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Welcome to Highfield, a charming, leafy suburb of Southampton. Highfield is set in the middle of the University belt, steeped in academia, and flanked by Southampton Common on one side, and Portswood on the other.

The Highfield Residents’ Association is an active group of local residents and their families who seek to protect and preserve their environment and support their neighbours. We always welcome new members. You can join by clicking on the “Join us” leaf above and paying the annual subscription of £5.00.

If you wish to contact the HRA Secretary, you can email her on: jill.baston6@gmail.com. Alternatively, just click on the ‘Contact Us’ leaf above or email: highfieldracomms@gmail.com for general enquiries or information.

For HRA Newsletters, Committee Members, Agendas, Minutes, Blogs, the Constitution and other Local & National Residents Associations, see below.

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Vice-Chair’s Report of the HRA Committee Meeting of Monday 11th September 2017

  • The Chair welcomed members and two of our Ward Cllrs, including new member Alison Titheredge the new GM of Mayflower Court. He noted the continuing absence of Cllr Savage and the Secretary was asked to write enquiring if he might be able to attend our meetings from time to time.
  • The Chair welcomed members and two of our Ward Cllrs, including new member Alison Titheredge the new GM of Mayflower Court. He noted the continuing absence of Cllr Savage and the Secretary was asked to write enquiring if he might be able to attend our meetings from time to time.
  • University Liaison – Jon Walsh gave an account of current activities and the success of the recent Open Day. There was some discussion on current Planning applications and in particular the closure of the University Service road at the end of Salisbury Road.  However he did say this was only intended to be between the hours of 6.00 AM and 6.00 PM for reasons of safety whilst works  were being carried out.  He further confirmed that it was unlikely the University would continue with seeking to extinguish the ROW over Salisbury Rd in the near future, which was widely welcomed.
  • Lovers Walk – Sue Ingham was invited to express the concerns of the residents of Furzedown Rd in relation to the Council’s Planning application for the widening of LW, creating the possibility of an alternative Cycle route via Furzedown. She gave photographic evidence of vehicular and parking congestion which she felt would be dangerous for cyclists.  The Chair pointed out that the matter was now before the Council for determination and all sides had now submitted their responses, but nevertheless wished to avoid potential dissention within HRA as we wished to be representative of the views of all of our members.   Cllr O’Neil confirmed he had asked for the application to be brought before the Planning Panel.
  • Finance – the Chair pointed out we were still seeking a new Treasurer who would be more able to participate in the Association’s affairs. The matter of the Contingency Fund was deferred for Reserved business at the end of the meeting.
  • Membership – the Membership Sec was away but this still stood at a total of 508 member households.
  • Planning – Hilldown Rd; Adrian Pickering was unavailable to give an update but there was an email the Chair would circulate giving the latest position if anyone wished.  Apparently ‘they’ are working in accordance with the original grant but Conditions need to be closely monitored.  PeggyAugier gave a report on 36 Roseland Gdns which was now operating as an unauthorised HMO.  This had been reported to Enforcement who said they would look at it “when they were able”?!  The Chair reported on what appeared to be the emerging of a new business model for some HMO Landlords who were now handing their properties over to a third party to in effect, operate them as “Airb&b”s.
  • Website – Nadine was unable to attend to give an update.
  • AOB – Sainsburys – it was reported that Sainsburys had made a Licensing application to be able to serve Alcohol between the hours of 6.00 AM and midnight. It was intended  to oppose the application.  Mayflower Court – Alison Titheredge offered members a site visit and the possible use of a meeting room and was looking into taking an ad on the website. Contingency Fund –  it was resolved the existing Contingency Fund for Professional Fees should be increased forthwith to £15,000 with proportional increases on an annual basis. It was proposed that for another major battle, such as a JR, there should perhaps be a separate individual fund raiser.Discussion took place as how best to launch this Fund Raiser and Tom O’Connor had already drafted an excellent letter that could be sent to all members.  This would now await his return for a final review.  (Jacky Barnes is about to go away for several weeks)It was suggested that if we were to ask every member for a contribution of £10/£15 say, this in itself should raise a good sum, if they were all to contribute of course.  PRG members who had yet to contribute to the recent JR might be asked separately in advance of a general HRA letter.Finally, it was agreed there was an urgent need to introduce on-line banking to enable DDs for Membership subs, as well as for these contributions.
  • Date of next meeting – Monday 9 October 2017.

Jerry Gillen, Vice Chair

Vice-Chair’s Report of the HRA Committee Meeting of Monday 14th August 2017

The August meeting was convened because of the number of current contentious issues outstanding…

  • The Chair welcomed those attending, including Adrian Pickering of Hilldown Rd, who had agreed to attend a few meetings with a view to being considered for joining the committee. Cllrs Claisse and O’Neil were also present.
  • University – Jon Walsh gave an update on current activities. “The Steps” were in the Appeal process and there was to be further discussion regarding the proposed extinguishment of the ROW over Salisbury Rd.
  • Meeting with Sam Fox, HoP – The Chair gave a report following circulation of his minutes of that meeting which were, to use the euphemism, best described as being “full and frank”! A large number of outstanding questions remained unanswered (attached below)  and as Mr Fox was now away until the end of August, this was felt to be a good opportunity to involve Richard Crouch, the Director responsible for Planning.  Cllr O’Neil undertook to follow this up.  It was suggested the Chair should contact other RAs for additional support in this regard.
  • Finance – in the absence of the Treasurer there were no detailed accounts available but it was confirmed we were solvent and still had money in the Contingency fund. Discussion took place on how best to replenish the Contingency fund and to set a higher amount for future potential needs.  This matter was deferred for fuller discussion at the September meeting, when it was hoped there would be more Committee members present.  It was further suggested we should look again at organising Social events in the interests of community involvement
  • Planning – there was a final review of the Judicial Review for 12 Russell Place and in spite of being unsuccessful it was felt the exercise had been justified and worthwhile and that some positives had come from it; not least putting the Council on notice for any future similar cases.  Reference was made to the Judge’s criticism of the Council’s handling of the case.  It was confirmed following a previous decision not to oppose the proposals for the Blockbuster site, that an objection had now been lodged, following requests to do so from members.  Adrian Pickering gave a report on the progress of the Hilldown Rd site, where work had now commenced, in spite of the last Planning refusal.  The question was, whether the applicant was now implementing the original permission for residential accommodation?  Adrian and the Chair had both contacted the Case Officer in that regard and Ward Councillors suggested a follow up with Planning or Enforcement accordingly.
  • Website – Nadine gave a report and referred to being unable to obtain any response from Coffee# for their ad. She also asked that she be copied in to all planning objections for inclusion on the Planning page.
  • Committee structure – the Chair emphasised we were two key Officers short (Chair and Treasurer) as well as at least one committee member and that he was finding all the additional workload increasingly burdensome and stressful.
  • AOB – the Secretary gave details of queries raised by PCRA regarding a Residents Parking scheme and 20 MPH speed limits for residential areas. It was felt with Council resources as they are neither were likely to gain any traction at the present time.
  • Date of next meeting – Monday 11th September

Outstanding questions for Planning Dept

8 Westridge Rd –

  • why was Enforcement not carried out as agreed at the time in both January 2013 and again later in January 2016?
  • why was false information provided by the applicant in seeking an LDC accepted at face value and not verified, following contrary evidence provided by local residents?
  • In spite of the foregoing, why was a further retrospective planning application then facilitated in November 16?  (notwithstanding it’s withdrawal on the night)
  • Why was this whole process not dealt with under Sec 70 of the 2011 Localism Act, which could have ended the matter?
  • What action is now going to be taken following our meeting today?

Outstanding LDC applications

  • 8 Westridge (as above), 44 Bassett Ave & 14 Pansey Rd

Outstanding Enforcements

  • 28 Brookvale Rd, 5 Crofton Close, 8 Westridge Rd, 44 Bassett Ave

Localism Act 2011

  • SF agreed to see if SCC is using Section 70 of the Localism Act correctly or even effectively and if not why not, based on the letter provided from the Housing Minister to JG.

Planning applications

  • 5 Crofton Close – why was a recent Planning application facilitated rather than being disposed of under Sec 70 of the Loc’ Act 2011?  Why was the outstanding Enforcement not dealt with expeditiously and further, why was the Enforcement Officer apparently assisting the Applicant with a revised application, rather than carrying out the long outstanding Enforcement?
  • 14 Crofton Close – why was this application not brought to Panel as required following some 5 objections and a request from the Ward Cllr?  This was given permission under Delegated powers, to the extreme detriment of the adjoining property.  Can this permission now be rescinded and referred to Panel?
  • 8 Westridge – already referred to.
  • 12 Russell Place – in spite of losing this recent Judicial Review and following the Judge’s comments that he felt… there was something uncomfortable in the approach of the Council and that… many other decision makers might have taken a contrary approach and assessment… one is bound to ask therefore, why the Officer was so adamant in her recommendation to Panel when the material harm now caused to the neighbouring property’s living room/dining room is so obvious?
  • ‘Builders Yard’,  Hilldown Rd – whilst this application has been refused, clarification is sought over the technicality concerning change of Use,  B8/C3/4?  Concern was also expressed about the role of Cllr Burke from another Ward in supporting this application.

Jerry Gillen, Vice-Chair

 


  • Professor Roger Brown (left), Retiring HRA Chair and Professor Peter Johnson, Centre for Cancer Immunology, AGM 20/4/2017, (photo Alison Shelly).
  • The Common Ornamental Lake, courtesy of Simon Hill, Southampton Common Forum, Jan 2017
  • Christmas on Campus. Courtesy of Nadine Johnson, 02/12/16
  • Autumn colours in Crofton Close. Courtesy of Nadine Johnson, 08/11/16
  • Courtesy of Nuha Alsaeed, 14/10/16
    Highfield Campus ducks. Autumn is officially here!
  • Photo by Faye Spencer
    mallard ducks lined up in the sun on the Common, July 2016.
  • Photo by Alison Shelly, Sept/Oct 2016
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • HRA Summer Paella Party July 1st 2016!
  • Gill Morse - photo competition winner (2015)
    Leaving the Residents’ Gardens after playgroup in the Pavilion in 1984.
  • Roger Van Dyck - runner up in photo competition (2015)
    Uplands Housing Estate
  • Clare Jackson - Highly commended in 2015 photo competition
    Highfield Church
  • Roret Blue - Highly commended in photo competition (2015)
    A garden retreat in Highfield
  • Roret Blue - Highly commended in photo competition (2015)
    Sunrise over Highfield
  • Roret Blue - Highly commended in photo competition (2015)
    Portswood rec on a foggy day
  • John Nightingale (2015)
    Highfield
  • Gill Morse (2015)
    Blenheim Avenue 1984: The Morse family having fun in the snow
  • John Nightingale (2015)
    Residents Gardens
  • John Nightingale (2015)
    Highfield
  • John Nightingale (2015)
    Found in Highfield
  • John Nightingale (2015)
    Found in Highfield
  • John Nightingale (2015)
    Found in Highfield
  • Photo by Dr Gil Dekel, 2015
    Found on Southampton Common
  • Photo by Dr Gil Dekel, 2015
    Southampton Common
  • Photo by Alison Leslie (2015)
    Rooftop view from Blenheim Gdns to Welbeck Ave - so green!
  • Photo by John Nightingale (2015)
    Residents Garden Pavilion
  • Photo by John Nightingale (2015)
  • Roret Blue - Highly commended in photo competition (2015)
    A community at work (Seven Roads Group)
  • Roret Blue - Highly commended in photo competition (2015)
    Sunset over Highfield (church spire on left)
  • Photos taken of Highfield from Highfield Church Spire, Autumn 2014
  • Photo by Simon Hill (2013/2014)
    Winter openness outside the University's Avenue Campus
  • Who needs the Serengeti?
    Heron on The Common, January 2014, Simon Hill
See all past photos in our Gallery page

 

 

 

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Click to see Highfield Map

 

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