|Wind Farm – What Wind Farm?
Contrary to expectations the Secretary of State has binned the Navitus Bay wind farm proposal in line with recommendations made by the Inspectorate. If you want to read his letter and/or the full Inspector’s report click on:
If you are not aware of the local background click on www.wcresidents.co.uk and then “environment – Navitus Bay” – you’ll find our stuff a bit more reader friendly!
This was a difficult issue for us. At the outset we wrongly assumed that most of our members would be opposed to the scheme. It quickly became clear that our members were split into three age related groups: those fully in favour; those in favour of wind farms but not so sure that off the Jurassic Coast was a sensible place; those completely against.
We quickly established that other local Residents Associations were finding the same mix of opinions. This meant that we had to adopt a policy of keeping you all up to date with developments without taking sides.
That picture changed when we learned of the motorway-wide trench that was planned to take underground power cables from Barton, around New Milton and through the middle of Hurn Forest up to the Grid at Mannington near West Moors. That discovery was an opinion changer and residents who had previously been in favour contacted us to say they were withdrawing their support.
That enabled our umbrella group ACRA to write a letter of opposition (which you’ll find on the website if you want to read it – use the link above). We should thank Councillor Margaret Phipps who valiantly represented us at the formal hearings.
History on the Hill
The Friends of St Catherine’s Hill is holding a ‘History on the Hill’ day on Sunday 27 September from 10.30am to 4.00pm. To access the site follow the signs from the junction of Marlow Drive and Hillside Drive or from St Catherine’s Hill Lane.
The event is suitable for all ages with plenty of child-friendly activities, including bread, brick and mini besom broom making.
The Friends of St Catherine’s Hill will be joined and supported by a number of local organisations, and there will be many experts on hand to answer any historical or archaeological questions
There will be a focus on the First World War this year, with a mock-up of the side of a Mark V tank and bunker display. The Royal Observer Corps will be there to explain about the mysterious underground bunker on top of the hill, demonstrating Cold War equipment and explaining what their role was.
There is a guided history walk starting at 11am. This is not suitable for under-12s as it is a brisk walk and numbers are limited so book in advance by answerphone on 01425 272479. Cost for adults is £4, FSCH members £2.
And Another Date for your Diary
Thursday 22nd October at 7.30pm in the Hall on the Hill, Marlow Drive we have a public meeting.
Paul Knight, Managing Director of Bournemouth International Airport, will give us an insight into their future plans. The airport is vital to our local economy so this should be an interesting presentation.
Also Richard Renaut of the Hospital Trust will give us a brief update on our local hospitals.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Martyn Underhill the Police and Crime Commissioner Needs Your Help
Before the appointment of our PCC trying to have a sensible conversation with a senior police officer was next to impossible. Since he took office we’ve met him three times (notes of all the meetings are at www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on ACRA). So when he asked for our help we were only too happy to oblige:
I am writing to ask that you take part in a government consultation to highlight the imbalance in funding for rural police forces. Alongside the National Rural Crime Network, we are urging the government to reconsider how police forces are funded, and specifically to take account of the higher costs of policing rural areas.
Dorset has been hit with central government budget cuts of £14.8m since 2010, which is over 20% of the total money handed down from government. When taking inflation into account the 20% cut becomes a 30% cuts in real terms. This has impacted the number of officers and staff with 16% fewer officers policing Dorset since 2010 and 9% fewer staff supporting operational teams.
Officers in Dorset patrol 1,024 square miles with only 6.3% of the county being classified as ‘urban’. Rural crime is very different to criminal activities that take place in our major towns and it is vital this is recognised nationally. I would ask all resident to take part in the consultation and I will continue to lobby government to ensure fair funding for Dorset.
To sign the petition, please visit www.dorset.pcc.police.uk/RPM
Many of the formulae that are used to allocate Central Government funds to local authorities do appear to mitigate against counties such as Dorset so an overhaul is long overdue.
Petty theft continues in the area. A bicycle was stolen from a locked shed whilst bizarrely a hanging flower basket was taken from outside a local house.
Yet More Scams
In scam number one fraudsters have created a website advertising flat screen televisions for sale which are below market value and do not actually exist. Payment is requested using a bank transfer which, unlike a credit card, offers no protection to the buyer when the television does not arrive.
In scam number two, victims are contacted through Freelancer websites and invited to become a “Freight Forwarder” as an employment opportunity to earn from home. The work is advertised as processing packages and forwarding them to clients.
Victims are persuaded to have items delivered to their home and to send them on to a variety of addresses. The items being delivered are often pieces of electrical equipment or other high value goods and have been obtained by fraudulent means.
If you fall for this one you are not only handling stolen goods, but also losing out financially. You will not get paid the promised earnings and you pay for the postage of the packages. Additionally, you will have provided enough of your personal details to facilitate identity theft.
Back by Popular Request - Rebuilding the A338
We drove down the A338 from Ringwood to the Christchurch turn-off yesterday Friday 11th September at about 11.30am. On our journey through those miles of cones we counted 3 men having a conversation. Nobody else appeared to be working. We feel certain there is a sound explanation for that state of affairs.
Regular readers of this newsletter were well prepared for the roadworks that started last week. Sadly others were not and chaos ensued. We’ve been asked to provide all the relevant background again, so here goes with thanks to DCC Highways:
One of the priorities identified to facilitate the success of Dorset's economy is the need for greater transport links, infrastructure and connectivity in Dorset. Rebuilding the A338 is part of a biggerpackage of transport schemes to unlock significant economic growth at Aviation Park.
The Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership has secured funding from Government to unlock major growth in and around two of Dorset’s most significant economic assets – Bournemouth Airport and the Port of Poole. Other transport schemes – as part of the Bournemouth Airport Growth Hub Infrastructure Porgramme – include Blackwater Interchange improvements and A338 widening from Cooper Dean to Blackwater Junction.
We’ll be carrying out a full depth reconstruction, of the A338 finishing off with a new lower-noise surface layer. We’ll also be upgrading the central safety barrier to concrete, improving drainage to solve flooding and 'ponding' problems and adding a 1m hard strip to give extra space for cars to move over for emergency vehicles or in case of breakdowns.
Throughout the work, vehicles on the A338 between Ashley Heath and Blackwater Junction will be restricted to one lane in each direction – predominantly in a contraflow system.
Phase 1 - 2015
18 & 19 September – overnight closure of northbound lanes, 8pm to 6am
20 September – overnight full road closure, 8pm to 6am
21 September until Christmas – southbound carriageway reconstructed between Blackwater Junction and the QinetiQ access, with a 40mph contraflow on the northbound carriageway.
Phase 2 - 2016
3 January – overnight full road closure to set up traffic management, 8pm to 6am
4 January to February – reconstruction of the one-mile southbound stretch between Ashley Heath Roundabout and the QinetiQ access
Phase 3 - 2016
February to March – reconstruction of the one-mile northbound stretch between QinetiQ entrance and Ashley Heath Roundabout
Phase 4 - 2016
March to May – northbound carriageway reconstructed between Blackwater Junction and the QinetiQ access, with a 40mph contraflow on the newly built southbound carriageway
End of May – road fully reopened
June – finishing works
And The New School?
Nothing of significance has happened in the last month but if we don’t include that piece of information lots of you ask!