Tag Archives: Planning

NEWS: Hampshire Transport and Climate Emergency

A Day in Whitchurch? No its not like this; at least not all of the time.
Yet too often it is, with congestion, traffic danger, street furniture damaged, driving on pavements, pedestrians blocked, children at risk, cycling threatened, cracked footways and pollution…
Is that what we want?

Hampshire CC’s Local Transport Plan 4 which will affect us all is out for public consultation.
With Whitchurch due to grow further and with the resultant pressures there will be on the roads, rail and the environment, LTP4 really needs implementing now with over 50% of CO2 emissions coming from transport.

A really useful workshop meeting was held on Saturday (14th May) in Winchester for discussing responses to the HCC’c consultation on its Local Transport Plan 4 (LTP4), which sets Travel and related Climate Emergency policies for the next decade and onwards to 2050 – and importantly ‘putting people first’.
Walking and cycling were to the fore along with reduction of car use, improvements to public transport and meeting climate change targets.

Around 40 attended the meeting, mostly in person, but also including some on Zoom with good presentations from County Councillor Martin Tod and Phil Gagg of WinACC. There followed an excellent sharing of ideas along with group working on various aspects of the proposals.

The strongest message was that this a massive opportunity for change and it needs to be grasped.
Delay in dealing with the issues of Travel and Climate cannot be put off any longer.

Although there are some reservations relating mainly to the long timescale, the lack of budget commitment and unclarity on the methodology used. However the principal aims of this Plan are to be commended.
PLEASE respond to the consultation.


NEWS: It gets worse at Mill Springs

It is not only the below standard cycle barriers that restrict users that are causing problems, but now the path surface itself is breaking up, and that’s all before the cycle route / pathway is officially handed into public ownership.

There are now further problems developing on the Mill Springs shared Footpath/CycleWay.

Small mounds are appearing in the tarmac surface as organic material below that had not been removed is starting to push through the substandard construction. These ‘mounds’ are already starting to crack. Over the winter any water in them will freeze and expand, breaking up the surface further and creating a danger not only for cycling but also as a trip hazard to pedestrians and anyone with sight or mobility impairments.

The issue has been brought to the attention of Whitchurch Town Council as this should really be remedied before the path is handed over from the developer into public ownership.
If not dealt with now it may result in expensive maintenance and repair costs as well as potential legal claims which could then fall on local residents to pay. Most are starting to appear at the top end of the site but they are appearing lower down too.

The longer it is left the worse it will become.

Below – just some of the cracks already appearing.

NEWS: Value of Town Centre Cycle Parking

Whitchurch Town Council removed the ‘new’ town centre cycle parking as it was deemed to restrict access to some businesses – amongst the reasons it was claimed that it prevented them using the pavements to park on for loading/unloading.

The result is as expected – those visiting town by cycle are using shop windows, bollards, street signs and drainpipes to lean their cycles against.
This can justifiably upset some people.

The Town Council ran a survey to seek where parking was required and most respondees wanted parking in the town centre close to where they were visiting. However Councillors decided cycle parking should go elsewhere.

But cycling is good for trade
There are numerous studies that have shown provision of such facilities increases trade and they have made themselves into planning policies. Unfortunately Whitchurch lags behind and the centre with its car congested roads along with pavement parking is seen by some as making it unattractive to visit.

Missing the point
Some believe that painting some of the buildings, or smartening the town bollards with black and gold paint will revitalise the centre into a tourist hotspot. Yes they may make it visually smarter but they will not address one of the underlying blights – that too many unnecessary motor journeys clog the town with motor traffic, increase dangers, raise air pollution and create an unpleasant experience.
Lobbying will continue.

Meanwhile the Urban Cycling group has produced the following image.
It seems to be very pertinent to the situation in Whitchurch.

NEWS: Neighbourhood Plan and Cycling

Whitchurch Town Council has started a review of the Neighbourhood Plan.

The Whitchurch Neighbourhood Development Plan (WNDP) was passed by local Referendum in 2017 and adopted by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council. It includes policies, aims and proposals for development in the town that take place to 2029. It is now being reviewed.

Whilst the main focus of the Review is on setting locations for future housing development it also sets recommendations and policies for other strategic issues. These include sustainable travel and environmental concerns, which of course includes cycling, walking and also climate change.

There could be opportunities to set new or strengthen policies that enhance the cycling and walking experience in the town and local area. These may include provision of safe routes and facilities which would local improve safety, access, health, the economy and the environment.

A team is being set up which includes sustainable travel as one of its main considerations. Details are available via Whitchurch Town Council.

NEWS: Local Transport Plan Survey

Hampshire County Council are inviting all residents to have influence in the early development of the new Local Transport Plan by sharing your views.
This is extremely important for the future of sustainable transport in the County.

What will our transport system look like in 2050?
Should we not be asking for targets and change that 2050 to 2030?

What are we trying to achieve in terms of climate change, economy, the environment and society?
Should we not be demanding firm budget figures for the investment? That seems to be missing.

How will we change the way in which we plan and deliver transport?
To view more information and leave feedback, visit:
Feedback must be submitted directly to HCC by 28 February 2021.

NEWS: Whitchurch Neighbourhood Plan

Whitchurch Neighbourhood Plan sets out a number of local planning policies until 2029. It was determined by wide consultation with residents and agreed by Referendum.
Sustainable travel of cycling, walking and public transport makes up an important element.
The Town Council is currently looking for local volunteers to help review the Plan as there is potentially a lot more development on the horizon.