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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 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.

HRA Chair’s Blog of the HRA Committee Meeting of Monday 13th June 2016

The main issues discussed at the HRA Committee on 13th June were as follows:

  • The Committee welcomed Sarah Watts (Senior Public Affairs Officer, University of Southampton) and Hayley Morrison (Hampshire Constabulary).
  • The minutes of the meeting on 9th May were approved.
  • There are still tickets for the Paella Evening on 1st July. Various suggestions were made as to how best to convey information about the event to members and others.
  • Sarah Watts brought the Committee up to date with developments at the University. Under the new Vice Chancellor, the University was reviewing its overall strategy with an emphasis on excellence in everything it does, including its infrastructure. There was also a new Chief Operating Officer, Ian Dunn and, from July, new Sabbatical Officers at the Student Union. Groundworks were commencing for the new Teaching and Learning Centre together with landscaping at the end of Salisbury Road. Questions were asked about the University’s further expansion, about future plans for accommodating students, about the University’s latest thinking on cycle paths from the campus, and about bins being left on pavements when the students go down. It was agreed to discuss these further at the next meeting.
  • Simon Hill reported on recent developments affecting the Common. There was still time to send in comments about Council proposals concerning the paddling pool/play area and the bye-law change to permit cycling on all tarmac paths across the City. A Section 106 order would cover remedial work by the University at the end of Salisbury Road consequent on agreement to the new Teaching and Learning Centre. The Council had agreed to a 20 mph restriction on Highfield Road but there remained a number of issues concerning junctions and protection for road users. The planning application for widening Lover’s Walk to create a ‘super-cycleway’ had been withdrawn but would likely reappear. Even if approved, specific consent would still be required from the Secretary of State since part was on Common land. It was agreed that, together with SCAPPs and other interested parties, HRA should consider taking legal advice about the continuing validity of the 1969 High Court judgement limiting work on the Common to the needs of recreational users. The Association would continue to press for urgent remedial work on the path outside 1-5 Highfield Road.
  • The Chair reported on a successful meeting of residents’ associations and others interested in establishing a Forum to act as a sounding board for Common-related issues. In due course it would be necessary to appoint an HRA representative.
  • A number of planning matters were discussed. The Committee were pleased to learn of the dismissal of the appeal at 38 Grosvenor Road, and especially the Inspector’s emphasis on the character of the area and the SPD. The Council’s decision to once again have a single Planning and Rights of Way panel was also gratifying. No response had been received to the Chair’s letter to the Council’s Solicitor about the absence of written legal advice on the Salisbury Road application and Councillor Claisse offered to follow this up. The Secretary would be writing to object to the application at 5 Portswood Avenue and would consider the application at 103a Highfield Lane. There was a hearing on the licensing application on 186-188 Portswood Road (Tramstop Bar) on 22nd
  • A number of problems had occurred in the transition from the old to the new email database, but these were being resolved. The Committee agreed that if necessary, and because of the size of the membership, we might have to pay a very small sum each month to a hosting company in future. The Committee expressed its continuing gratitude to Nadine Johnson and Ross Gordon for their efforts here.
  • Under Any Other Business, the Chair reported that he had received a note from Roret Blue informing him that she had now moved to Shirley but valued her association with HRA and would still be active in the area.
  • The next meeting is on 11th

Roger Brown, Chair

 

 

 

 

  • 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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