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HRA News Bulletin – March 2014

  • Caroline Knight our Editor, has largely single handedly produced the latest edition of our Newsletter which is now at the printers and should start to be delivered throughout Highfield in a week or so. A lot of local and topical content so we hope you will like it.
  • The money from The Lottery for a joint project with the Students Union, Building Bridges, is now with us after some delay and there will be a range of activities with the SU to promote safety and cooperation between “Town and Gown”. There is an inaugural launch event being held in the Bridge Bar on the University Campus on the evening of Wednesday 26th March from 8.00 PM and it is hoped as many local members and residents as possible will attend to meet and engage with their student neighbours.
  • Planning as always, has taken a lot of our time and we continue to oppose inappropriate development where we can and to seek Enforcement for unauthorised use, usually as HMOs. We have had one major success with an Appeal for a large HMO being refused after an eight year battle!
  • HRA has made presentations to all three meetings of the Scrutiny Panel on the issue of the HMO SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) which guides the Planning Panel in making decisions on new HMO applications. We are pushing for a maximum Threshold per Ward of a maximum of 10% but the Council seem intent on increasing it to 20%, which would be completely unsustainable!
  • As a member of the North Southampton Community Forum we have had meetings with two of our local MPs on the inadequacy of enforcement procedures and are seeking the introduction of a ‘Stop Order’ mechanism as a preventative measure. This proposal has been put to Government Ministers for their consideration.
  • Our membership is at an all time high with 560 households now registered as active members. There is strength in numbers, as witness the previous paragraph.
  • Our “Common Sense” group have been very active with both resident and student working parties, clearing the ground of the Little Common and parts of Lovers Walk in preparation for machine mowing as Spring approaches.
  • Finally, arrangements for the AGM are now in place for the evening of Thursday 24th April at the Highfield House Hotel when there will be a Panel made up from the Police, University and City Council to answer members questions. PLEASE SUBMIT THESE ASAP TO THE SECRETARY. This is to be followed by an informal social get-together with complimentary drinks included! Hope to see as many of you there as possible.