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

Shared Creative Vision for Alton

As reported in the Herald, as part of the recent consultation on the provision of community facilities on the Molson Coors site, representatives of a number of performing arts organisations in Alton have produced a ‘strategy’ document explaining their aspirations for a new arts centre. This is based on a growing realisation that the town needs a properly equipped multi-functional performance space which would become the focal point for the many performance and arts groups in our town.

Here is a link to a Vision for the Arts in Alton, which describes preliminary ideas for a mixed-use, community based facility. Do let us know what you think. And if you’d like to send direct feedback to the authors, email Chris Gardner at chris@thegardnerfamily.org

Housing Development – Land East of Selborne Road

We are extremely disappointed with Miller Homes’ proposals, presented for public viewing at the Assembly Rooms on the 23rd March.

Here is a summary of our main concerns:

  1. Very mediocre design and layout – a dull mass of detached dwellings, sprawling up this very exposed hillside. It could be a housing estate anywhere!
  2. A single access road, feeding a multitude of cul de sacs, vulnerable to congestion and the risk of blockages.
  3. A housing mix too heavily weighted towards 3 / 4 bedroom houses.  Little regard for Alton’s acute shortage of  1 / 2 bedroom units.
  4. Inadequate open space for such a large estate, just one patch serving the highest part of the site. No evidence of even a children’s play area (- for 249 houses!)
  5. Careless positioning of houses, causing damage to the skyline – especially in the Butts area, and impacting a number of residents whose houses border the site, especially on the northern side.
  6. Better news on parking – the number of on site spaces meets the Neighbourhood Plan standards, although the visitor parking spaces need a rethink – they are too distant from many of the houses.
  7. There are no attempts at low carbon energy generation or energy-saving saving measures. Not even solar panels – these would be much cheaper to install in a new development than after the event).  A missed opportunity.

Given the site’s important gateway location we feel the developer must look seriously at re-working this scheme.  Otherwise it risks causing permanent damage, and will come nowhere near meeting the aspirations we have for our town’s future development.

Click here to see our response in full.

The Miller website http://www.selborne-road.co.uk/proposal.aspx has some of the plans on it.

Other News

Replacement Sports Centre

Regrettably,  East Hampshire’s District Council decided to approve the Reserved Matters application for the replacement Sports Centre on the 5th March. This was despite a valiant fight by the pressure group Alton Sports Centre Acton Group (ASCAG), to which we gave our full support. Thank you to all those residents who took the trouble to lobby councillors on this hugely important issue.

(See our Spring Newsletter for further comment; go to About Us then Publications and click on Spring 2018 Newsletter)



Other News

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.

Alton Health Review The North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group have published the long awaited report on the Alton Health Review – follow the link and have a look.  We have decided  with the Alton and District Resident’s Association (ADRA) to propose an Alton monitoring group or Forum to ensure the CCG keep to their targets and deliver on the proposals in the report.

Molson Coors Brewery Site – It has been announced that CALA Homes have an option to purchase the site.   Representatives of the Alton Society have meet with them and discussed the Development Brief for the site, our own submissions and the exciting opportunities the site offers our town centre  For our alternative proposals click here.

We support the new community radio station called Wey Valley Radio. We have given a  grant of £200 towards new equipment. WVR broadcasts on 101.1 FM. It features local news, comments and music.  Tuesday morning at 10a.m. is a regular slot for the Alton Society (usually Bob Booker). Go and have a listen!

Flood Meadows –  Come and join the Friends of Flood Meadows to help with tidying, clearing litter and some maintenance. We meet at the Tanhouse Lane end of the meadows at 10am on the third (3rd) Sunday of the month (next date is 17th June 2018). 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.

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

The Town Team will now be run by Alton Businesses through Alton Matters & Alton Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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.

Meanwhile we continue to have difficulty in understanding why it is taking so long to put a signpost in place to direct people to the Town Centre from the station.  Plus there should be a sign directing folk from the High St to the Library and Alton Community Centre. We now have evidence of visitors who were unable to find the Town!

We are pushing for the railings in Bakers Alley to be repainted.

We have met with BT Openreach to discuss the area of land in front of their building. This was very helpful.  There could be improvements to enhance this area.  It lies next to the new improved seating area at the junction of Station Rd opposite the Railway Arms.

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