Village Gateways

After a long three and a half years since we first proposed village gateways, we now have a date for their installation. Works will be on 13th, 14th & 15th March 2017.

There will be gateways and new signs on all roads into Monxton village, apart from Amport Road, which will have just a new sign. There will also be extensions to the 30mph speed limit zone on both Broad Road and Green Lane.

Please click the links below to see the maps, sign and speed limit locations, and gateway and sign designs.

monxton-signing-and-gateway-design-plan-sheet-1-of-2

monxton-signing-and-gateway-design-plan-sheet-2-of-2

Andover Business Park: HCV Cap Removal

Removal of HCV Cap at Andover ‘Business’ Park

APPLICATION NO: 16/01512/OBLN
APPLICANT: Goodman Real Estate (UK) Ltd
PROPOSAL: Modify the planning obligation associated with Planning Permission 09/02392/OUTN by removal of Part II of Schedule 6 regarding HCV Traffic Demand Management systems
SITE: Andover Business Park, Monxton Road, Andover

Pete Parfrey, as a representative of Monxton Parish Council, attended a meeting of the Northern Area Planning Committee at TVBC Beechurst offices on 17th November where the application by Goodmans to remove the limit of 85 HCVs per hour was heard and considered.

It was interesting to hear Goodmans state that the current figure is only 41 HCVs per hour, and that their projections show they will not reach the 85 limit, despite building ever larger distribution, units requiring many heavy vehicle movements, such as the new ‘Angle 340’. The following statement is taken from their website today, “Global integrated property group, Goodman, can confirm work is underway on a state-of- the-art 336,300 sq ft industrial distribution unit at Andover Business Park”

They stated that they needed to remove the cap because of the way they had (over) allocated HCV slots in their leases, for instance, The Chalkhill Blue had been allocated 7 slots when they only needed one.

There were a large number of well-considered written objections from several local Parish Councils, including Monxton, and a representative from Abbots Ann spoke strongly against the motion. Monxton Parish Council also spoke against the motion. However, a representative from Goodmans dismissed the Parish Councils and residents statements as “not understanding” the application.

The objections were well supported by a number of local councillors, and the great majority of those who spoke were strongly against removing the cap. These councillors pointed out that, in order to secure the original planning permission,Goodmans had freely entered into an agreement with TVBC and thus agreed to the original restrictions.

It is worth noting that Highways England and HCC based their lack of objection solely on figures relating to the strategic highways network, and the only reference to local impact was to say that local villages are protected by the ANPR system. Pete Parfrey was one of a number of those present who pointed out that any system which is out of operation for over a year and a half in order to carry out repairs, cannot be regarded as a reliable or effective safeguard. There is also a lack of transparency, in that the system appears to rely on those who stand to be penalised to implement it.

The application was duly defeated, at which point the planning officer stated that this was both a technical and legal issue, and that councillors had to provide robust evidence that the cap was “serving a useful purpose”. She also, rather worryingly, stated that Goodmans had received planning permission for a “warehouse development”.

This is very different to the original application, which was for for a “Mixed Business Park”, with some warehousing, as illustrated in the Goodmans promotional video shown to councillors by planning officers at that original hearing.

Understandably, the councillors pointed out that they were not legal experts, giving TVBC the opportunity, once more, to refer the matter to TVBC’s Planning Control committee.

This is a re-run of the process which allowed the original application, which was also rejected locally , to be passed at a later date by Planning Control.

There is a very strong feeling locally that relaxing this condition would mark the beginning of a ‘slippery slope’, and seriously undermine trust and confidence in the planning system. What is the point of fighting for and agreeing restrictions, only to see them subsequently removed? If we are to have any influence on the outcome of this, and further applications, (which may well already be in the pipeline), we will need a co-ordinated show of force and support from affected local villages.

The next meeting is at 5.30pm on 20 December in Conference Room 1, Council Offices, Beech Hurst, Weyhill Road, Andover. The meeting is open to the public.

The agenda for the meeting, which includes the officers’ report for this application, will be available from 1.00pm at Customer Services, Romsey 5 clear working days before the meeting, or Customer Services at the Beech Hurst offices in Andover.  Additionally a copy of the agenda is available for viewing on the Council’s website (www.testvalley.gov.uk/view-applications).  Any update report will be available from 5.00pm on the day of the meeting at the committee.

Please speak up and make your voice heard. Get in touch with Pete Parfrey to do so by email (prparfrey@gmail.comor phone 01264 710516.

 

 

A303 resurfacing

Further resurfacing work will be undertaken to a section of the A303, to ensure it remains in a safe and serviceable condition. In order to carry out work as efficiently and safely as possible, the sections will be closed overnight between 10pm and 6am (Mon-Fri only) :

  • Westbound carriageway between Weyhill (A343 Hndred Acre roundabout) and Parkhouse Cross (A338) – Friday 11 March to Thursday 31 March 2016

Local access to the A303 westbound carriageway will be available from Thruxton village and the race circuit on certain dates. Please note that works will not take place on Thursday 24, Friday 25, Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 March due to a national embargo being in place for the Easter bank holiday weekend.

During the closure the main diversion route will take traffic via the A338, Ludgershall and A342 Andover Road.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to know more about the work please contact Highways England’s customer control centre:

Phone: 0300 123 5000
Email: info@highwaysengland.co.uk
Web: www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/The-A303-Resurfacing-Scheme-

Car Crash Abbotts Ann Road

P1020720 P1020721 (640x480) P1020724On Sunday night (13th December) a person from Little Anne was driving far too fast down the hill into Monxton and skidded across the road, hit the bollard removing it from the ground and then smashing against the wall of Field House, damaging many tiles. The car is a write-off.

The recently-installed bollards proved very effective in reducing the speed of the vehicle, and saving both the wall and the driver from serious damage.

The police and an ambulance attended but fortunately there were no serious injuries.

Monxton Parish Council will now seek to have the bollard re-installed and also add further bollards for more protection.

We are all concerned about speeding drivers through Monxton, so if you can volunteer your time for the Community Speedwatch Scheme it would be very helpful. Please contact Alan Barbone for more information.

 

Community Speed Watch – first session

Community Speed Watch had their first session this morning, Thursday 13 August, between 8am and 9am. There was a light volume of traffic, probably due to the summer holidays, with only 60 vehicles checked in one direction, heading towards Andover and Army HQ.

There were three speeding offenders, with one at 40mph and two at 38mph, and their details have now been passed to the Police. Everyone else was travelling around 28-32mph which is great and the scheme has had the desired effect.

 

 

Verges in Monxton

There’s recently been an article on the BBC website about roadside verges being the “last refuge for wild flowers”. (6 June 2015). Read the full article below or click the link.

Would you like to see more wild flowers on the verges in Monxton, or would you prefer them to be cut? If cut, then the grass cuttings should be removed. Or should the verges be cut once the cow parsley has finished flowering? Or should we just keep control of the nettles? We live in a Conservation Area – surely this should also be for conserving our environment? Your thoughts would be appreciated?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33029385

More than 700 species of wild plants – almost half of the native flora of the British Isles – are found on road verges, according to a study. 

Many plants once found in meadows now only thrive beside roads, where they provide essential habitat for insects, says charity Plantlife.

But it says one in 10 of the plants is at risk of extinction, in part because councils cut verges too early.

Local authorities say shorter verges are safer for drivers and pedestrians.

Dr Trevor Dines, botanical specialist for the charity, said more than 97% of meadows had been destroyed in England since the 1930s, with road verges becoming the last stretches of natural habitat for wildlife such as bees and other insects.

Cow parsley
Road verges can be a haven for wild plants like cow parsley

“Most of our farmland is now hostile to many of our wild plants and other wildlife due to the loss of wild flower meadows and the use of herbicides and fertilisers,” he told BBC News.

“The roadside verges are often the last refuge for wild flowers and the wildlife there depends on them.

“It’s almost as if plants have been squeezed out of farmland and now they’re being squeezed out of road verges from bad management.”

The Local Government Association has said keeping road verges well-maintained means motorists have a good line of sight and allows pedestrians to walk more safely alongside busy roads.

Full flower

Bluebells
Around one in ten of these wild plants is threatened with extinction

Plantlife International says road verges are of particular importance to rare plants such as Deptford pink, tower mustard and spiked rampion.

They also act as wildlife corridors and provide pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and moths.

The wild plant conservation charity says many of Britain’s road verges are being cut down in full flower threatening the wildflowers and the wildlife that depends on them.

It is calling on members of the public to sign a petition urging councils to do more to enhance the wildlife value of road verges.

Its management principles for road verges include:

  • Allowing plants to complete their full life cycle, ie to grow, flower and set seed
  • Removing grass cuttings
  • Allowing flowers to return over time as they spread naturally.

Dr Dines added: “If we just give them a chance, wildflowers can return.”