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Alton from Windmill HillWelcome to the Alton Society. We hope you find our website interesting and informative. We would love to hear from you so tell us what you think, both good and bad! Contact us at thealtonsociety@gmail.com

Latest News

Packed AGM at the Alton House Hotel on 17th November

Up to 60 members and guests turned up at our AGM including 3 students from Alton College. Wonderful to see Tanya Applegath receive her award (see under “About us”  then “Awards” for the full story) as making an Outstanding Contribution to Alton.

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Tanya receiving her award from chairman Nicky Branch

Jim Dickinson, our Tree Expert and Martin Gibbs who organises the Flood Meadows group received gifts for the voluntary work they both do safeguarding our environment.

Lee Dance presented a talk and answered questions on water management which was fascinating and illuminating. Lee is Head of Water Resources at South East Water. Despite the challenges of inappropriate development, plastic pollution, climate change and litter, the Society is in good health and will continue to promote the solutions which they feel are needed to tackle these problems.

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Lee Dance – Guest Speaker

Note of Lee’s answer to one of the questions asked at the AGM  which was “What was the reason behind the work in Windmill Hill?” Answer:  South East Water invested £1.5 million into upgrading its water network around Windmill Hill, Hampshire. This investment will help maintain crystal clear drinking water flow and water pressure to Windmill Hill and surrounding areas for years to come as the population grows.

Important events coming up:-

2.  EHDC Planning Meeting to decide the Reserved Matters application for 243 homes on Land East of Selborne Road (Borovere Farm) – Tues 18th December, at Alton College.

This is Alton’s largest housing scheme to come to committee in recent years, and for once the Planning Committee will meet here in Alton.  If you have concerns, or if you simply want to hold our councillors to account, the meeting is open to all residents.  It starts at 6.00 pm, and takes place in the Martin Read Hall.  (If coming by car, aim for the Edward Road car park).  (Application Ref: 30021/065) (RE)

3.  ATC Planning and Transport Committee Meeting to review the modifications made by Crest Nicholson to the plans for 280 homes on the Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital site – Wed 21st November at the Town Hall.

This is where our local town councillors will take a position on these revised plans prior to them going to the EHDC Planning Committee.   The meeting starts at 7.00 pm, with an opportunity to talk to individual councillors informally, prior to the meeting, from 6.30 pm.   You can also address the committee, with the prior agreement of the chairman.  (Application Ref: 30021/066).

This is the biggest development to hit us yet.  (Click here for our comments in full).  Whilst the developers have responded to some of the problems raised at the June consultation, there are many issues remaining, including:

  • the potential desecration of the butterfly meadows,
  • the idea of a ‘country park’ (a nonsense in our view),
  • a deplorable lack of sustainable energy design, and
  • inadequate pedestrian links.

The deadline for comments has passed.

Butts Bridge Diversions

The diversion plans for light traffic, due to be introduced from January for 6 months, have now been confirmed.  For details (including one way routes and road closures), go to:  Butts Bridge Diversion Plan (RE)

New Grants Policy

The Alton Society is delighted to announce that it has a new Grants Policy! This is designed to help local organisations promote new projects or support existing ones. It can be used to start up a new group. The criteria is outlined in the Alton Society Grants and you can apply by completing the application form.

The upper limit will be £250 per grant, and the application must tie in with the Society’s aims and objectives. In the past we have helped small groups such as Wey Valley Radio to buy equipment and supported the Friends of Alton Station in trying to save Alton’s historic railway bridge. This new policy will help us decide who needs assistance, and it will guide applicants on what they need to do to apply.


Other News

Friends of Alton Station

Friends of Alton Station have launched their Phase I  funding target to save our Heritage Footbridge. The target is £170,000.00. The plan is to rescue the bridge, refurbish it and restore it to its former glory. The Society has already made a donation. If you want to help then visit their website and make a donation.

Wey Valley Radio 101.1FM and online

We have a regular slot on Tuesday morning at 10a.m.  Tune in and have a listen!

Friends of Flood Meadows – Community Action

Come and join the Friends of Flood Meadows to help with tidying, clearing litter and maintenance. We meet at the Tanhouse Lane end of the meadows at 10am on the third (3rd) Sunday of the month (next date is 20th January 2019). It is a family friendly group.  Children are welcome and it helps them to learn about our local environment. Bring gardening gloves and wellingtons (though we do have some spares)! We always finish with a coffee or tea and if you are lucky a chocolate biscuit.

Trees

Did you know that we have a member who is an expert on Trees? If you join the Society then he will be happy to give you advice free – your £12.50p subscription is worth it just for that! Send us an email at thealtonsociety@gmail.com if you are interested.

Check our Sustainability Group report with essential advice on Water Use under the Sustainability page.

Alton’s Town Team Matters – Latest

Great British High St competition. We did not win but got through to the last 13! 

The Town Team is run by Alton Businesses through Alton Matters, Alton Chamber of Commerce and Industry and some community groups who care about the prosperity of our Town. This includes the Alton Society and Alton and District Residents Association.

We completed a walk through the Town in August to check on what needs to be done to ensure we are an attractive destination for visitors. Missing signs continue to frustrate us.

Some retail premises need repairs to their frontages and funds to assist them will be available this Autumn. Litter black spots were noted and it may be possible to help some premises by funding cigarette butt bins on their buildings.

We are pushing for the railings on Crown Hill and in Bakers Alley to be repainted.

As a result of our efforts, BT Openreach carried out a refurbishment in front of their building. This is an excellent result and they have been thanked for their efforts.

There is a plan to complete a Business Survey. The idea is to find what works and what doesn’t for Alton’s businesses. We are sure that a number of items will be raised including business rates, car parking charges and rents.

Our objective is to ensure that Alton is an attractive and pleasant Town to visit and spend time in.