Clewers Hill & Exsel traffic!

This email is just to inform all who were responsible for the recommendation and the decision to legalise Exsel’s B2 use of Church House Farm and Stokes Yard, Clewers hill, that they were wrong in their assertion or belief that Exsel traffic would only be using the short straight northern end of Clewers Hill to access the B2177.

Instead daily, large wide low loaders carrying pipes and pumping equipment travel up the steep narrow southern part of Clewers Hill to access their other yard at Woodmans Farm, Curdridge Lane, which currently does not benefit from B2 Planning Permission (but Exsel have never let a little thing like not having Permission hinder them).

So those of you who perhaps think of yourselves as making the correct decisions for the benefit and improvement of the lives of Winchester ratepayers, have contributed to the further erosion of a narrow country lane (southern end of Clewers Hill), which I believe the Planning Development and Control Committee did not bother to look at or consider when they made their inspection visit to Church House Farm, and thus made it even more dangerous for pedestrians of any age to use the lane to access the village centre on foot, and impossible for the elderly or less fleet of foot.

Clewers Hill south is a narrow steep hill, not a single track road, but not a two lane width either, it is barely more than the width of the Exsel low loaders; it has no footpaths,steep banks on both sides, and two blind bends. In addition the traffic, including the Exsel lorries, sweeps at speed round the bend at the junction with Curdridge Lane. Residents have asked Highways in the past for this junction at least to be made into a right angle to slow traffic down, or for other traffic calming measures, but until someone is badly injured there is no money for this. So a sacrifice is apparently required!

How can you square the very admiral Park and Ride system initiated in Winchester to keep traffic out of the town centre, with this blatent sanctionning of dangerous traffic in a country lane? Not so green is it? Not what the Council’s magazine likes to trumpet.

The Highways Officer Elgin who spoke at the Committee hearing completely misinformed the Committee.

The Planning Officers were more swayed by the somehow persuasive arguments of the former Planning Offficer who represented Exsel and Mr Coleman, than by a simple analysis of the truth as recounted by the Parish Council and local residents.

The Committee preferred to stand by such arguments as;
‘ a minibus was legally allowed to park outside my house despite my not liking it; therefore people in the countryside must also put up with heavy vehicle traffic in country lanes’
‘any industry which supports another industry that has to do with agriculture, and by extension food production, must be deemed good and therefore permitted’
‘the countryside is not a park’
‘people on the hill should be grateful they have a view and not complain about illegal industry in the countryside’
‘the view from the Pilgrims Trail is already spoilt by some large buildings, so another (much larger) one will not make any difference’

How can we respect the City Councillors who made such statements, or the Planning Officers who promise to look into matters but do not?

Pat Staples

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2 Responses to Clewers Hill & Exsel traffic!

  1. Lorrie Smith says:

    Pat and Community,
    We fought so hard against the B2 heavy industry regarding Exsel Pumps. We gave factual information, always backing up our comments with proof of harm caused by this Firm and other Companies in this local area by way of log sheets (which were sadly “misplaced” temporarily by Winchester City Council), by photographic evidence showing the size and damage these large heavy lorries do to our verges, trees and even homes. Indeed, detailed proof of accidents occuring to pedestrians/equestrian situations were also provided. To be present at the Hearing and to speak for the Community was important, so we worked very hard indeed to ensure Planning Legislation Policies and other legalities were being adhered to because this was a large deciding factor for this Planning Application ……but our efforts were to no avail. Our Shedfield Parish Council were in total agreement with the problems highlighted re the heavy industry, and did indeed work very hard on behalf of the Community. Councillor Jess Bond from our local Parish Council delivered 3 sterling speeches, and I would like to thank her very much for the Parish Council’s support.

    I agree with Pat regarding the very sad comments made by a good number of Councillors. The apparent “Highways Expert” Mr Elgin certainly misled the whole group of Councillors, albeit perhaps unintentionally and it was felt that perhaps he had not done his homework. These Councillors’ comments were totally unprofessional, totally misleading, and therefore totally offensive to our Community. There were just a small handful of Councillors who had taken the time and trouble to heed and read our factual information, and we thank them for their courteousness in doing so. Indeed, one specific Councillor – and I will name her as she was so true in her Representation – Councillor Theresa EVANS – did her best to get her knowledge of what has been happening io our local area to the rest of her Colleagues.

    I am saddened that the Decision from the main Councillors have had a knock-on effect to our Community as we knew it would – yet again, Waltham Chase is taking the brunt of things.

    This website that a local resident has produced is very special to our Community – it will help give you up to date information about what is happening regarding Planning Matters, the Village Hall, the Village Design Statement and our Parish Plans that are currently being worked upon to try to protect you lovely people and your area.

    his website is in effect your voice – and we will try to promote it as much as possible.
    I hope you will use it.
    Lorrie Smith

  2. Gary and Tara Pothecry says:

    I totally agree with your points!
    Did the Parish council fight this on your behalf!
    I know there were discussions around this when I was a serving councillor.

    I am finding more and more of our delightful country lanes are being used as rat runs or industry!! Just look at the mess around Bull Lane?

    It just seems to me that yet again Waltham Chase takes the brunt!!

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