Telephone bookings, for those without access to the online system, can be made by calling 023 8017 9949.

Anyone wishing to book a slot will need to provide their name, car registration and, for online bookings, an email address. Bookings will be limited to one slot per household per week. More information about using the HWRCs is available online.

Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return

Here is the publication of the dates set for the period for the exercise of public rights:
Notice of Public Rights Accounts for the Year Ended 31 March 2020

Here are the documents required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, for the financial year ended 31 March 2020:

Section 1 Annual Governance Statement 2019 20
Section 2 Accounting Statements 2019 20
Annual Internal Audit Report 2019 20
Explanation of variances
20_bank_reconciliation_2019-20 – 6 May 2020