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CALA Homes Plans Approved
The fate of the Coors Brewery site reached a significant milestone on the 26th November when EHDC’s Planning Committee gave permission to CALA Homes, based on the June 2020 revisions to their earlier application (ref: 25050/059).
Although consultations with EHDC Planners, Alton Town Council and The Alton Society have achieved some notable improvements, there are serious issues remaining, despite strong support from our Alton councillors at the planning meeting.
Included on the ‘plus’ side are:
- Some modest improvements to the Wey Walk link from the town centre, including a repositioning of the pedestrian crossing over Draymans Way.
- Some widening of the green space around the river, inside the site itself.
- Improved footpath links, and HCC taking responsibility for the path to the station.
- Environmental improvements, eg EV charging points, more tree planting, swift boxes and hedgehog fences.
- There is also a suggestion that that the River Wey should be restored to a more ‘natural’ state, as it flows through the site.
The main issues that remain include:
- The proposed layout at the Draymans Way entrance lacks the open space and ‘civic amenity’ that we would like to see at this vitally important pedestrian junction, and still fails to provide a really direct link into the town centre.
- The ‘community hub’ proposed for the ground floor of a four storey apartment block is totally unsuitable, in our view. It has no specified purpose, is far too small for a multi-use performance space, and has inadequate parking.
- Alarmingly, there has been no attempt by CALA Homes to build in the renewable energy systems that will be required by new government regulations, meaning that the heating provision for these 220 dwellings will almost certainly be obsolete by the time they are built.
We remain hopeful that the huge demolition and groundwork tasks will allow time for further progress on some of these issues.
Our Autumn 2020 Newsletter is available. Click here for a browse through the online copy.
Other Latest News
Outstanding Services to Alton Award 2020
See next page under Awards for details.
Working across Hampshire, Community First is working with districts with three clear aims:
- Any Hampshire residents requiring support and advice in this crisis should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hampshire First is continuing some of its own services such as transport, shopmobility and wellbeing service and will endeavour to put people in contact with their local community support.
- Do you want to volunteer? Go to http://www.volunteerwessex.org to register your interest.
- “We are here to support our members,” said a spokesman for the charity. “If you have any questions, contact us. We’ll be updating twice weekly. Go to http://www.cfirst.org.uk/community-first-enews/ to get on our mailing list or email email@example.com “
Tim Houghton, Community First’s CEO, said: “We are working with a wide range of agencies and groups to ensure that elderly and vulnerable members of our communities are supported at this difficult time.
“If you are worried about a neighbour, friend or isolated relative we can signpost you to the local community support that’s available’.
“Across our communities we have an army of volunteers coming forward to help those most in need. We want to build on this social action and provide people with the tools to carry on this essential role.
“If you are coordinating a team of volunteers and would like to offer support please contact us via our website http://www.cfirst.org.uk and a member of our rapid response team will be in contact with you.”
Alton Society Grants
Hop over to our Grants Application Page for news of the grants recently awarded to local community initiatives. Click on “About Us” then click on Grant Applications.
Friends of Alton Station
Friends of Alton Station are working hard to raise funds to save our Heritage Footbridge. The first part of the plan was to rescue the bridge. This has been partially successful and what has been saved is stored at a local firms so it can be refurbished and restored to its former glory. The Friends plan is to put it back up over the Mid Hants Railway(MHR) Line’s track as a viewing platform. MHR have expressed no objection. Visit the Friend’s website and make a donation, or visit their Facebook Page.
Wey Valley Radio 101.1FM and online
We have a regular slot on Tuesday morning at 10a.m. Tune in and have a listen! We give an update on local issues and Society news.
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 meadows at 10am on the third (3rd) Sunday of the month. Our next session has had to be cancelled. Keep an eye on our website for more information.
The Friends are 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)! Normally we finish with a coffee or tea and a biscuit. However at present we ask the volunteers to bring their own refreshments for a chat after the session.
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 £12.50 subscription is worth it just for that! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.