Protesters meet at Daniel Park (click to enlarge)

There was much anger being expressed at Daniel Park this morning as local residents met to see exactly where Basingstoke Council are wishing to allocate land for a highway across Daniel Park.
Over 40 people gathered together with local Borough and Town Councillors at the entrance to the Park.

Last year Whitchurch more votes than anywhere else for Daniel Park to remain as Open Space in perpetuity as a Queen Elizabeth II Field, in celebration of the her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. The national scheme was being administered by the charity Fields in Trust.

The proposed route into the Park

Officers propose road
Now officers from Basingstoke Council are presenting a report requesting that a 20 metre strip through the Park is excluded as they may wish to build an access road to 200 houses.

Such a road as well as adversely affecting local properties would almost certainly impact upon the park’s football area and other facilities as well as creating more traffic on Alliston Road and at the notorious Micheldever Road junction.

Conflicting information
However, a spokesperson for the Borough Council told this website only this week that:

“no plans for a road have been put forward”

The report being presented next Tuesday states:

“If sufficient land is not excluded from the deed of dedication of Daniel Park, the council would have to seek the formal consent of the FiT to construct an access road.”

Campaigners say the latter is a clear intention of plans for a road and contradicts the public statement.

One resident stated:

What angers me is the duplicitous way that the BDBC and Fields in Trust have deliberately misled the residents of Whitchurch. It is a total and utter breach of trust. Is it any wonder why people distrust their borough councils when they act in this manner.

Local residents have also contacted Prince William as Patron of the Queen Elizabeth II scheme for support.

Residents discuss the plans in advance of Tuesday's meeting

Meeting on Tuesday
Local Borough Councillor Keith Watts who has inexplicably been kept in the dark over the Council officers’ plans is urging residents to attend the Committee Meeting next Tuesday, March 6th at the Basingstoke Civic Offices to show their displeasure at the present situation.

The meeting commences at 6.30pm in Deanes Building at the Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke.

Comments (2)

  • Eric Dunlop

    The dedication of Daniel Park as a Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Park was won fairly and squarely through the votes of the Whitchurch people. They did not vote for a road!

    The celebration of the dedication as a place of sport and recreation is to be part of the Borough Wide “Festival Celebration” but, organising the celebrations at Whitchurch has been delegated to the Whitchurch Festival Committee. There are at present no funds available from the Borough purse to aid funding this Whitchurch Celebration, all funding will be raised through public donations gained via the other events put on by the Festival Committee such as the Crowning of our Carnival Queen and Princess, the annual Pub Race and the Carnival Procession and Carnival Fete.

    The Celebration of the Dedication of the park will take place on July 7th but before that can happen serious planning has to be done none of which can take place until the Borough provides “Gated Vehicular Access” to the park because as it stands at this time no vehicle can safely gain access to the site and I am informed that the Ambulance had great difficulty gaining access to attend an incident in the park.

    With all of these problems in mind, I urge residents to attend next Tuesday’s meeting to vocally respond to the speakers. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm in the Borough Offices.

    It is only by being there that you will convince the Council that you disaprove of these underhand last minute tactics. Another point to ponder, if Basingstoke had won the vote with any of their six park sites that they entered, I suspect that ample funding would be available for the celebration.

  • D M Barat

    The new Localism Act 2011 says the following,

    “The Government is committed to passing new powers and freedoms to town halls. We think that power should be exercised at the lowest practical level – close to the people who are affected by decisions, rather than distant from them. Local authorities can do their job best when they have genuine freedom to respond to what local people want, not what they are told to do by central government. In challenging financial times, this freedom is more important than ever, enabling local authorities to innovate and deliver better value for taxpayers’ money.”

    Does not our Town Council have the right to leave the control of Basingstoke and Deane and, with like-minded representatives from the local rural villages construct an administrative body that better represents the wishes of the local population?

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