Trust Annual Report 2001
Report of the Council and Financial Statements at 31 March 2001
This is the last time l shall be reporting to you as Chairman as l am stepping down at the Annual General Meeting in November.
Re-development of the Broadway and Friarsgate area of the City.
The Trust has seen little or nothing of the plans for this major and very sensitive development in the heart of the City. As yet no scheme that is in the public domain has been submitted to the Planning Department. The main problem as far as we can tell is the traffic plan. The consultant acting for the developer has been as yet unable to sort out the many conflicting demands that need to be addressed in such a plan.
The Trust will continue to monitor the situation.
Park & Ride
The Bar End extension is now to go ahead and is due for completion in 2002. We understand that the next Park & Ride site to be brought fon/vard will be in the general area of Bushfield. Where exactly is not known. The Trust's view is that anything that degrades the views into or out of Bushfield from the east is unacceptable and will damage the setting of the City. We will be making detailed comments when more information becomes available.
In the long term, changing circumstances may well render the Park & Ride sites redundant. The Trust has asked Hampshire County Council to consider the possibility of returning these parks to their original state and not treating them as 'brownfield' when the time comes. They have promised to examine this proposal.
Major Development Area 'to the North of Winchester'
In principle the Trust is opposed to any development on the boundary of the built area of the City as this may well involve the sequestration of ‘greenfield’ sites in particular the Trust is concerned about the green wedge that penetrates deep into the City, with its southern boundary defined by the development on the line of Park Road, and generally referred to as ‘Barton Farm’. Micheldever is not an option at the moment, but Zurich (the successor to Eagle Star) is unlikely to abandon their plans for a new settlement in that area.
The size of the Ministry of Defence estate is under constant review and the two major sites owned by them to the north of Winchester (Sir John Moore Barracks and Worthy Down) may be disposed of at some time in the future, although as we understand it, there are no plans to do so at the present time.
A Personal Message
My decision to retire is no sudden one. I have always intended to step down as Chairman in the year of my 70th birthday and 2001 is the year. At the time of writing no successor has emerged, but l hope to have better news by the AGM.
The job has been most interesting and rewarding and l have no hesitation in recommending the post of Chairman to my eventual successor. The members of the Trust's Council of Management, who are an experienced, talented and hard working group give up their time and expertise to the Trust, and abundantly support the Chairman.
The work of the various sub-committees is invaluable in helping the Council to arrive at decisions and to carry out its work. Not all the members of these sub-committees are members of the Council of Management. Of course the views of these sub-committees are reported to the full Council for endorsement, amendment where necessary, or rejection.
I should like to pay tribute to the contribution to the proper management of the Trust's affairs made by our Treasurer, Ian Grant, our Secretary, Rolly Thomas and our Information Technology Consultant, Dick Selwood. Without their very considerable input to the day-to-day workings of the Trust the rest of us would find it difficult to perform our various tasks. lt is to a large extent through their efforts that the Trust's affairs are in such good shape. l make particular reference to the excellent programme of summer walks organized by Nick McPherson that have proved hugely popular. As always he has worked hard to produce a varied and interesting series for our entertainment and enlightenment. Nor must we forget the very valuable contribution made by Jo Gordon-Watson in her support of the walks, and her fund raising activities selling books in St. Maurice's Covert.
Sadly I also have to report that Gillian Bauer has given up regular work for the Trust. Her informed observations on landscaping, planting and the street scene (materials and furniture) are always very valuable when commenting upon schemes submitted to the Planning Department. We thank her for all the work she has undertaken for the Trust over the years that has done so much to help preserve the character of our City. She will now have more time and space to pursue her other interests and we wish her much enjoyment in that.
We are indeed fortunate in having a wide and informed membership who are generally most supportive. However it is not surprising that occasionally your Council's stand on certain topics has not pleased everyone. But the vast majority of members have always endorsed Trust's views on the contentious subjects that have been arrived at after much reasoned argument and debate.
My grateful thanks to all of you. Although I shall no longer be your Chairman, I shall continue to serve the Trust to the best of my ability.
R B Merton