Essential news and information for Petersfield and its villages with Harrison RB and James Birdseye today.
News of new plans for farmers and cyclists, free access to Citizens Advice, grant money for local businesses and the return of competitive sport to our area.
Kate Fairweather has your Friday forecast, James Robbins looks at the state of sport in Petersfield and Harrison and James consider some options for cooking roast potatoes.
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Petersfield’s local news
Petersfield is at the heart of the house price boom.
House prices across the country have risen at their fastest rate since 2015, and Petersfield has been named by The Guardian as an area that is becoming ever more popular.
The article in The Guardian asserted that houses inside a national park attract a 20% premium on otherwise identical property, and demand has increased with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On average a property within a national park is worth £45,000 more than others, and according to the Nationwide nearly 30% of people considering a move were doing so because they wanted a garden or to be near green space with “25% looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
The article explains the South Downs, which takes in a number of towns across Hampshire and Sussex such as Petersfield and Midhurst, is also popular, with an average house price of £368,000.
While this may be welcome news to those who already own their property, who are seeing the value of their assets increase, the news could discourage local people who are trying to get on the property ladder.
East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds has welcomed a new farming plan in the house of commons this week.
With the Brexit transition period ending in less than a month, the plan outlines changes that will come into force over a period of seven years to help farmers adapt and plan for the future.
The plan includes the Environmental Land Management scheme to incentivise sustainable practices, create habitats for nature recovery and establish new woodland.
The news will be of interest to local farmers with the government claiming they will transform the way they support farmers, and that it is “the most significant change to farming and land management in 50 years.”
There’s a new plan to improve walking and cycling in Petersfield.
A proposal has been put to Hampshire County Council to improve provision for walkers and cyclists in our town using funds from the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.
The development proposal is part of a number of plans to support Hampshire’s green and healthy Covid-19 recovery. Hampshire County Council is set to receive £3.28 million from the Emergency Active Travel Fund. Funds have already been allocated to create better spaces for people walking and cycling in both Aldershot and Farnborough and Petersfield could be next.
Proposed projects suggested in Hampshire County Council’s bid for funding included improvements to Aldershot High Street to allocate more space for walking and cycling, and a footway widening and traffic management system for cyclists.
Plans are at an early stage in Petersfield but there is hope we will be included in Hampshire County Council’s new scheme.
Citizens Advice East Hampshire has a new Freephone number.
If you need advice the new number is 0808 278 7901, and is for East Hampshire residents only.
The number will be answered by a trained adviser, who may be in another part of the country. If the client needs local help, the details will be passed on to the local branch to make further contact.
At the moment all of our advice is delivered via phone, webchat and email, and they plan to re-open for limited face-to-face advice in January.
The team hopes that this freephone service makes it easier for some of our most vulnerable clients to access the advice they need.
A reminder that businesses in Petersfield and across East Hampshire could be eligible for grants from East Hampshire District Council if they have been affected by the November lockdown.
EHDC has already issued 433 grants to local businesses from the Local Restrictions Support Grant totalling more than £687,000.
The newly launched Additional Restrictions Grant is available to businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.
Applications are open now and will close at midnight on Wednesday 16 December. Funding will be issued on a first come, first served basis.
If you think your business might be eligible for support, head to the East Hampshire District Council website to find out more.
Delays at the top of Ramshill continue as a three-way traffic light system is in place at the junction with Churcher’s College.
The bus stop outside Churcher’s is closed because of the road works. Buses are stopping instead by Madeline Road.
And the puffin crossing by the Esso Garage is suspended while those roadworks continue.
A section of Hill Brow road remains closed next to Border Close.
On the trains
Planned engineering works at London Waterloo this weekend mean platforms 1-10 will be closed.
There’ll be a revised timetable in operation both ways through Petersfield, so it’s important to check before you travel on the South Western Railway website.