BCP Local Plan Consultation

BCP Council is about to consult on its revised Local Plan. Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council is holding a PUBLIC MEETING to hear from BCP Councillor Margaret Phipps, Lead Member for the Local Plan.

Tuesday 26th March, St Marks Church Hall, Hinton Wood Avenue, Highcliffe commencing 19:00

Major tree works Wingfields, Lakewood and Nea Meadows

Following the comprehensive arboricultural survey conducted in October, contractors have been engaged perform essential tree maintenance work on three council sites.

The Tree Management Company will carry out activities at Nea Meadows

Apex Trees will tackle the work at Lakewood

Apex Trees have work at Wingfield, there is one more tree identified fir removal.

For more information, contact the clerk: clerk@highcliffewalkford-pc.gov.uk

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All Councillor Vacancies filled

Following the co-option of councillor Robert Dickson the council is now at its full strength of 11 members.

Documents relating to the Election:

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Highcliffe & Walkford Neighbourhood Plan – Referendum Result

YES, you have voted positively for the Plan!

A big thank you to all our residents who went out to vote on a bitterly cold but bright sunny day! Your support is much appreciated.

To recap, the Plan, covers important planning aspects with Policies and Projects in respect of –

  • ‘High Street’ Environment and Uses,
  • Local Green Spaces/ Green Corridors/ Accessible Green Spaces
  • Walking and Cycle routes/ Parking Standards
  • Locally Important Community Facilities
  • Housing Design for practical living,
  • Retaining and Reinforcing the Local Character

The Plan now goes forward to become a ‘Made Plan’, which the BCP Council Planning Officers must have regard-to when considering all Planning Applications in the Parish area.

Cllr Nigel Brooks, who led the Parish ‘team’ preparing the Plan for over three and a half years said, ‘The positive result is credit to our residents who highly value this wonderful part of the coastline and have the vision for a safe, successful, vibrant and attractive place to live, work and visit. I am much encouraged by residents coming together in support of the Neighbourhood Plan, a huge thank you’.

Cllr Bob Hutchings, Chair of the Parish Council said, ‘The Parish Council is delighted with the result which demonstrates a continuing step along the way to serve our residents in an extremely positive way. Planning matters are a very important aspect which we deal with week in, week out. The Plan gives us a Statutory document to underline the need of due regard to resident’s wishes and priorities. Thank you for your support’.

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Message From King Charles III

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How Can We All Help To Keep Our Footpaths Clear?

Over the last 3 years the Parish Council has invested considerable time and resources into surveying and improving the condition of parish footpaths.

Following this work you may well have noticed several significant improvements. I do hope so.

Firstly we discussed our findings with BCP Council and with Meyrick Estates and Hoburne Group and those discussions resulted in a number of improvements.

Secondly we were delighted that several local groups of volunteers organised themselves and improved their own local paths. We are also aware of individuals who are gladly giving their time to clearing paths.

Of course, there is more to do – there always is! In particular there are a few paths that require significant improvement – such as the pathway on Hinton Wood Avenue leading up to Lymington Road, which is impassable to wheelchair users – and we are in discussion with BCP Council to try to get these paths on to their capital programmes.

Everyone can help with this endeavour. You may be able to volunteer and, if so, we’d like to say well done! Please do what you feel able. But for those who can’t undertake any clearing of paths, you can still help if you go out walking and notice pathways that need attention. Please simply go online to BCP and report the facts to them. We are frequently told by BCP that they can’t be expected to repair unless they are told of the need. So let’s tell them!

Bob Hutchings, OBE

Hedgehogs R Us Highway Project

Hedgehogs R Us Highway Project

With Hedgehog numbers in decline and Hedgehog awareness on the rise, there has never been a better time to get involved in Hedgehog conservation.

A Hedgehog Highway is a 5 inch gap in a fence and is essential in the battle to prevent the extinction of our endangered spiky friends. This gap allows them access to forage for food and meet mates. A Highway surround raises awareness to their plight and encourages others to take part.

I am asking for each area of the UK to use a small portion of their assigned funds to purchase a box of hedgehog highway surrounds and make them available for their residents.

Each box of 50 is £150 and includes:

  • 50 Hedgehog Highway surrounds & 50 information leaflets
  • A display box & window sticker showing you are part of the project.

Ideas of how to benefit your community include:

  • Donate the Highways and leaflets to your local school to educate in wildlife conservation
  • Swap the Highways for a donation of Hedgehog food which can then be given to your local Hedgehog Rescue Centre

The project will be receiving a lot of publicity in the coming months via Social Media and I really hope that you choose to take part.

My dream is to make the whole of the UK one giant Hedgehog Highway and for that dream to come true, it needs EVERYONE to take part.

Money is donated to Hedgehog Conservation for every box sold too!

If you would like to order or have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch and thank you for caring.

Linda Cook, Founder of Hedgehogs R Us

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Highcliffe And Walkford Neighbourhood Plan

Highcliffe & Walkford Parish (North Highcliffe & Walkford Ward)

As Chairman of the Parish Council I thought I should respond to the two recent Articles in the New Milton Advertiser. The first was headed– “Anger as Green Spaces lose out in watered down Highcliffe Neighbourhood Plan”. The second “Castle among sites taken off plan protection list”

It is perfectly true for the NMA to say that at our meeting on Wednesday 27th July the Parish Council expressed disappointment that several of its Neighbourhood Plan proposals were not accepted by the Independent Examiner. {Perhaps we should never have expected a 100% approval rate).

However, the Council recognised that many of the important safeguards proposed in the Plan were accepted and I think it would have painted a far more accurate picture had the NMA made that clear too.

The Plan is about much more than green spaces, important though they are. It embraces matters such as the design and density of new houses, the future uses of the High Street, parking matters, cycling and walking in safety. These are undoubtedly very important issues for us all and by having them in our Neighbourhood Plan, they will be of immense value in ensuring that future planning applications protect and retain the local character of our area.

The removal of a number of our Green Space proposals is regrettable but for the 10 that were approved we are delighted. Most of the others that were not agreed (such as the Castle) were omitted by the Examiner only because he felt they were all covered by existing protections and they didn’t need to be covered twice.

With BCP currently looking at its own local plan, some of those protections may be at risk in future. However, the Parish Council has already established a continuous review team under the Chairmanship of its Vice Chairman to keep watch on this and if any protection is withdrawn we will press for it to be reinstated in an update of our Neighbourhood Plan.

The remaining two Green Spaces to be rejected by the Examiner were Jesmond Avenue and Verno Lane and both were omitted because they were the subject of extant planning applications. We can do no more about this for now but we will watch carefully and be ready to seek their reinstatement into the Neighbourhood Plan if circumstances permit.

We can, of course, only get something reinstated if the Neighbourhood Plan is itself approved by local residents in the upcoming referendum (date to be advised)

The Parish Council is very proud of the 3 years’ work done to produce our Neighbourhood Plan. It involved a large number of volunteers and many, many hours of dedicated research. Having a Plan will undoubtedly pay dividends in the future and, despite any disappointments about what may not be in the Plan, it deserves everyone’s support.

The Parish Council was unanimous in supporting the Neighbourhood Plan and it looks forward to the residents’ referendum later this year where a simple majority vote will give the Parish and residents more control over planning policies and Applications, which are not available at present.

Bob Hutchings, OBE

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Written Response To BCP Council’s Local Plan Issues & Options Document

To read the response in full, please read the document here.

Image of people lined up for trees planted for Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Trees Planted For Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Seven trees were planted in the grounds of Highcliffe Castle and unveiled on Sunday February 7 to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The event was organised by Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council with one sapling for each decade of the Monarch’s reign.

The trees were funded by the members of the local community including the children of St Mark’s School and planted by Stewart’s Garden Centre.

They were provided by Hilliers.

A plaque was also unveiled with the names those who contributed to the project.

Parish chairman, Cllr Bob Hutchings told guests: “We are rightly proud of Her Majesty’s reign, as strong and respected as ever.

“We hope these trees will also stand as proud and be a joy when we meander through the grounds in future.”

Dignitaries attending included the Lord Lieutenant Angus Campbell, the Queen’s representative in Dorset, along with the Mayor of Christchurch Cllr Sue Bungey, Mayor of Bournemouth Cllr David Kelsey, Mayor of Poole Cllr Julie Bagwell, and the chairman of BCP Council, Cllr Nigel Hedges.

Copy of letter received from Windsor Castle: