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Community Engagement

*Update 12 February 2021 on Speed Reduction Measures*  

The Parish Council will be deciding in the 09 March meeting whether to go ahead with the proposed project. 

For a number of years, HPC has been trying to tackle the issue of speeding along the A343.

Over the past year, under the title of a Community Funded Initiative, we have collaborated with Hampshire County Council's transport division to implement speed reduction measures in Highclere.

As part of the budget for 2021/22 HPC has allocated spends of up to £15,000 to improve the speeding issues.

There are 4 locations along the A343 that have been highlighted by our HCC transport experts as appropriate for clearer and/or new signage. 

  • Each location has been identified as potential for improved speed awareness measures
  • The road structure and appropriateness of the proposals are recommended by a senior transport engineer
  • Highclere PC can choose which measures to implement

We are currently at the stage to approve the proposed design changes. Please see the two attachments below for the proposed design as well as the quote.

Do you have any concerns regarding the cost or the designs that have been that you'd like HPC to be aware of?

If so, please contact us via the Clerk

*Update 12 February 2021* HPC has objected to Outline planning Application 20/03524/OUT

Response by Highclere Parish Council

Decision: Object

  1. Highclere is a small rural village within the North Wessex Downs A.O.N.B.  and this large development would be totally out of character with the rest of the village. This conflicts with the criteria defined in the local plan and National Policy Planning Framework. In accordance with the NPPF Paragraph 172:

  “Great weight should be given to conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty in National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which have the highest status of protection in relation to these issues. The conservation and enhancement of wildlife and cultural heritage are also important considerations in these areas…. The scale and extent of development within these designated areas should be limited. Planning permission should be refused for major development other than in exceptional circumstances, and where it can be demonstrated that the development is in the public interest.”. 

The NPPF goes on to outline these circumstances in sub-paragraphs a) and b). When considering a “test of exceptional necessity” this application fails to meet these requirements. 

HPC notes the Court of Appeal ruling last Thursday for a development near Haslemere, in an AONB. This application was not a major one; the JPP application has been declared major by BDBC so it is hard to understand how this development can be justified. 


  1. The Parish Council would not consider the proposal to be sustainable on any economic or social service measure. Highclere is a village that does not have a settlement envelope and is, therefore, considered as countryside. Basingstoke and Dean considers Highclere as a Tier 5 settlement and, as such, is considered to be the least sustainable when planning for new houses is considered. In fact, the Local Plan has no requirement for housing in Tier 5 settlements. As such, BDBC has no planning need for 26 houses to be built in Highclere. 
  2. The proposal is a disproportionately large expansion of a parish the size of Highclere. It is recognised that the development has been identified in the Dec 2020 SHELAA Appendix 5: Sites outside Settlement Policy Boundaries, Reference H1004. That review judged that " … due to its location in the countryside its development would not be in line with the borough’s current planning framework".
  3. The NPPF guidance should focus on development in locations that are, or can be made, sustainable: Most journeys (over 95%) require the use of a car to access needed facilities in Newbury and beyond.  The closest location for a very limited number of facilities, Woolton Hill, does not lend itself to cycling or pedestrians with a lack of pavements, lighting, narrow lanes etc.
  4. The application is contrary to the Local Plan policy SS6 – Housing in the Countryside as well as SS6, SD1. In the most recent projections of the population of Highclere Parish, it shows that there will be a very small decrease in numbers over the coming years.  Therefore the Local Plan shows no identified need for a housing development like this.  Although the Borough does not have a 5 year housing supply, this does not go against the primary aim of policy SS6.  It should be given due consideration alongside other policies that define the location of new developments in the Local Plan. The Borough’s spatial strategy focuses developments adjacent to Basingstoke and larger settlements as reinforced by policies SD1 and SS1.
  5. Out of character for the village main thoroughfare.  Properties along Andover Road are predominantly of individual character.  Adding a 26 new housing development along the main road within the village will have a strong impact on the character and style of the village.
  6. Lack of infrastructure to cater for the increase in population 26 houses would require.  There is already significant traffic and congestion along this road adding yet another entrance will not help the flow of traffic in conjunction with the recognised issue of speeding along this stretch of road.  Additionally the village has a significant broadband issue (bandwidth, no fibre).  The addition of 26 dwellings would multiply the issue.   
  7. Highclere village has developed organically over its history, largely through infill and small developments. In fact, within the last twelve months, there have been various planning applications submitted for small-scale development.  Permission for six houses has already been granted and there is P.I.P. for a further 3 houses.   Therefore, an estate of 26 homes would represent the biggest single development in this village.  This is more than excessive and would damage the rural character and begin a process of urbanization by adding at least 10% to the current housing stock.
  8. The proposed common in the application is considered by the Parish Council as unnecessary, given the fact that there are large areas of open space in Highclere, demonstrated by the low-density housing. So, there is no demonstrable need in this application. 
  9. With regards to the local engagement reported in the “Statement of Community Involvement” in the application, it should be noted that the number of responses received should not be considered statistically significant. Only 21 responses were received, from a village of 344 properties in Highclere Ward (670 persons on the electoral role or 640 and 1263 for Highclere and Penwood combined).  Eight people expressed a positive view- 1.2% of the electorate of the Highclere Ward or 0.6% of Highclere Parish. Any feedback from this engagement should not be considered as reflective of the local view.


Planning permission for 26 new houses on the Andover road (JPP Development)

Documents related to the JPP Andover Road Outline Planning Application 20/03524/OUT are on the Basingstoke and Deane Portal and can be accessed here.

> > Update 21/01/21: HPC will be holding an extraordinary meeting on 27/01/21 to discuss the response to the application. 

How can you comment on the proposal? (deadline extended to 12th February 2021)

  • It is easy to comment on the proposal, click here to be taken to the Basingstoke and Deane Planning Portal where you can view comments and add your own
  • Or send an email to: [email protected] making sure you include the planning reference (20/03524/OUT) in the title or as a heading row within the email

Details of our response will be on our minutes



HPC is actively supporting the initiation of a highspeed fibre to premises rollout.

  • Hampshire is changing the current voucher scheme. It will end on 31 March and a new voucher scheme will replace this in April 2021. The good news is that because Highclere PC has already contacted Openreach, and due to our postcode, we will still qualify for the new vouchers (the info is TBC).
  • Due to the enormous response, Openreach is yet to provide HPC with an outline cost.


  • Next Steps:
  • Please keep an eye on the news page (don't forget you can 'Sign up to our Email Alerts' - blue button on the right beneath the main menu)
  • Read our minutes for updates.
  • Read all about the Openreach Community Partnership
  • Send your information to our Chairman who can add it to the list of interested parties.