Annual Report - May 2019
Points relevant to Wootton St Lawrence taken from the Annual Report given at the Annual Review Meeting on May 7th.
After nearly five years the Neighbourhood plan is nearing completion.
Broad band is now available in Wootton St Lawrence and rumour has it that it may soon be available in Whitedown and Upper Wootton as well.
We are still part of the local Lengthsman’s scheme and David Saunders , our lengthsman, does great work for the parish. In the past year he has cut hedges and footpaths and looked after the play area.
Manydown: There was a meeting in Wootton St Lawrence with the new Manydown development team in July last year. The team came across as helpful but we were, in effect, going back to square one as the new person in charge of the project was not aware of what had formerly been discussed with the Parish Council. Since then our only contact with them has been at an update in the Basingstoke Council offices in February this year. There we were given a presentation by Urban and Civic who, together with Wellcome trust, will be the new private sector development partner joining BDBC to develop Manydown. The Manydown planning application should come before the Development Control Committee in June.
In Wootton St Lawrence we have been asking for a village meeting room for some time. Late last year what seemed to be the perfect site by the side of the Church meadow was earmarked. However after six months of waiting we were told by the agents for the estate that that bit of land was not available. In fact it seems that in the near future there is no chance of us having a village room in Wootton at all. John Davies has said that one of the rooms in the new Ramsdell Village Hall will be named the Wootton room. This will be a facility for the whole parish.
There were going to be ward changes in the area this year but they have now been deferred for a year. Originally the plan was for the rural parishes to be kept together but it now seems that whilst Ramsdell will still be in a rural ward Wootton St Lawrence will be in a ward with Manydown. However the Parishes will remain the same.
As for the roads . In Wootton the roads are better than they have been but there are still areas that flood during rainy periods. Notably on the junction of the village lane with the B3400. This problem is reported to Highways on a regular basis and the work is always going to be done soonest but it never is. There is also an ongoing problem with flooding on the lane at Whitedown.
Last summer we were told that a meeting was to be arranged between officers from HCC and the local parishes. This meeting was going to be an opportunity for HCC to hear the views of the Parishes as to how the A339 effects them them now and how it may effect them in the future after proposed developments have taken place . The meeting was to be held prior to a strategic study of the A339 which is to be undertaken by HCC in the near future. The meeting was originally to be held last September but eventually took place during the week before Christmas! John Davies and Sarah Curtis attended representing the Wootton St Lawrence Parish Council. There had been a bad accident the day before at Folly Farm and the same message was given by everyone attending. The A339 is a very dangerous road and any of the present plans to improve it are not long term solutions. We have heard nothing more from HCC since that meeting .
On the subject of Finances the 2018/19 Precept remains the same as last year. We are withholding 137 payments again this year.
As for planning. Although not in our Parish we supported Ibworth in their opposition to a proposed Green Burial site to be placed by the side of the lane running up to their village. It seemed crazy to give permission for hearses and funeral corteges to turn on and off the A339 at one of its more dangerous points. The plan went to Committee and despite everyone being sure that it would be refused the application was granted.