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Welcome to Highfield, a charming, leafy suburb of the City 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: hrasec@gmail.com. Alternatively, just click on the ‘Contact Us’ leaf above.

Follow the links immediately below for information on the HRA Committee, HRA news, the HRA Constitution and the HRA’s links to other “Local and National Residents Associations.”

 

HRA Chair’s Blog of the HRA Committee Meeting of Monday 12th September 2016

The HRA Committee met on 12th September. This is a summary of the main points. The approved minutes will appear on the website in due course.

The Committee welcomed Dan and Emma from the University of Southampton Students Union.

The minutes of the meeting on 11th July were approved.

The Committee was updated on progress in countering the activities of the person who feeds rats and other vermin in and around Portswood, against whom a Community Protection Notice had now been served. The Committee received a report on the suffering and distress caused to his neighbours over a long period. It was agreed to place a message on the website asking residents who see any evidence of his activities to ring 101, report this and obtain a reference number. This is now a criminal act and actually witnessing the individual in the act is no longer required. He could then be liable to a significant fine.

Jon Walsh reported on the University’s plans for Salisbury Road, following the issuing of planning permission for the new teaching and learning building. The University had proposed the de-adoption of the road but there was no intention of restricting access for non-vehicle traffic. He agreed to let HRA have a statement of the University’s plans for the road. Jon also reported on a successful ‘town and gown’ conference at Durham and undertook to see if there were any copies of presentations or other material that could be circulated.

Dan and Emma outlined various steps SUSU were taking to inform new students of their role as members of the local community. It was agreed that information about this and other initiatives and events should be posted on the website. The Committee hoped that SUSU would keep in touch with HRA as the year progressed.

The Chair reported that the next meeting of the proposed consultative forum for the Common would take place on 27th September at Taunton’s College. Beyond the approval of a constitution, the main item would be a presentation and discussion of the Council’s responsibilities for the Common and how they are discharged, which could lead to a new Common plan. It would be necessary to appoint a formal HRA representative on the Forum.

Following the receipt of legal advice, the Chair had written to the Leader of the Council urging the abandonment of proposals for a widening of parts of Lover’s Walk as part of a proposed cycle ‘super highway’ on the basis that it would waste a lot of time and money against an uncertain outcome. A response had not yet been received.

The Committee was pleased that the Council had now accepted the main points of HRA’s objections to the original plans for changes to Highfield Road.

The Chair reported that, in consultation with the Vice Chair and Secretary, and because of shortness of time, he had authorised the submission of three proposals to the Council under its Small Projects programme. All involved work related to the Common. It was hoped that because of the wider public benefits they might stand some chance in the assessment procedure. Simon Hill was commended for his work on the proposals.

Simon Hill reported on a recent site meeting with Council officers and others on the current state of the Little Common. It was agreed that a letter should go to the Common manager seeking information and assurance over the apparent overturning of the previous agreement that there should be a balance between wooded and other areas.

It was agreed that a message should be posted on the website suggesting that residents who experienced cycle-pedestrian conflicts on or near the Common should report them to 101 with a copy to Common Sense (mail@southamptoncommon.org).

Under Reports, it was noted that database membership now stood at 508,  rolling at 314, and 400 paid-up. There had been no significant planning applications. However the Committee was gratified at the rejection of the owner’s appeal at 14 Westwood and horrified at the granting of a Lawful Development Certificate at 8 Westridge. The outcome of the Tramstop licensing application was also welcomed. There had now been around 13,000 hits on the website and 36,000 page views, and about a third of the ‘visitors’ were new.

Under AOB Jon Walsh raised the question of whether the Association should respond to the consultation on a new devolved authority for Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. The Secretary would investigate this.

The meeting closed at 8.45 pm.

Chair, Roger Brown

HRA Chair’s Blog of the HRA Committee Meeting of Monday 11th July 2016

The HRA Committee met on 11th July. This is a summary of the main points. The approved minutes will appear on the website in due course.

The Committee welcomed Ian Dunn, Chief Operating Officer, the University of Southampton.

The minutes of the meeting on 13th June were approved.

The Committee reviewed the tapas and paella evening at the Highfield House Hotel on 1st July. It was agreed that the evening had been a success although it might have been helpful to have included a dessert. The number attending was about 60 so that there was an overall loss of about £350. It was agreed to think about holding another social evening in due course.

The Committee was updated on progress in countering the activities of the person who feeds rats and other vermin in and around Portswood. A number of suggestions were made about ways in which this might be done.

Ian Dunn said that the University’s strategic review was now complete, and details were on the University’s website as ‘Simply Better’. The expectation was that the University would settle at around 24,000 students, very close to where it was now. However the distribution between the various campuses would vary. Both home and international student recruitment were likely to be affected by Brexit and there had already been a number of racially motivated attacks on both students and staff. Research grants were already being hit. There were no plans for new University-owned halls of residence although the refurbishment of Chamberlain, Wessex Lane and Stoneham Tower would continue. The University had no relationships with private providers of student accommodation.

Together with the Students Union, the University was making big efforts to clear and remove huge quantities of duvets, furniture and other impedimenta no longer needed by students. Whilst the University was doing its best to encourage students to remove bins from pavements there was more the Council could do although landlords were also responsible. The University took its civic obligations very seriously and was very conscious of the nuisance caused by anti-social behaviour, but had no powers to sanction students for such actions outside the campus. The Chair reported that it had been confirmed that the University had no plans to create a new signed cycle route via Furzedown, Oakhurst and Hawthorn Roads.

The Chair reported that the next meeting of the proposed consultative forum for the Common would take place on 27th September at Taunton’s College. Beyond the appointment of officers, the main item would be a presentation and discussion of the Council’s responsibilities for the Common and how they are discharged, which could lead to a new management plan. It would be necessary to appoint a formal HRA representative on the Forum. Because of the possibility that the renewed application for Lover’s Walk might be imminent, he had agreed to commission legal advice on the issues involved, after consulting the Vice-Chair and Secretary. This advice was expected shortly. HRA would meet most of the cost of approx. £2,000 with small contributions from SCAPPs and other associations. It might be necessary to hold an additional meeting of the Committee on 8th August. Otherwise the planning sub-group would look at it if a decision was needed before the next scheduled meeting on 12th September.

Under Reports, it was noted that membership now stood at 508 rolling, 287 on the database and 401 paid-up. The financial position was healthy. The planning position was quiet apart from Lover’s Walk. The new email database was now up and running and any member not receiving emails should contact Nadine Johnson.

Under AOB the Vice Chair reported on a National Organisation of Residents Associations (NORA) conference on university-residents relations to be held shortly in Durham and a forthcoming NORA meeting with DCLG officials on issues raised by residents associations.

The meeting closed at 8.45 pm.

 

  • Photo by Faye Spencer
    mallard ducks lined up in the sun on the Common, July 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)
    Sunset over Highfield (church spire on left)
  • Roret Blue - Highly commended in photo competition (2015)
    A community at work (Seven Roads Group)
  • 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

 

 

 

Click to see Highfield Map

Click to see Highfield Map

 

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