News: August 2020

During the Coronavirus Covid-19 we have forwarded the weekly East Woodhay and Highclere Neighbourcare Coronavirus Support Newsletter to our members. Starting in August, rather than one a week, these newsletters will only be sent out when there are significant changes to report. Recent issues are below:

Below are extracts from our recent newsletter which goes out via email to all our members.

Restarting the Neighbourhood Plan

As the lifting of some lockdown restrictions becomes more likely, activity on the Highclere Neighbourhood Plan (HNP) will soon restart with a Housing Needs assessment and the development of a Parish-wide questionnaire to collect a broader set of views on community ambitions for the Parish.

The programme entered the Community Engagement phase this past February with our successful Open Day. We had planned to send out a Parish-wide questionnaire in the Spring or early-Summer based on feedback from the Open Day and further discussions with residents, businesses, landowners and other community stakeholders. The lockdown for CoVid-19 has prevented us from effectively holding those meetings and the issuing of the questionnaire was postponed.

A complication to progress has been the ongoing Review of the Local Plan. Both the Borough Council and the Government departments driving the revision of Housing Need figures have been severely hampered in their activities by the lockdown. We are therefore no nearer knowing whether the revised Local Plan will place a housing demand (or none) on Highclere Parish.

All the intelligence we can gather suggests that we would be wise to plan for a modest number of new houses to be required over the Plan period. It has been shown elsewhere that having a Neighbourhood Plan with allocated development sites is overwhelmingly more powerful in resisting unwelcome development than one with none, regardless of the Local Plan housing demand.

For all these reasons, we are planning to revive our activities in five strands of work as below. We are particularly interested in hearing from members who could help us on the first one below :

1. collecting and collating descriptive information about the Parish, covering :

2. commissioning a Housing Needs Assessment to determine whether and what new housing numbers are justified

3. holding further discussions with Basingstoke and Deane about what housing might be demanded,

4. identifying where in the Parish new housing development might prove sensible, sustainable and deliverable, and

5. creating a questionnaire to collect views on all Plan areas – housing, environment, sustainability, services and employment.

Any member who would be interested to know more or join the effort to develop the Plan, please contact the Chairman of the HNP Steering Group, Colin Wall at colin.n.wall*AT*

Bernard Macklin'Raffle King of Highclere'

Bernard Macklin

Bernard Macklin, the uncrowned 'Raffle King of Highclere' passed away on 30th April. Bernard was 96 years old and known to most of us in Highclere as the ultimate salesman of raffle tickets! He fiercely guarded his Tombola Drum and woe betide anyone who had not emptied it out before returning it!

During the war he served in the Fleet Air Arm (Elec) and was on the North Atlantic run. He had some very fond memories of his trips from Liverpool to Ireland, perhaps that is where his love of a glass of Guinness came from!

Bernard and Phyllis lived in Arkwright Close in the first house to be occupied when the cul-de-sac was built in the 70s. Before moving to Highclere they lived in Newbury where they started a successful Electrical Business B & P Macklin. Phyllis passed away in 2008. They had been married for 61 years. They were a formidable team both in business and in the business of selling raffle tickets! Their only daughter Marjorie lived with them in Highclere for a few years before she sadly died in 1997.

Bernard was a member of Highclere Society, where he enjoyed organising the raffle at the Annual BBQ. He was a committed Christian and supporter of Highclere Church and attended regularly, even when confined to a wheelchair. He was also a member of the local Conservative Association. He supported all events in Highclere Village Hall and all aspects of village life. Bernard had been a member of the PCC until quite recently and had served on the Village Hall Committee for many years. He also had the doubtful honour of being the only male to have been admitted to Highclere Wives group as an ‘honorary member’ so that he could accompany Phyllis when she needed his support in later years. He enjoyed going to the Evergreens once a month, especially the tea! He also enjoyed going to Fair Close. Newbury. Bernard was a people person and enjoyed a good chat

In January 2017 Highclere celebrated his achievements with a surprise party in Highclere village hall. Over 70 friends old and new enjoyed afternoon tea with cake and Prosecco and Bernard was presented with an award by the Mayor of Basingstoke in recognition of his contribution to the village.

Bernard was a great character who had a keen sense of humour, and did not give up easily once he had an idea! He also had a very accepting nature and appreciated the simple things in life especially kindness and good food!

Bernard will be greatly missed by all who knew him and will say it is an end of an era …… He is survived by a sister and a niece

Summer Fete Plant Sale

With the church summer fete being cancelled, Erica Harman nevertheless put the plants which would have been at the fete on sale in her garden. She writes:

"Thank you to all my wonderful, lovely, generous neighbours who have helped Karen and me to raise over £450 and counting for Highclere Church. Also to all the brilliant gardeners who have contributed plants for sale to keep us going in these thirsty days. There are a few more flowering plants waiting to be potted on, and I have some new, good looking Runner Beans. There should be enough to carry on for another week to 10 days and I look forward to seeing many of you again.


Walking around Highclere and District

Why not try one of the society walks as advertised on our web site:

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