We need to show that we do care about this piece of land so if you can, please come to the meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday January 26th at 6.30 at the council offices. We hope that a substantial presence will help our argument. At the present time, the Agenda for Cabinet’s meeting has not been published, but it will be available on the council’s website. This might be our last chance, although of course both The Camrose (change to Retail Park) and a stadium on the Old Common would both have to go through due planning processes.
Introducing Jane Austen 200 - a Preview, opening at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke on 9 January, gives you the chance to see Jane Austen’s portable writing desk* and one of her original manuscripts on loan from the British Library - displayed in Hampshire for the first time. You will also find out about Jane’s links to Hampshire and Basingstoke and be given a taste of what we are planning for our Big Theme in 2017 - Jane Austen 200 - a Life in Hampshire. The exhibition runs until 20 February and admission is free. It will be accompanied by a range of events for adults and children. * See ledger entry, right, from John Ring of Basingstoke.
We hope that many of you attended the consultation held in the War Memorial Park in mid-November. This is going to be a massive development and is, strictly speaking outside the society’s area of concern (the unparished areas of Basingstoke). The exception is Worting, which has no parish council. However, the impact will be felt throughout the town and we are anxious to see an excellent development with good housing design and green spaces. Committee member John Jones produced the following guidelines or principles, which we would like to see:-
Coherence and consistency with the existing town
Protect existing buildings of merit that contribute to the historic heritage of the town
Quality of design and building standards – and which should include innovative and creative modern architecture - to meet the needs of residents, opportunity for businesses and the town’s residents generally
External appearance that meets the style expectations at the time of development and blends well with surrounding and adjacent properties - but which avoids pastiche and poor replication of design building styles from previous eras.
Sustains historic open space and the long established connections between town and countryside – such as Basingstoke Common.
Encourages a sense of community – for both the full community of Basingstoke but, within a town that has expanded significantly over the last 50 years, promotes real and constructive atmospheres conducive to community at much smaller local levels .
Benefiting and meeting the needs and expectations of a full spectrum of residents from lower income to affluent and from young to old: significant new, or progressive, developments should ensure they incorporate adequate facilities for all, including young and old (eg care homes, schools, community halls)
Add value – new development should add in as many ways as possible to the perceived value - visual and otherwise – of the town as a place to live and work.