WELCOME TO THE WEBSITE FOR HAMPTON IN ARDEN!
Thank you for visiting the Hampton in Arden website which includes information about the village, events and services and which is sponsored by the Parish Council.
Please use the links on the left hand side of the page to easily navigate around the site and we hope that you find the information useful and readily available. Please remember to visit this site frequently as the information will be regularly updated.
AGENDA - Parish Council Meeting - 13th January
Download agenda ...
West Midlands Rail Franchise
STOP PRESS - PROPOSED M42 MOTORWAY SERVICE AREA (MSA)
If you haven't already written to SMBC about the proposed Motorway Service Area (MSA) near Catherien-de-Barnes we urge you and your neighbours to do so now as a matter of urgency. As far as we know the application will be heard by the Planning Committee on the 27th April and we need your support in protecting our Green Belt.
Listed below are some possible reasons for objecting and attached to this letter are some more detailed guidelines. We would be grateful if you could please compose you own letter or e-mail as these carry more influence.
- The proposed very large site is in the Greenbelt and very special circumstances for development there have not been presented
- The need has not been proven
- The MSA is not in the Solihull Local Plan
- Its construction will result in the loss of high quality agricultural land
- There is no justifiable need for a hotel and conference centre
- The site is on a section of motorway that has four lane running and very frequent congestion so safety would be compromised
- The MSA site is too close to two motorway junctions
- It is a premature decision as there are improvements to be made at Junction 6 of the M42 and there are major planned developments in the area such as HS2 and UK Central
- Previous planning decisions about the proposed MSA were made before the Hopwood MSA was opened
- National Planning policy has changed since the public inquiries of 2001/2009 so their determination is not relevant
Mails or letters should be addressed to Lawrence Osborne (email@example.com) at Planning Department, SMBC, Council House, Solihull, B91 3PX.
Stop Press....Hampton Festival 2016
The first meeting of The Festival Committee for 2016 has taken place so please put the date in your diary, 1st to 3rd July 2016.
It is proposed that the format will be broadly similar to last year but it is hoped that some exciting new events will take place....watch this space!!!!
Further details will appear on The Festival Website in due course.
Solihull Connected Green Paper and Revised Solihull Local Plan Consultation
After attending several briefing sessions the parish council have recently sent the following reply to the consultation regarding the Solihull Connected Green Paper and the Revised Solihull Local Plan.
Like Us On Facebook!
In addition to this website, the Parish Council has embraced social media and now has its own Facebook page. We hope that this will provide a quick and easy way for us to keep you up to date with village matters and for you to provide information to us on issues that matter to you. We will be posting regular updates on important issues, details about village services and reminders for local events.
Just log in to Facebook and type "Hampton-in-Arden Parish Council" into the search box at the top of the Facebook window and we should pop up. To ensure our posts automatically appear in your timeline make sure to hit the 'Like' button. We hope to have lots of new likers soon and look forward to hearing from you all!
Not a Facebook user? Don't worry - you can access our Facebook page even if you do not have a Facebook account - just click on this link or click on the Facebook image on the LH side of this page.
You may have noticed that, following several years of campaigning by the Parish Council, the Railway Station ticket office has recently been adapted to allow direct access to the bridge when the office is unattended returning us to the situation which existed before the ticket office hours were reduced four years ago. A ramp has also been installed for disabled access to the office, negotiation of the steps to platform 2 remains a problem.
We have also been told that we may get a proper ticket machine installed funded by money which has come with the extension of the operating franchise until 2017.
We continue to press for the station to be made fully accessible but have been told that two lifts would be needed at a cost of £2m.
Companies are currently bidding for the franchise to operate of the railway beyond 2017 and a public consultation is underway. We have been told that this is our opportunity to put a case for improvement to our station. The more responses to the consultation pressing for station improvements the better so please take a few minutes to look at the website for consultation documents, events and details of how to respond either in writing or on the website response form.
We were asked to remind you that The Taxibus is available for all to use at the price of your usual bus fare. The minibus offers a door to door service for any age or ability group from Monday to Saturday between 8 am and 7.30 pm in the area outlined by Solihull, Coventry, Knowle, Birmingham International, Chelmsley Wood. So why not use it to go out in the evening, for travel to school outside normal hours or to a convenient railway station. Please call 0121 783 6869 for more information or to book, preferably the day before.
How are you finding the 82 bus service? CENTRO are keen to have feedback so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments.
War Memorial Engraving
On December 29th 1915 Corporal Archibald Neill of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was killed in the Sudan being commemorated with a headstone in the Military Cemetery Khartoum. Corporal Neill was the son in law of Benjamin Hubbard and was recorded in the census of 1901 as living in Woodbine Cottage, Fentham Road, his widow Ruth remarried and is buried with her second husband in our churchyard. For some reason the name of Archibald Neill does not appear on our War Memorial along with others from the village who fell in the First World War. We were approached by the family of Mr Neill and have agreed that his name should be engraved on the memorial in this the hundredth year following his death. This commission was completed in time for our Remembrance Day Parade and it was lovely to be joined by the Neill family for the village act of remembrance.
Motorway Service Station
The formal planning application for a Motorway Service Station on green belt land in the Meriden Gap between Solihull Road and the M42 was submitted to SMBC some months ago however a decision was deferred by Highways England pending further work on the highways issues. Those in the village who have successfully fought this proposal on 2 previous occasions will no doubt be dismayed to see it raising itís head again. The plan is for Solihull Road to be raised on a new motorway bridge and it is said that there will be no access for vehicles from the Solihull Road. There are other reviews taking place to increase capacity on the M42 for the HS2 station and new Resort World which might result in widening of the Motorway or creation of a new junction and the new bridges would have to cater for additional lanes on the motorway. The Parish Council responded to the initial application. Click here to read our response Click here to read our response ... and have recently submitted a further response to revised plans which refuted all our points of objection.
Additional Provision 2
On July 16th 2015 Additional provisions to the HS2 Hybrid Bill and 2 new Environmental Statements were published and as far as Hampton is concerned the main changes involve:
- A viaduct from Patricks Farm crossing the B4102 and the Blythe valley which had been requested by the community instead of a long embankment. This will maintain the open views of the valley as well as migration routes and we hope will not result in increased flooding
- Creation of a new Diddington Lane which will remain open to through traffic. The community have always been in support of the original plan to close the lane as they believed it would be used as a rat run to the new station
The parish council, Hampton Society, Fentham Trust and 28 individual residents have submitted petitions to The Parliamentary Select Committee opposing the proposal to realign Diddington Lane on the basis that this would increase traffic through the lane and the village as a whole.
The documents can be viewed online here ...
We expect to be able to present our case in Parliament later this year or in early 2016.
The Hampton Society and Parish Council have been working with our M P Caroline Spelman to produce a petition which she can present to Parliament promoting Diddington Lane as a Green Route. If you would like to sign it is available in the village shops.
A residents group, mainly from Diddington Lane, has met on 2 occasions to co-ordinate the petitions if you would like to be involved in mitigating the effects of HS2 please contact email@example.com
HS2 held an information event at Fentham Hall on 19th September which was very useful in bringing councillors, our M P and the public together to form a coherent opposition and credible alternative to the plans for Diddington Lane. We hope that the door will now be open for meaningful discussion.
Additional Provision 4
A further Additional Provision to the Hybrid Bill was subsequently published proposing to relocate The Bickenhill Waste Recycling Centre to green belt land at the end of Diddington Lane to which we also objected. Click here to read the HS2 AP4 Petition.
The Parish Council, Hampton Society, Fentham Trust and Residents Action Group travelled to The Houses of Parliament on 27th January 2016 to address the Select Committee about our serious concerns. The transcript can be viewed here.
We await the outcome of the petition, containing over 700 signatures, which our MP Caroline Spelman presented to Parliament in the Autumn of 2015 promoting Diddington Lane as a Green Route.
The Background to HS2
On 25th November 2013 the HS2 Environmental Statement was released by the Government. It is a very detailed plan for the construction programme of HS2 and forms the basis of the Hybrid Bill, the parliamentary go ahead for the scheme.
The documents number thousands of pages and can be viewed in the local libraries or here.
The parish council and Hampton Society have worked together to read the lengthy documents and extract detail that is important for the village, sent off separate responses, click here to read the response of the parish council.
Representatives of the parish council and Hampton Society have been working closely with Councillors and planning officers at SMBC and we are pleased to report that all our 'asks' have been included in the SMBC response.
The parish council has prepared a petition concerning the adverse effects of HS2 on the community, which has been submitted to and accepted by the Parliamentary Select Committee. The petition covers important issues of mitigation for the village in which we are supported by SMBC.
On 16th September 2014 members of the select committee visited the local area and spent 15 minutes talking to representatives of the Parish Council and Hampton Society at Patricks Farm about our serious concerns.
On December 11th 2014 a delegation from the Parish Council and Hampton Society travelled to London to appear in front of the HS2 Select Committee and present the petition outlined below. We spoke for 2 hours and were very well received the Chair subsequently stating 'The Hampton-in-Arden petitioners presented their case formidably. We are confident that their impressive abilities will contribute to reaching sensible outcomes with HS2 and Solihull on their particular issues of concern, especially viaduct design and flooding. If there are unresolved problems, they should feel free to inform us and there will be time to call them back'. A meeting has been organised with HS2 negotiators to firm up on the promises that were made.
The closure of Diddington Lane to through traffic has always been an element of the HS2 plans and we understood that this has been supported by many villagers in order to prevent the lane being a short cut to the Interchange Station on the A452 near Melbicks Nursery. It is disappointing that Packington Estate have been able to persuade HS2 to work on a plan to keep the lane open so if you would like to make your view on this matter known please email the parish clerk. We have now seen the amended plan for keeping Diddington Lane open which is a new road to the west of the current Diddington Lane, unfortunately if this goes ahead it has to be a modern standard road and so wider than at present. We will continue to fight against this and if it does happen we will seek traffic calming measures which will discourage an increase of traffic using Diddington Lane and the village roads as a whole.
A constructive meeting between the Parish Council, the Hampton-in-Arden Society and Packington Estates was held in April. As a result an agreed statement has been sent to HS2 detailing what would be acceptable to all parties (including the Council and the Society seeking to retain the existing alignment of Diddington Lane and restricting access to through traffic). We await a response.
The parish council remains fundamentally opposed to HS2 which will severely affect the nature of our village for future generations.
Birmingham Airport Issues
There have been many complaints recently concerning aircraft noise and the parish council wrote to the airport to see what had changed. Their reply states that no change has been made to route 6, which aircraft follow when taking off to the south, and it was suggested that the difference is in our perception with windows open etc. All we can suggest is that residents continue to complain by way of the airport website.
If you would like more information, a very helpful document written specifically for local residents on the airspace change process and aircraft activity in general can be found here.
Airspace Change Update
The decision by the CAA on the proposed flight path change has been delayed.
The Airport Company has now stated their preference for Option 6 claiming this route, for aircraft taking off to the south *replicates the original Hampton Turn as far as is technically possible, *is safe, and *is compliant with navigational requirements.
What does this mean for Hampton residents? There will be little or no change as Option 6 has been in use for some time and will continue to be used until the Civil Aviation Authority make the final decision - expected in September 2015.
However, during the trials the airport company has identified a problem with some aircraft not flying the intended route when taking off to the south but then turning to go north. As a result, some types of aircraft are flying closer to the village than others and turning sooner than intended - creating unnecessary noise in the Bellemere Road area. In June 2015 a revised route is to be trialled which should ensure that aircraft revert to the centre line of the intended route which is between Hampton-in-Arden and Balsall Common. It is hoped that any revised route will be operational later this year.
There has been much anger and disquiet within the village concerning the sudden increase in aircraft noise since the southerly departure route trials began in May. Initially route 5 presented a sharp increase in noise but Route 6 has been much worse. The airport claim that this is because aircraft are not following the designated routes as a result of inaccurate co-ordinates being entered in the navigation systems. We are told that this has now been corrected and a further 3 month trial of option 6 will commence on November 13th. The public consultation concerning flight path options preceded any trials and consequently information about their impact might be considered insufficient for the public to have made informed decisions.
In addition with the end of the runway being 300 m nearer the village the noise from aircraft taking off to the north is much worse especially in the early morning with windows open and some residents in Old Station Road are aware of ground testing of engines in the new maintenance hanger.
Well over 150 residents attended the 'Hello' held by the airport on 21st June and made their feelings known in no uncertain terms, many people felt that little heed was taken by the junior employees who represented the airport. Incredibly the airport say that whilst they are noting comments there is no further public consultation, the data from the trial is information for the CAA only.
Subsequently a petition was drafted by two pilots living in the village, which has been presented to Parliament by our M P Caroline Spelman, requesting the Minister of State for Transport reviews the trial of options 5 and 6 and instructs the airport to look at other possible routings which will mimick the Hampton Turn and be quieter for residents of the rural communities. Within 10 days 2200 signatures had been collected from Hampton 880, Balsall 1300 and Barston 25. The reply by the Transport Minister concerning the petition can be found in Hansard.
On initial analysis the airport felt that option 6 was less disruptive to the community and this will remain in operation until the CAA make a formal decision.
In 2014 the airport proposed that the constitution and operation of the Airport Consultative Committee was fundamentally changed with a much reduced representation from community bodies. However following a great deal of pressure, not least from The parish council and Hampton Society, it has been re-established. We will be fighting to ensure that both bodies are represented on it in future so that we have a strong voice with which to protect our community from further environmental damage.
The parish council response to the ACC consultation can be viewed here.
Resurfacing and improved drainage along Station Road is still outstanding in February 2016 despite an email from Network Rail stating 'I must reassure you on behalf of the residents of Station Road that the resurfacing works to our road will be happening once the drainage has been completed. We have, however been let down by our delivery agents, and have been forced to change delivery path to try to reinject some pace into the programme. It is fortunate that we are having a relatively dry run of weather, because delivery of the drainage scheme is key to reducing flooding risk on the approaches to Birmingham International station, as well as at Hampton in Arden. We are desperately keen to see the scheme delivered, and intensely frustrated ourselves by the lack of progress to date. The new team are making good progress, and the current delivery programme is likely to see us on site commencing the drainage towards the end of July, but as I believe I previously stated, the highway works to Station road will be one of the last elements of work undertaken so that the risk of damage by construction traffic can be minimised. As soon as I have a firm programme, I will ensure that you are provided with details. My expectation at present would be that the scheme will be completed towards the end of 2015'
We have recently requested an update but have had no response.
Parish Councillor Position
In early 2015 the number of Parish Councillors for the village was increased from seven to nine. One of these posts remains unfilled so if you would like to get more involved in village life and make a difference to where you live, becoming a Councillor may be for you. If you might be interested in applying please do get in touch (01675 442017 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or just pop into the office for a chat.
Heavy Goods Traffic
Unfortunately, the parish council application to SMBC Highways Department for a ban on HGV traffic using the B4102 through the village did not score highly enough in the ranking system to receive funding, in fact we did not even make it onto the reserve list. For the last couple of years the parish council and a community representative have been attending quarterly liaison meetings with representatives of the quarries at Cornetts End Lane. Through this committee we have had signs posted reminding HGV Quarry traffic that it is prohibited from using the village roads and it is generally felt that this has helped reduce HGV traffic. If you see possible quarry traffic travelling through the village please note the registration number, date and time and we will pass it on to the quarry operators for you. It is a constant battle for them to monitor traffic and apply fines for transgression of planning conditions, we will continue to try and improve the situation.
As part of the Consultation Survey completed earlier this year for the Neighbourhood Plan you told us that more facilities were needed for older children and teenagers. The Council are keen to address this issue and want to identify ideas that are feasible - with a view to delivery in the future.
We would love to hear your suggestions so please do email us with any ideas. Please email and watch this space!
Garden City Consultation
A consultation event, organised by the Parish Council, took place on 6th December and a large number of residents came along to see what was involved. The consultation was really concerning de-designation by SMBC of green belt land around the proposed HS2 station to optimise economic potential by allowing development of housing and jobs. A vast majority of those who attended felt that the main concern was to protect the green belt and the parish council response will reflect this view in it's response.
The parish council response to the consultation can be viewed here.
If you use the navigation menu on the LH side of this website you will see that there is a Village Diary page. This is a free service for you to advertise your events taking place in the village. To use the diary, please e-mail your dates to the Clerk.
Please take some time to view all areas of the site and let us know how we may improve the service which we are providing. Remember, please advise us of your forthcoming events for the village diary.
Website last updated - 23 March 2016