Saturday, December 15

Costa Waterlooville invasion

Whilst doing my regular shopping trip in Waterlooville, i couldn't help notice that the Costa coffee shop chain has taken over the old Woolwich Bank site.

I am worried for the existing cafe's and coffee shops in Waterlooville. In particular Cafe Moka which has been built up by some local girls and does a roaring trade. They also have a cafe in Emsworth. I just hope they survive in face of the possibly aggressive competition from Costa.

I wish local government were more supportive of local businesses. Considering the Waterlooville area is primarily Tory ground, one would think they would be.

Good and bad Waterlooville shopping news

The last few weeks and months have seen some changes to the mixture of shops in Waterlooville. Last Saturday a new shop called Planet Trash opened up selling products made from recycled materials. The products include, Christmas decorations made from CDs, mouse mats made from recycle rubber, toothbrushes made from recycled plastic and bags made from various recycled materials.

That is just a small selection of what they sell. They also have a web site called Planet trash.

That is some good news. The bad news is that they replace a local small sports shop that occupied the premises for decades, but it looks like the sports shop were forced out of business after years trying to compete with the big corporate sports chain that opened in the planet damaging Hambledon Road Retail Park.

Thats not the only bad news, because the local small cycle shop also closed having lost the battle locally trying to compete with the large Halfords store, also located at the Hambledon Road Retail Park.

The Parks retail stores have successfully wiped out the towns shoe shops, sports shop, cycle shop and many other shops. At the same time the Retail Parks car park is a menace to pedestrians trying to get into Waterlooville.

Saturday, December 1

Havant Tesco battle not over yet

It seems that despite our councillors voting to allow Tesco to redevelop the Havant store into a larger 'Extra' store, Friends of the Earth believe there is still a chance that the Tesco can be stopped via the Government Office for the South East.

Lets hope they succeed because unless these large scale developments are halted we will end up with commercial uncompetitive monopolies dominating our towns and encouraging people to travel long distances by car to get to them, killing off sustainable local developments.

Sunday, November 25

Havant Tesco's

We got some bad news this week when it was announced that local authority planners had given the go ahead for Tescos to replace its existing Havant store with a much larger one. Many people have written to the council to complain about the move, far more than those in favour.

A consultancy was even employed by the council to investigate the plan and even they suggested it was a bad idea. Yet the planners gave it the all clear! One wonders whether any of them really care about the environment or long established businesses in the area.

Elected councillors will be voting this Thursday to make a final decision. I hope they make the correct decision and reject the plan, this would be a major change for development trends and would give a refreshing sign to the community.

Saturday, November 3

Waterlooville Retail Park Hell

Some more fields near Waterlooville that were converted into an environmentally damaging car paradise. DFS and Focus can be seen in the background, the retail park is built on farm land, the cars to the right of the image are roughly where the original Hambledon Road entered Waterlooville.
To the rear of DFS and Focus is the dual carriageway.

The problem with this development is that it encourages car use. Many of the people driving to this place do not know that the land was once farm land. In many cases the things they purchase wouldn't even fit in a car and so they will have their sofas, washing machines and other goods delivered later by the store. Sure, they can buy small stuff as well, but then why use a car?

Every car parked in the photo, also has another car parking space allocated at the owners home. This results in gardens being destroyed along with a loss in insect and bird life.

What really makes this particular development bad is the fact that it was built across a long standing pedestrian route into Waterlooville, making it an unpleasant stressful walk through the car park. The blame is largely with the local authorities and developers for putting the car first and neglecting pedestrians, cyclists and disability electric buggy riders. The old Hambledon road route into Waterlooville was once publicly owned.

National Trust strikes back

Todays news about the National Trusts more aggressive stance on land use and housing developments is good for many trying to protect their local 'green' land from the governments house building plans for the South and South East.

The National Trust has a good record on environmental issues so this move shouldn't come as a surprise. Unfortunately it has probably come to late for Waterlooville. Lets hope it hasn't though!

Friday, October 26

Tricorn Centre vs West of Waterlooville MDA

It is interesting to see how our competing government and local authorities can come up with ideas that environmentally misuse and abuse the land we have, producing the worst possible environmental results.

In the city of Portsmouth the old Tricorn Centre was knocked down so that a large commercial retail development could be built there. In the mean time a massive car park has been put in its place, encouraging people to use their cars. OK so far, this sounds typical and quite normal for todays poor eco standards.

But then at the same time plans are being made for fields near Waterlooville to be made into a suburban car junky housing estate, with all the people living their wanting to commute by car to their jobs.

See any obvious inconsistencies in the planning logic here?

OK, why not build high density housing on the old Tricorn land, eliminate the car park and build fewer or even no homes on the fields near Waterlooville?

Why would this be better? Well because living in the city centre would mean less need for a car. If you have the Cascades shopping mall next door, and Commercial road a stones throw away, why would you need a car!

Then of course the city railway station is within walking distance and the existing retailers will get more business from those that occupy the homes.

At the same time, the remaining fields just outside Waterlooville would remain as fields or at least less of them would be taken up by the creeping suburbia that is called Waterlooville.

Wednesday, October 24

Enjoy it while you can (the fields will be toast soon)

What a nice view!

Yes some lovely fields not far away from Waterlooville, along the old Hambledon road. Trees, hedgerows, grass etc. a nice little habitat for animals, insects and birds. As a kid I played in those fields with friends.

During the war (WWII) my mother and her sisters played in those fields to, they even chased after a German pilot that was shot down nearby, in them there fields.

But enjoy those images while you can because those fields haven't got much longer to live. The big corporate developers are rolling in under the command of the government. In a few years time those fields will be covered in houses, flats, offices and shops (the West of Waterlooville MDA). Yes this so called low quality land is just the right place for humanity to expand its carbon footprint and park thousands of cars on concrete drives.

The new homes will be built to the current pathetic environmental standards where eco points can be gained for the most trivial addition to a design.

The photo on the right shows Hambledon road (a nice bit of it) and the hedgerows to the right of the road will be replaced by a small shopping complex, offices and homes.

The photo in the centre shows the nearby pylons that effectively mark the boundary of the scheme. The developers are making the land under the pylons into a 'pleasant' walk and cycle path. How nice of them! Of course they are only doing this because no one will buy a house under a pylon or its cables.

The development will of course mean masses of additional road traffic and subsequent CO2 emissions as people put their right to own a car and travel long distances to work into practice. The chances are that these people will be appeased by government, national and local.

This isn't the only development near Waterlooville, an even bigger project is due to be built nearer the town by a different developer. More on that and other stuff later.

Tuesday, October 23

Where's that then?

Waterlooville is in Hamphire, England, north of Portsmouth. Where is Hampshire you may well ask?
Well some would say it is on the South coast of England nestled between Sussex to the East and Dorset to the West. Some would say it is elsewhere, however these people would be wrong.

Why on earth would you call a place Waterlooville? Well having defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, Wellingtons army returned to Britain and passed through the area, some stopped off at a local pub and the area became known as Waterlooville.

Wikipedia has an entry for Waterlooville which appears to have been edited by someone working for the towns local electricians, Eric Jacksons (at least at the time of this posting). A little advert for a local company, which is great because local businesses are being devastated by the big corporates aided by the local council granting planning permission. Thankfully Eric Jacksons is still thriving, but the little local art shop that was once nearby is no longer there and the big corporates have moved in.

But i digress, Waterlooville was once a pleasant place, rural in nature and a vacation spot for the local city dwellers of Portsmouth. Trams and carriages brought city folk out to Waterlooville and people made a reasonable living in a little village.

All that changed as the 20th century progressed and Waterlooville became manipulated by the corporates and political vested interests into the environmentally desolate place it is today.