Introduction on our community
Oliver’s Battery is a “spur” to the south of the main urban area of the City of Winchester, the historic capital of England. The built-up part of Oliver’s Battery is almost triangular, and surrounded on two sides by open land. To the west, in Hursley Parish, is the South Winchester Golf Course with a public footpath running across it. There is a large open field to the south, with public rights of way along the boundaries and desire lines crossing the field. There is a network of rural public rights of way outside of Oliver’s Battery. All this allows residents to very easily walk, ride and cycle into lovely Hampshire countryside.
Oliver’s Battery is a comfortable, quiet place to live, with outstanding views of surrounding fields, woods and downlands. There is easy access to Winchester (and beyond by train – London approximately one hour away), the countryside, the motorway network, a regional airport and two major ports.
Oliver’s Battery also benefits from a range of local shops, a primary school and pre-school, a church and hall, Oliver Cromwell’s Battery (listed by Historic England as a Scheduled Monument), a recreation ground, a wildlife conservation area and a butterfly reserve.
Its location and history are part of what makes this area special. Not surprisingly, people like to live here and have been happy to remain here, a significant number of them for many years.
The most recent survey of community opinion can be found in the Oliver’s Battery Community Plan (2018), under the ‘OB Plan and Community Involvement’ tab. Analysis reveals strongly held views on the value of the peace and quiet, protection of the surrounding countryside, access to better bus services and the junction of Badger Farm Road and Oliver’s Battery Road South. See Oliver’s Battery Plan for more details on history, geology, church, school and pre-school, recreation ground, wildlife conservation area, butterfly reserve etc.
The Council remains mindful of these findings, continuing to work with both Winchester City Council (WCC) and with Hampshire County Council (HCC), in order to maintain and, where possible, improve the environment, road safety, transport, facilities and amenities, sense of community and involvement. Our on-going commitment to the community’s usage of the countryside can be seen in the Council’s nomination of the large open field (Texas Field) at our southern boundary as an Asset of Community Value, and our successful defence against the landowner’s challenge at First Tier Tribunal.
The composition of our community is changing, year on year, with many households now comprising younger families, attracted by the quality of life possible here. Older style housing, bungalows and small houses are being refurbished and extended into large family homes, with a consequent diminution of existing housing stock suitable for older residents.
However, younger residents bring new skills, enthusiasm and energy to our community. The proposed refurbishing of St Mark’s Church Hall will improve facilities for community groups to meet. There are a range of local groups, for example the Community Film Club, the 3rd Winchester City Brownies, the WI (who have returned to St Mark’s Church Hall), the Countryside Group and two choirs.
The arrival of the first Oliver’s Battery Community Christmas Tree in December 2019 signals a further development for our small community. The newly formed Events Group will be working across the community, holding more events and activities throughout the year. (If you are interested in getting involved yourself, please email firstname.lastname@example.org) It aims to strengthen friendly ties across and around our community, helping to make Oliver’s Battery an even better place to live!
A small community, friendly and welcoming, work continues to improve the quality of life and experiences for all those who live in Oliver’s Battery.