Open Meeting 19th March 2013, 7 pm in St Faith’s Church Hall
Apologies had been received from 9 people, 68 were present
1 Introductions were made by the chairman who thanked the secretary then itemised some of the local issues on the agenda.
2 Treasurer’s report
We had about 40 fully paid-up members before this meeting, approximately 20 more now joined. Our £208 balance had been reduced by costs of printing and hall hire. New membership fees return the balance to about £200
The secretary said she has pursued the matter of the listed telephone box with John Townsend (conservation officer); re-glazing has commenced and painting is on this year’s schedule May – October. She has contacted Wilkinsons in broadly complimentary terms but regretting the impact of their excessively large delivery vehicles; their reply was polite, dismissive and completely unhelpful. An email was sent to Hampshire police regarding the use of residential roads by large articulated lorries although the area has a weight restriction. The email has been forwarded to Havant police, but nothing more has been heard from them. Notice of a public meeting at HBC Plaza was read out. This important meeting is about the production of a community plan and use of the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). (The full text of the notice has already been sent to those on our distribution list.)
4 Q&A on local issues
Market Parade: in response to a question from the floor Bill Woods said he had been contacted by the developer of Market Parade, but no detail was yet available. Tim Dawes said as a key gateway area it should be closely monitored. The phrase “associated land’ does not include Havant Park or indicate that it is threatened. Councillors agree that this northern area has long been in need of attention. Other comments included – more shops would be inappropriate, small businesses lack support, the height of the new development is critical, no matter what form the development takes it will become another eyesore if there is no provision for cleaning and maintenance, evidence of neglect is widespread in Havant.
East Street: Tim Dawes said there was no further news, it is disappointing that the housing allocation had been reduced by only 1 from the Barratt plan, no other developer is known to have come forward. This difficult site has multiple landowners, as has Market Parade. The poor state of building was noted, with the suggestion that owners are waiting for them to fall down. Cllr Branson (from the floor) observed the effects of planning blight and said she would investigate possibilities of following up with the owners of neglected buildings. She also said that no planning applications have yet come forward for Market Parade or East Street. Before they do, there would normally be a Development Consultative Forum which the public are encouraged to attend.
Warblington Field; in response to a question from the floor about work having already started, Annette Harley said that the plan includes road widening, but not at the pinch point. The site entrance remains as planned. There was a comment from the floor that 2 Transit sized vehicles were unable to pass. The impact of construction traffic has not yet been felt.
Homewell House: no questions were put, nor comments made.
Hospital Tiles: no questions were put, nor comments made.
Glove Factory 59-61 West Street: no questions were put, nor comments made.
5 Presentation by John Pike (Planning Design and Heritage Consultant)
The speaker introduced himself with his history in this field. His overview of planning was “It is about managing the environment in the public interest.” His talk was accompanied by a wide range of slides illustrating his points; these covered:
⦁ Planning can’t solve all problems or necessarily make things happen (Redknapp Site).
⦁ Once a development is started permission is valid for ever, council has no power to order completion.
⦁ Buildings can be protected by listing or being in a conservation area.
⦁ Listed buildings can be threatened by neglect.
⦁ Applicants for planning permission can and do appeal to a government inspector if refused by local council.
⦁ Rights to permitted development to own house may be removed under Article 4, but this is unreasonable if surrounding buildings have already been altered.
⦁ Conservation does not equate to preservation of all old buildings.
⦁ Style of new build may include replicating features in modern materials or using traditional materials on modern design.
⦁ Variety is an asset in Portsmouth, perhaps also in Havant.
⦁ Clutter such as advertising and excess signage detracts from street-scape.
⦁ Spaces between buildings need attention – e.g. paving, street names
⦁ Future of Buildings at risk depends on money being available
⦁ It is sometimes difficult to know what to do with old, empty buildings when integrity of interiors would be harmed by conversion to residential use.
⦁ Local authorities need to know what plans are liked as well as those which are not.
⦁ (replying to question from floor) Listing a building may take up to a year, unless it is immediately threatened.
⦁ (replying to question from floor) Compulsory purchase orders are expensive, so councils avoid them if possible. Threat of enforcement usual produces the desired result.