HAVE YOU COMMENTED YET? THE FUTURE OF WHITCHURCH DEPENDS ON IT

Responses to consultation on the Basingstoke & Deane draft Local Plan have to be made by:
4.00 p.m. on Friday 4th October 2013.

On-line responses can be made by clicking here

Keith Watts, Borough Councillor for Whitchurch, explained the meaning of the draft Local Plan for Whitchurch at a meeting on 24th September. 
A copy of his slides is here

Keith told the meeting that this draft is

  • A SOUND plan for Basingstoke & Deane
  • A GOOD plan for Whitchurch

and that the alternative would be planning by appeal in which Whitchurch people will have no say.

NOTE:
_____
Note that official comments need to be sent to Basingstoke and Deane.
See link in article above.

Comments (10)

  • Jacqui

    It is all very well to say that the schools and surgery will be expanded, but how do they propose to expand the roads? The current roads can’t cope with the current amount of residents at rush hour / school time, how will they cope with so many more?

    _____
    Edit note:
    Note that official comments need to be sent to Basingstoke and Deane.
    See link in article above.

  • Mary Johnston

    I think that the Local Plan is a sound plan for Basingstoke & Deane a good plan for Whitchurch.

    _____
    Edit note:
    Note that official comments need to be sent to Basingstoke and Deane.
    See link in article above.

  • Michael Wilkinson

    The question of necessary town centre parking to cater for the extra population has not been addressed.
    The problem of on street parking blocking or rendering dangerous all major roads to the centre of the town has not been addressed. This is particularly relevant to the proposed increased in school places at Testborne where the resultant increase in traffic will render the junction with Winchester Road even more dangerous.

    _____
    Edit note:
    Note that official comments need to be sent to Basingstoke and Deane.
    See link in article above.

  • GC Jones

    Any development in Whitchurch MUST take into account the additional traffic stresses that WILL be caused when accessing the town, particularly in an east to west direction. The Overton road to Whitchurch cannot & does not support existing levels of traffic when accessing the town centre or travelling north to Newbury. New standards must be employed when giving acces to the development from an easterly direction.
    How will this be dealt with, because there appears to be nothing on the existing plans?

    _____
    Edit note:
    Note that official comments need to be sent to Basingstoke and Deane.
    See link in article above.

  • David Hills

    Michael is right, but it is not just traffic which will of course increase if the station car park goes ahead, expansion of Testbourne school and the primary school. Is there a case for as much housing as is being proposed. Where will everyone work? More commuting? Some affordable housing for local people is probably necessary but there are empty industrial units until commercial expansion becomes a reality is it necessary?
    The plan seems to be based on an arbitrary notion of housing required without proper identification of where it is needed.

    _____
    Edit note:
    Note that official comments need to be sent to Basingstoke and Deane.
    See link in article above.

  • Hector Goldsack

    When regarding the commitments imposed upon us by the need for housing nationally I consider that the proposed Local Plan is a good one for Basingstoke and Deane council and good for Whitchurch too. If the problems that will inevitably arise in respect of the infrastructure are addressed. ,

    _____
    Edit note:
    Note that official comments need to be sent to Basingstoke and Deane
    See link in article above

  • George Oakham

    Dear All,

    I remember many years ago being part of a team that successfully challenged Basingstoke and Deane’s desire to build hundreds of houses behind the Knowlings – the arguments we made then have not changed – probably just been exacerbated.

    Point #1 – Size and Structure of our Community
    ==============================
    Why is it that the planners keep viewing Whitchurch as an expandable ‘Town’ – I know we are proud of our Town status but we have, if viewed logically, the road infrastructure of a constrained ‘village’? We have 5 narrow roads converging in an untidy manner to a mini roundabout that gets congested many times a day – for example, when a bus or large vehicle tries to manoeuvre let alone at school times when gridlock occurs to the frustration of all.

    Point #2 – Parking
    ===========
    Because of Point #1 – Each time a piece of land becomes free – it is built on! Car parking for the whole community and visitors seems to be ignored – we cannot in this modern age assume that the solution is bikes and buses – even getting to the railway station involves, for many, a car journey. I may be naive, but I believe that the majority of commuters with briefcases, laptops etc – do not want to arrive at the railway station hot and sweaty – damp from inclement weather to stand in the congested train that has insufficient coaches to even cope with current demand to London and elsewhere!

    Point #3 – Environmental considerations
    ==========================
    Building on Point #2, I have not seen any analysis on the demand for people to work within Whitchurch, so we build more houses here – presumable so we are seen to take our fair “share” so that people can then drive somewhere else to work, either in their own vehicle or public transport – how does this fit with reducing emissions?

    Point 4 – Infrastructure
    ===============
    This is well covered by previous contributors.

    So – I am willing to state I think this plan is SOUND – by being the LEAST WORST option.

    _____
    Edit note:
    Note that official comments need to be sent to Basingstoke and Deane
    See link in article above

  • Gareth Lewis

    Plan appears to be sound. However, current local traffic conditions are appalling, especially on weekdays in the morning rush hour, and after the schools finish in the afternoon.

    Failure due to the authorities providing off-road parking for residents on the three main arterial roads is not acceptable . The bottlenecks are the ‘sticking plaster’ solution to provide traffic calming on these routes. How our system of local government can solve these issues without adding additional burden and stress on traffic will be interesting to see. Additional housing will add to the problems.

  • Glynn Lewis

    I too must concur with George Oakham’s statement that the the Plan is SOUND – by being the least worst option.
    We have to address the unbelievable and dangerous congestion in the town, along with the developer’s self interested assumption that Whitchurch is an “expandable town”……expandable where? on which roads? and with what available parking? etc etc.

  • Keith Watts

    Re:Housing. This Plan will not produce any babies, the houses are required for people who are already alive or will be in the next fifteen years.

    “Taking our share” is no part of this plan for Whitchurch. Because of the “Sheer Folly” of the Council Leaders that I reported more than two years ago, there is a strong possibility of Whitchurch being required to take more houses, not fewer, while Basingstoke & Deane as a whole does not have an adopted Local Plan.

    I noted at the public meeting on 24th September the strong concern about traffic, parking and congestion and will begin at the Council meeting next Thursday to demand action to alleviate those in Whitchurch. While the plan was being drafted I was told by the Council’s Transport Consultants that planned growth in and around Whitchurch (includng Picket Twenty and Picket Piece) would have no significant effect. I didn’t accept it then and I will not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (*).