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?