24 Sept 2013 Members' Update from our Secretary, Alan Ruck On Wednesday 10th September 2013 the Hearing Sessions began into the Core Strategy which amongst many other things seeks to build houses all over Roeshot Hill. On Monday 16th September committee members attended Hearing Session 4 which dealt with the possible relocation of our allotment site. We did manage to get across our two main points which centred on our desire to remain at Roeshot Hill; -that the planners and councillors had consulted the people of Christchurch-and then totally ignored their views when drawing up their plans, -that there were no meaningful discussions between the borough council, Meyrick Estates Management and Roeshot Hill Allotment Association. The council officers disputed our version of events but did not have the actual figures of the people’s preferences for the inspector. We have never met with MEM.
In the course of the session we were presented with a document called FD2 Christchurch New Neighbourhoods Delivery. It was drawn up in June 2013 before RHAA committee had an exploratory meeting with Dave Barnes of CBC and others as to what might happen if the allotments were to be relocated. We were not shown a copy at that meeting. There are four sites all on Meyrick land: 1. Between Station Rd and Hinton Lane-Hampshire 2. Off Ringwood Rd, Hinton again-Hampshire 3. A mixture of these two You will be thrilled to know that CBC and MEM are “committed to securing a site that provides suitable replacement allotment facilities that are better than those currently leased to plot holders” So that’s all right then.
It does not say anything about soil quality.
We learned that the borough council was to refuse our request to nominate our site as an Asset of Community Value, not surprising as nomination could have chucked a spanner into the Core Strategy works.
We learned that the highways planners at Dorset County Council are blithely unconcerned at the traffic chaos that could well result from all the homes built on Roeshot Hill. They will not have to live there.
We also learned how democracy works.
The people of Christchurch voted for what you wanted in 2010 but the council did what it wanted to do anyway.
You then had to register an interest if you wished to take part in the Hearing Sessions. We were given one week to register following the pre-hearing meeting of 30th July and were given till 28th August to hand in our submission - no register, no take part.
BUT:- There are all kinds of documents circulating within the Inquiry such as Statements of Common Ground or FD2 to help move things along, or influence the outcome perhaps. They may well be on line somewhere but ordinary people like us have lives to lead.
We have sent in a response to the council’s recommendation to refuse our application and added the comments of the Green Flag Inspector but we are not holding our breath.