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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.

 

  • Christmas Lights on Highfield Campus, November 2017, taken by Nadine Johnson

 

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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Acting Chair’s Report of the HRA Committee, Monday 11th December 2017

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

The Committee agreed that in Jerry Gillen’s absence the meeting could be chaired by its former Chair Roger Brown.

The Committee welcomed its prospective new Treasurer, Adrian Ford.

The minutes of the meeting on 13th November were approved, with an amendment to make it clear that the Service Road had always been closed.

Under Matters Arising, it was reported that a date had been found in February for the meeting with the University’s Chief Operating Officer. There had so far been no reply from the Leader of the Council to the Chair’s recent letter about various planning issues.

Under University Liaison, Jon Walsh reported that the new bus pull-in for National Express would remain until 2019 but could well become permanent. Tendering was under way for the work on the Steps which was currently scheduled for mid-February to early March (when the Steps would be closed). The former public house, the Stile, has been listed as being of community value. The University was considering various options but it was most unlikely to revert to being a pub.

Roger Brown gave an update on the progress of the Common Forum, which now had over 700 ‘friends’. The Forum’s online survey of Common users had attracted over 2,100 responses from across the city. The main concerns were various ‘hygiene’ issues: safety, toilets, litter and waste management, maintenance of the footpaths. Other issues included improving the management of the Common, creating more open spaces, minimising the impact of major events, reducing user conflicts (e.g. between cyclists and pedestrians), and better maintenance of key facilities such as the Hawthorns. The next stage would be to prepare a new plan that would deal with some of these matters. The crucial issue was how to get additional resources into the Common without losing local control. In this context it was interesting that Newcastle City Council had recently decided to pass the operation of all its parks and commons to a new charitable trust. The Forum’s next meeting was on 13th December at Solent University and he urged all interested to attend.

Under Reports, it was noted that Mark Batchelor would be meeting Adrian Ford for a handover but that Mark would prepare the end-of-year accounts. Nicolla Martin reported that current membership numbers were 508 (database), 349 (paid-up) and 342 (rolling). Under planning, it was reported that the application to build a new residence for students at the Blockbusters site had been refused. It was agreed to write to the Council to ask them to enforce against the present unlawful use of the site for secondhand car sales. Another proposal for a student block behind the Victory cinema was unlikely to succeed because of access. Applications in Furzedown had not succeeded because of lack of amenity space. Finally, it was agreed that the Association should seek clarification of the Council’s position where landlords were converting student and other short-term lets into Airbnb without the necessary permissions.

It was agreed to produce a pre-AGM flyer and Steven Johnston agreed to take responsibility for producing it.

Under AOB, Alison Titheridge informed the Committee of the plan to hold a Dementia Awareness Festival in 2018, further details to be provided nearer the time.

The meeting closed at 8.20 pm.

Roger Brown, Acting Chair

 

Acting Chair’s Report of the HRA Committee Meeting of Monday 13th November 2017

· The Chair welcomed the Chair of OARA as well as a number of local resident members. There were some 20 persons attending in all.

· There were no matters arising from the last meeting beyond the fact we are still looking for both a new Chair and Treasurer

· University liaison – the Chair raised a number of issues with Jon Walsh the University representative where local residents and Associations felt the University were not being sufficiently mindful of residents concerns, which he robustly refuted, emphasising that he was trying to facilitate a meeting between both EBRA & HRA and Ian Dunn the Uni’s Chief Operating Officer. In that particular regard the Chair is unavailable for the first date offered and EBRA had reservations about the value of such a meeting at the present time. The key points currently were the closure of the Uni’s Service Road between Chamberlain and Salisbury roads and a resurgence of student ASB, raised by the Chair of OARA. JW pointed out that the Service Rd closure was now going to be permanent between the hours of 6.00 AM & 6.00 PM and pointed there was no formal Right of Way along the Service road and never had been. On Student behaviour he explained the Uni’s procedure for dealing with this and recommended reporting instances to both the Police and Environmental Health.

· Chair’s meeting with Leader of the Council – a report on this was circulated prior tom the meeting. JG outlined the outstanding matters he had raised but had as yet had no further response. (see reports)

· 42 Blenheim Ave – a member made a presentation of her family’s plans to build an additional house on this site. It was recommended she do the same with the OTRA Conservation group, but no one saw any obvious reason to object to her scheme.

· Reports – Finance; we were still awaiting the implementation of online banking. Once this was in places we would commence the Contingency Fund raising drive. Membership remained at 508 households overall. Planning – JG outlined a number of outstanding cases that remained unresolved in both HRA and adjoining areas. He expressed considerable frustration at the obduracy and inefficiency of the LA in not dealing with application and enforcements in a timely, appropriate or expeditious way. He highlighted the Planning Dept’s apparent refusal to decline relevant applications under Sec 70 of the revised 2011 Localism Act, to carry out Enforcements adequately and allowing an increasing number of inappropriate LDC (Lawful Development Certificates’) applications, intended to circumvent the proper planning

process. He also gave an example of a recent Inspector’s Appeal Decision refusing further Student accommodation in Nottingham, quoting Sec 50 of the NPPF. (previously circulated). Two local current application were also considered; one in Furzedown Rd and the passageway behind Portswood Rd bordering Abbotts Way.

· AOB – there was a proposal for Mince Pies and Gluhwein at our December meeting; Alison from Mayflower Court offered to provide the Pies. She also informed members of a local Dementia awareness group that met at Mayflower Court and invited members to attend.

· Date of next meeting – Monday 11th December.

Jerry Gillen, Acting Chair.

 

 

 


  • Furzedown Road, Highfield in the snow. Photo taken in the 1980s or 1990s, by Sue Allan.
  • Francis Benali opens new Play-park on Southampotn Common, 22nd October 2017
  • New Play-park, Southampton Common Oct 2017
  • New Play-park, Southampton Common Oct 2017
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

 

 

 

Click to see Highfield Map

Click to see Highfield Map

 

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