Villagers who live near the station will all remember that One 2 One started to construct a telecom mast at the end of the station car park without planning permission. Numerous residents and the Parish Council objected and Hart then issued an enforcement notice requiring them to reinstate the land to its original condition. They appealed against the notice and succeeded in having the enforcement notice quashed on a technicality that would take me a page to explain! The future of this site remains in the balance. (see footnote)
In the meantime Orange have applied for planning for a mast on a site in Osborne Way well away from any housing and sharing the site with an existing mast. Recognising that this site would meet local needs for mobile service from Orange, and that most other sites would be more unsatisfactory, the Parish Council have raised no objection to this site but have asked that Orange agree in principle that other operators be allowed to share this mast. ( see footnote )
The continuing expansion of Fleet is now starting to put pressure on the rural area near Crondall along the A287 near Mill Lane. A planning inquiry that lasted five days recently considered an application to build a 200 meter deep leisure centre on land between Bowenhurst Golf Club and the A 287. The Parish Council supported Crondall Parish Council in opposing the application, adding that if the Inspector approved the application a substantial contribution should be made by the developer to road improvements. Within days of this inquiry an application was submitted by Redfields Garden Centre to construct a new garden centre across the road from the proposed leisure centre on land that used to be used as a garden centre. Redfields is a long established business but their current site at Church Crookham is in an area zoned for housing and industrial use and they wish to relocate. The Parish Council has expressed the view that if permission is granted a significant financial contribution to road improvements is needed from Redfields as well. The A 287 is very busy, particularly at peak hours, and these two developments, if approved, will put a lot of extra pressure on the road.
The area next to 1 Sunnyside Cottages Newnham Road has long been used as a builders yard and a coal yard. Two large Calor Gas tanks appeared on the site recently without planning permission for change of use, though a planning application has now been made. We have established that the tanks are for the use of a Basingstoke private hire firm to refuel LPG powered cars that they mainly use for airport pickups. Some residents in the Carlton Close area had expressed concern, but other people have said that they regard the use as less of a nuisance than the coal yard or builders yard that preceded the tanks. The tanks are installed to Calor safety standards. The Parish Council decided not to object but to ask for conditions as to hours of use and the number of vehicle movements as well a prohibition of gas sales to the public.
Although the Highway Department inspect street lights regularly they are very dependent on people letting them know when a street light fails. The number to ring is 0800 50 60 60. When ringing please advise them of the road where the light is located and the column number of the light.
The next meeting of the Parish Council is on Wednesday 18th October 2000 at the Community Hall at 8pm
Footnote: The original web version of this report, and the paper version in Focus, was written in the mistaken belief that the telecom mast application in Osborne Way replaced the one in the station car park and was from the same operator. The fault was entirely mine and I apologise. The next paper edition of Focus will also contain a correction.
Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor