This is what I’m delivering around Milton over the weekend and the early part of next week. St James’ Hospital, Tesco at Fratton Park, and the overturning of the daft Lib Dem plan to merge three schools (all of which are successful as they are) all feature. There’s a link to pdfs below the images if they aren’t clear enough on your screen as jpgs.
It’s clear from talking to people around Milton that there is a dearth of information about St James’. The NHS event about plans for the site seems to have made no impact – but I was pleased at the number of people who have remembered how I raised the issue before the election. I am sure that as the Conservative administration at PCC gets to grips with the situation it will keep residents properly informed. The Lib Dems themselves have a leaflet going out at present and it says nothing at all in terms of what they think should happen and what they are going to do about it. I suspect they will carry on doing what they’ve done since they were warned about the NHS plans in February, and do nothing while blaming everyone else for their mess.
I will get round to writing up a blog on my “qualified opposition” to the Tesco plans before the Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday – there wasn’t enough time or space in the production of this leaflet to go into great detail. I will be attending the meeting to make a deputation, though I expect there will be a lot of people doing the same thing and we may only get a very limited amount of time each to say our piece.
However the basics are clear – the road layout as it stands is idiotic and will generate more traffic chaos in an area where there’s already too much; and the concerns of traders, although they aren’t counted as “planning considerations” under the law, they should be heard. National planning policy means councils have a lot less power to control development than the public often imagine. There’s also a possible procedural issue as to whether the scheme can only be given the go-ahead by the Secretary of State, rather than decided either way on Wednesday. We’ll see what happens.
There is also another Milton issue on Wednesday which didn’t make it into this leaflet, and that’s the shoddy work being done on the former Old Canal pub to convert it into a convenience store and flats. I used to pop in there reasonably often, it used to serve a great pint of Old Thumper, and wasn’t until right before the end an obvious “endangered pub”. It is one of many architecturally important pubs in Pompey and I hope the Planning Committee will safeguard it from vandalism by any future owners. There have been other, more sympathetic conversions of pubs in the same style (the former King George V off Arundel St for instance) in the past, so it can be done.
If these images aren’t clear, you can download the leaflet as a pdf:
Page 1 pdf: In Touch Milton Aug14 P1
Page 2 pdf: In Touch Milton Aug14 P2