This website has been created for the residents of Abbotts Barton and surrounding areas so that you can keep up to-date with what's going on.

Apart from news you can find information about events, campaigns, and how to contact councillors.

Abbotts Barton Community Group is a community association which serves the people of Abbotts Barton and aims to act as a community anchor organisation. The main areas of work for the Group are:
  • ☐ To enable residents to find out how we can make where we live even better and do something about it.
  • ☐ To run events and activities for the benefit of inhabitants of Abbotts Barton.
  • ☐ To strengthen community participation.

Big Lunch 2014
We always welcome people to join us, it's easy and free and there is no obligation to do anything! Please see our Membership page for more info!

If you should be interested in helping out at events, as a street champion, or as a Councillor's Surgery visitor, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Also let us know if you have some ideas for events or skills that could be useful (e.g. face painting at the picnics)! Read more about how you can help on our Get Involved page!

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If you want to receive news (approximately monthly) from the Community Group about Abbotts Barton, please enter your name and email address below:

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Wednesday 25 September 2013

News roundup

So what's been going on over the last week or so? The main topics for everybody I have talked seem to be that:

a) the parks in Abbotts Barton are safe for the years to come
b) now a green of the North Walls Recreation area is under threat because of the plans for a new leisure centre!

There were some more news from Winchester City Council that will affect almost all of us:

Some more general news:

For those of us who are interested in eating out locally:

And finally some events:

Picnic & Play - continuing in 2014

The last Picnic & Play event was only small (despite the warm weather!) but the children seemed to enjoy themselves tremendously with the balls and flying rotors we brought along. Both flying rotors were broken in the end, but it wasn't the children's fault: the dads did it! :)

It was also interesting to see how the different venue affected the play activities: we had a lot of going up and down on the path next to Dyson Drive green with a bicycle and some play that involved the bushes a the top and at the bottom.

At first it was just me and my son and then I was so spooked by the sudden appearance of spider-man across the road that I forgot to take any photos afterwards!

Thank you to everybody who participated in this year’s Picnic & Play events. They were great outdoors fun for the children and an excellent time for the grown-ups to have a good chat! We will continue in spring 2014 when the temperatures are allowing us to do so. Looking forward to seeing you there! (Please also feel welcome to come along if you don’t have any children!)

Thursday 19 September 2013

Picnic & Play - last one for this year

How about another Picnic & Play this coming Sunday (22 September)? The weather forecast says 21C for the afternoon, no rain to be seen for the days around it either: I don't think it will get any better than that for the rest of the year.

We will do this one on the Dyson Drive green to give it some use too (important for the Village Green application).

As always, bring along some nibbles, something to sit on and maybe some outdoor toys for the kids, other than that: enjoy!

(Please note that we have a different starting time: 2:30pm!)

Have you seen the plans for the new Leisure Centre?

The plans for the new Leisure Centre have the potential to divide the Winchester community, raising fears about losing a huge green field cherished by many who live in the Northern areas of Winchester. Please take a look for yourself on this website (with a link to the Council's plans) and if you wish also leave a comment there:

Save The Rec

If you are concerned about the plans or simply interested you can also take part in the public meeting on 26 September:

Meeting about future of River Park Leisure Centre

Thursday 12 September 2013

News roundup

Back again with a news roundup after the summer break, and also back to normal weather and routines! We hope you are all settling in fine!

Here is a summary of the most important news and web links that concern Abbotts Barton. There was a lot more information about events and other topics posted via Twitter and Facebook; if you are interested and don't follow us already please take a look there.

Picnic & Play
As it was raining on the day of our last event (8 September) nobody turned up apart from the Reverend Sally Goodson from St. Bartholomew church! She would have liked to introduce herself to the community. We had a little chat and she will continue to check our notice board for future events. I am disappointed that nobody else came but I somehow expected this with the weather having cooled off!

Should we try to set up one more Picnic & Play for this year? Possibly quite short notice based on the weather forecast? How about Sunday 22 or 29 September? Maybe slightly later in the afternoon, as it only warms up roundabout 2pm? Please, please, please let us know your thoughts!

Parking restrictions
As you most likely have noticed, the lines on the roads for the new parking scheme have not been finished yet: apparently Hampshire County Council only employs one contractor so they have been prioritising roads needing them for winter. The parking office have been chasing everyday!
It would be interesting to find out how the parking scheme is impacting other parts of Abbotts Barton, can you give us some information?

River Park Leisure Centre
After Tuesday's council meetings Hampshire Chronicle has more details on the plans for the Leisure Centre.

There will be a public meeting at the Guildhall in Winchester on Thursday 26 September (7.30pm)!

Crossing for Worthy Road
Not happy! We have learned on Monday via Sally Pasche (see article) that the count of cars and pedestrians on Worthy Road has been done DURING THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS and the outcome is predictable: no safer/better crossing needed! I think most people who have to cross the road during high traffic times on school days would disagree! If you are concerned about crossing that road please contact Hampshire County Council. You could do that via contacting  Fiona Mather (our County Councillor for Winchester Eastgate): fmather@winchester.gov.uk.

Barton Farm
Detailed plans for Barton Farm development art to go on display next week, more info via this Hampshire Chronicle article.

As we were asking about Fracking in one of the Councillor's Surgeries, here is a Hampshire County Council document with information about who is responsible for making decisions in regards to oil and gas extraction in Hampshire and what is currently going on (forwarded by Jim Maynard):
FAQ oil and gas (PDF)


If you would like to contribute to this blog or our Facebook page, please let us know via the comments below or by email (see Contact tab), any help is welcome.

Sunday 8 September 2013

Councillor's Surgery Visit

Jane, Lynne and I (Sylke) went on to the St. Bartholomew Councillor's Surgery (first Thursday of every month, 7:30-8:30pm at Hyde Parish Hall). This time we spoke with Dominic Hiscock.

Council house development 
At the moment it looks as if Winchester City Council is going to drop the idea of building houses on the park along Charles Close and is only still planning to extend the row at the bottom of Charles Close that sits parallel to the river. In addition a change in the order of building work seems to be on the plan: the houses at Hillier Way are still first, but because of the application for village green (submitted by some Abbotts Barton residents), it is not possible for the Council to submit a planning application for that site, so other potential sites in Abbotts Barton, most likely the garages, are to be looked at again.
Very important: the next Housing Committee meeting will be Wednesday 18 September at 10am in the Guildhall! The public are allowed to attend this meeting, so please do go along if you want to find out more. The papers for the meeting will be available on the WCC website from 10 September. If you've been meaning to write to your local councillors or the committee to express your views, now is the time to do it! The Save The Parks in Abbotts Barton website has all the necessary information for you on the Action! tab!

River Park Leisure Centre 
As you might have heard there will be a public meeting (at the Guildhall in Winchester on Thursday 26 September at 7.30pm) to discuss the Council’s plan for the Leisure Centre replacement with interested groups and individuals. The idea is to build a new centre next to the old one and keep the old one open until the new one is ready. They want to have a 10 lane 25m pool and more sports courts that can be used in a more flexible way. Building a new centre there means some of the open space will be lost as the space from the old centre would become an extension of the car park.

Play areas 
Again, there are no news on the planned play area in the Abbotts Walk development. Dominic Hiscock promised to chase this down. People who have moved into the new houses are starting to wonder what the plans are and the topic of the ‘pond’ has come up again: the answer is that there is NO pond planned but there will be an area where rainwater can gather and drain into the ground (called SUDS, Sustainable Urban Drainage System) when there is a lot of rain, so it might be quite muddy or even a little swampy when a lot of rain is coming down.

We also haven’t been able to find out when we will get new goal posts and some new (picnic) benches in the main park in Abbotts Barton but we’ve asked the councillors to keep pursuing this.

We have noticed that the Council had some work done to the actual playground area, putting new soft ground covering in under some of the play devices, this is appreciated:

Pedestrian improvements 
After some emails between our ward councillors and the City Council it now turns out that the footpath opposite the allotments apparently is the responsibility of Hampshire County Council! If you would like something to be done about its state (as it’s getting bumpier and narrower over the years), please send an email to Fiona Mather (our County Councillor for Winchester Eastgate): fmather@winchester.gov.uk.

Community Centre for Abbotts Barton 
Ever since we have set up our Community Group we have been struggling to find a suitable meeting room that doesn’t cost the world. We have been hoping to find some space in the existing football club building but so far to no avail. We are still hopeful something will come up.

Parking restrictions 
We are pleased to see that parking in the area of the parking restrictions scheme has become much easier for residents, however, the lines for the new parking bays haven’t been finished despite the scheme formally starting on 19 August. We pointed out that some parking bays are being put in place across some driveways at Francis Gardens and that this could be a potential problem for the people living there, this needs to be checked by the Council. We also expressed disappointment that the parking bays near the crossing area to the playground haven’t been done in such a way that children get a better view angle when crossing the road.

20mph speed limit 
The 20mph speed limit is going to be implemented for Winchester City centre in 2014, in our area beginning at Hyde Street. What would you think about a local campaign to reduce the number of speeding drivers in Abbotts Barton? More info can be found at www.20splentyforus.org.uk and feedback can be given here.

The next Councillor's Surgery will be Thursday 3 October!