There have been weekend burglaries during the early evening in Burford Close, River Way, and Woodbury Close. Foot Patrol Officers in West Christchurch have noticed ground floor windows left open and the property apparently empty. This is asking for trouble!
Two men have been calling on Christchurch residents claiming to represent an alarm company called ATC Security and falsely claiming to be working with the police because of burglaries in the area. If they call on you don’t let them into your home and notify the police on 101
Dorset Police report a 13% drop in crime rates in 2012, the fifteenth consecutive year that they have achieved a reduction. In a national poll they came top for level of public confidence in the police.
New Police Tsar
The independent candidate, ex-police chief Martyn Underhill, was elected on a very low turnout. Martyn has promised to further reduce crime whilst increasing detection rates and acquiring additional funding for Dorset police – we wish him well with that one in the current climate. Our umbrella organisation ACRA will be writing to him and suggesting a meeting later on in 2013 once he has come to grips with his new job
The Future of CBC
Speaking of ACRA, at its December meeting delegates drawn from all areas of Christchurch discussed the impending financial difficulties of both Dorset and Christchurch. If you haven’t read it before, now would be a good time to read the account of our meeting with CBC to explore the rationale of investigating the possible closure of the Civic Offices (www.wcresidents.co.uk and go to latest updates and click on the entry marked 23rd October ACRA Meeting of 19th October)
A lively debate produced some surprising and interesting questions to be addressed: should Christchurch and East Dorset try to break away from Dorset County Council and together with New Forest Council attempt to form a Unitary Authority; should Christchurch and East Dorset stop hedging their bets and go for a full scale amalgamation; could we reduce the number of ward Councillors with a consequent financial saving?
If you have a view on those questions please let us know.
Bailey Bridge Development
As we reported last month, following the Special Planning Committee meeting in October where Councillors once again voted to grant this application, the file was sent to the Secretary of State for final approval – which at the time of writing we are still awaiting. The delay strikes us as gross inefficiency which jars with much of the current political rhetoric.
The developer, Quantum, has asked us to thank you for all the messages of goodwill they have received from local residents.
They tell us that they are very keen to get on with the detailed planning application and to this end have been drawing up appropriate plans. The Christchurch History Society has been helping to design a suitable piece of public art and memorial that will be situated in a prominent location close to the river, as well as helping to locate a suitable Bailey Bridge to create the pedestrian and cycle link across the river to Iford Recreation Ground.
If you’re not familiar with the changes planned for Christchurch Hospital go to our website www.wcresidents.co.uk click on Planning and then on Christchurch Hospital. The ACRA meeting of 3rd October with hospital representatives will bring you up to date and there is a good deal of other background information on the website. One of the most important facts is that the present buildings are judged to be not fit for modern purpose and need to be replaced.
The same organisation, Quantum, that handled the Bailey Bridge application is working with the hospital authorities to bring about these much needed beneficial changes.
We understand that Quantum's in-house architectural practice has designed and will deliver both the Senior Living Apartments and the Nursing Home situated to the front of the proposed development overlooking the green. This part of the development will help deliver the funds which are needed to protect and retain our existing hospital services. There will also be Key Worker Housing built on the site for local people who are employed in the provision of essential services.
We believe that this application will go before the CBC Planning Committee on Thursday 6th January 2013. The planning application numbers for the development are 8/12/0416 and 8/12/0417. Please let the planners know your opinion by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting the application numbers and giving your name and address
Questions related to the economics of this and other similar sites and details of the real overall environmental impact remain unanswered and appear to be unanswerable. A local resident Steven Roberts has written a non-partisan, entirely balanced and factual, article for Purbeck Magazine (autumn and winter edition - obtainable from the usual outlets)
The next round of public consultation has been deferred until February 2013, which reflects the level of local interest and activity – not least from the many Residents Associations located from Highcliffe to Swanage.
There has been a reduction in the planned numbers of turbines from 333 to 218 and a small reduction in their height. Also their proposed distance from the shore has been increased.
Back in the summer we asked you for details of local trees that were causing you difficulties (not shedding leaves – there’s nothing much that can be done about that) by for example damaging pavements and roads. We collated that information and sent it to CBC which has now replied. You can read their letter of 8th November at www.wcresidents.co.uk then click on Environment and then on Domestic Trees. We are planning to meet with them in the New Year
We wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and thank those of you that have sent us your much appreciated good wishes.