Life-saving allergy warnings now compulsory in restaurants

peanutsRestaurants, takeaways and ready-meals will all be required to provide allergy information under a new EU law which came into force last month

Over 2 million people in the UK suffer from food allergies. They must now be informed if their food contains any of 14 ingredients that cause severe allergies including nuts, milk, celery, gluten, soya and wheat.

South East MEP Catherine Bearder commented: “This new law will make a huge difference to the lives of people with severe allergies.  Chefs and their staff already know about these ingredients but they will now have to make it clear what allergens are present in their food at point of sale and could be fined it they don’t. Providing clearer information about ingredients will prevent the number of severe allergic reactions and save lives.”

The Hampshire-based Anaphylaxis Campaign, which helps severe allergy sufferers, also welcomed the changes.  Lynne Regent, CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign said: “We welcome these new EU regulations and we have been actively engaged in their implementation. These new rules will enable people living with severe food allergies to feel more confident, reassured and safe whilst eating out.”

North West Hants Lib Dem spokesman Len Gates, a technical manager in the food industry, added “This shows the important improvements to food safety which can be achieved through co-operation across Europe. Food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers already routinely record allergen information on ingredients and finished products. This information can and should be available to all consumers.”

Overnight closure of Enham Arch

Enham arch photo by

Enham arch photo by

Andover Focus team has been advised that the Enham arch will be closed for two nights this month for repair works.

The road closure order is active from Thursday 22 January until works to cut back vegetation and repair brickwork on the bridge are completed.

It is expected that the work will take place overnight on Thursday 22nd from 22:00 to 06:00am Friday and again on Friday 23rd January from 22:00 to 06:00am Saturday.

During the closure traffic will be diverted via Newbury Road, Saxon Way and Redon Way to the Folly roundabout and then back to the Enham arch roundabout. The diversion will be clearly signposted along the entire route.

Town Council must be consulted on planning

Len Gates has written to the head of planning to ask why Andover Town Council was not consulted on the planning application for 350 new homes at Augusta Park. The application site is bordered on two sides by Andover Town parish and all traffic to the site will have to access it either by Smannell Road or Walworth Road both roads are in Andover Town. “When I read the planning officer’s report on the application I wondered why there was no comment from Andover Town Council” he said. “The extra traffic will have an adverse effect on roads in Alamein and St Mary’s wards and especially on Enham Arch and the Enham Arch roundabout but the elected representatives for these areas were not asked to comment.” Barbara Carpenter, town councillor for Alamein ward said “the new developments at Augusta Park have already increased traffic along Smannell Road adding a further 300+ car movements a day without proper consultation is unacceptable.”

The full text of the request to TVBC’s head of planning is as follows.

I have been looking at the above application and applied to speak on it at tomorrow’s northern planning committee meeting. I understand the application has now been withdrawn until a later date.

 I noticed there is no comment from Andover Town Council. Although the application site is in Smannell parish it is bounded on two sides by Andover parish and one of the most contentious issues is the extra traffic it will generate on roads in Alamein and St Mary’s wards. Under the circumstances I would expect some comment from the town council but when I spoke to town councillors they advised me ATC was not consulted.

 This to me appears contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of planning guidance regulations.  If my memory serves me correctly for similar applications in the past all parishes affected were asked for comments and in some cases spoke at NAP.

 Given that the application is currently withdrawn pending resubmission would it be possible to request comment from Andover Town Council please.

Len and Barbara are awaiting a response from Test Valley planners and in the meantime will be ensuring local concerns about this development are conveyed to the planning department and planning committees. The application is expected to be considered by Test Valley’s Northern Area Planning Committee in February.

New classes at King Arthurs Hall

Alamein Community Association have announced two new classes taking place at King Arthurs Hall in January.

On Thursday evenings starting from 15th January there are aerobics and zumba classes – details here aerobics and zumba

Also on 15th January is a free cookery workshop – details here cookery workshop

Full details of events taking place at King Arthurs Hall are given here or What’s On at King Arthurs Hall or visit the Alamein Community Association website at


Holding developers to account

Barbara Carpenter and Len Gates have contacted Test Valley Borough Council to ask for action to deal with substandard works carried out in Tiberius Road.

The attached pictures show works carried out by contractors working for the developers at the old Shepherd Spring School site. Footpaths grass verges and gardens have been dug up and badly relayed. Local residents are naturally appalled at the standard of the work and contacted Len and Barbara asking for action. Check this website for news on the response form TVBC and the contractors.

Tiberius Road ATiberius Road DTiberius Road B


More houses for Augusta Park?

Next Tuesday 23rd December there is an important planning meeting at TVBC’s Beech Hurst offices where the Northern Area Planning Committee will consider two applications from Taylor Wimpey the main developers of Augusta Park.

The second of these (on the agenda) is a request to reduce the affordable housing content of future builds from 40% to just 10% which has quite rightly been recommended for refusal. Andover needs affordable homes and the developer’s attempts to renege on agreements to supply them should be rejected.

Equally important is the first application asking for permission to build an extra 350 homes on the site originally allocated for a secondary school. This is totally unacceptable and Len Gates as an ex senior member of the borough’s planning committees has lodged the following objection to the application.

“I am disappointed to see that planning officers are flying in the face of common sense in recommending approval for this application.

History: If we consider the history of the Augusta Park development it is clear the housing volume and density has been pushed well beyond deliverable or viable numbers. What was originally planned as a development of 1750 homes was increased to 2500 to accommodate houses originally planned for sites on the south side of town. Objectors at the time argued that such a large concentration of new homes on one site would fail to meet housing targets and additional sites would be needed. One such site was Picket Piece where additional homes were subsequently approved because the developers at Augusta Park could not meet building/sale targets. In addition smaller applications have slowly pushed the housing totals at Augusta Park upwards. If this application is approved the final total will be over 3000 homes. Such a large scale development is not in the best interest of current or future residents. The original plan was approved as a new community. Not just homes but community facilities, shops, businesses, and schools together with adequate transport infrastructure. Too many of the associated community facilities are still to be delivered and yet the developer is arguing for even more houses instead. If this proposal is approved the viability of the new community will be brought into question.

Schools: The site was earmarked for a secondary school and many residents moved to Augusta Park because of this promised school. The decision by Hampshire County Council that the site in no longer needed was made in 2010 before development started at Picket Piece, before homes were built on the Shepherd Spring School site and part of the Roman Way School site. All these developments plus other across Andover and the additional 350 homes planned will generate the need for additional school places if not immediately then in the near future. The planning officer’s report acknowledges the additional 350 houses will need extra primary school places. Why is there no provision for future secondary school places for these same children? To build on a site allocated for a school merely pushes the needed school site to another, less sustainable, site. It puts the short term financial interests of the developer above the long term interests of the community.

Open space: The site is in the countryside as designated by planning policy. The fact that it is allocated for development as a school does not mean it is also acceptable to develop the site for housing. The site is 9Ha; if developed as a school a considerable part of that area will be given over to open space as playing fields etc. The proposals, with just 0.8Ha of open space and 0.2Ha of allotments, will result in a loss of open space and unacceptable over-development of the site. It will also mean that when a new school is needed, which it will be, a further 9HA open space site elsewhere will be lost to the town. There is no immediate need for further housing sites in Andover. Applications already approved mean the borough has in excess of the required housing land supply. No decision on house building here is required at this time. Far better that the whole area is retained as undeveloped open space or designated park land/allotments or community resources that an irrevocable decision to build unwanted and unneeded homes.

Highways: The developers and planning officers accept these new houses will generate extra traffic on the already overcrowded local road system. Access will be through the busy Enham Arch or the single track Finkley Arch. Neither is adequate for the existing traffic in the area and further tinkering with traffic flows by installation or revision of traffic light systems as proposed will not solve this. It has been previously argued and subsequently obvious that the existing road network is inadequate for the 2000+ homes on Augusta Park. It certainly cannot accommodate traffic from over 3000 homes.

Employment and environment: The site is adjacent to the railway line and Walworth Industrial Park. As objectors have already said large scale housing development here may prejudice future employment opportunities on the south side of the railway line. A community needs jobs as well as homes. Cramming homes in to what is acknowledged as a noisy site adjacent to industry is not in the interests of the community. The proposed earth mound and 5.5m acoustic fencing will be an unacceptable eyesore to both residents and train passengers and is out of keeping with the local environment. It is far better to keep an open space between houses and the railway and industry.

In conclusion the application should be rejected because

  •  It has not been shown that the decision that the site is not needed for a school is still valid. In fact the opposite is probably the case.
  • The site is open countryside despite being part of a development area. Allocation of the site for a school does not mean it is suitable for housing.
  • There is no proven need for extra housing on the site or in Andover as a whole. Development would lead to a loss of open space.
  • The local road network is struggling to accommodate current traffic levels generated by existing developments. This would just make matters worse.
  • The location of houses on the south of the site and the proposed screening are unacceptable and out of character with the area.”

Highways improvements in Roman Way

Town councillor Barbara Carpenter is pleased to report that work has started on resurfacing the uneven parts of the footpath alongside the old Shepherd Spring School from Smannnell Road to Augustus Walk.

Footpath repairs

Barbara said “this path has been neglected and in need of repair for many years. Many local residents have contacted me about the county council’s failure to maintain the path. I am pleased to see that it is finally being repaired.”

In the same area Barbara has arranged with Aster/Synergy for work to be carried out to clear drains in Caesar Close to prevent flooding in the road.

Flooding in Caesar Close

Roman Way Focus November 2014

The latest Alamein Focus newsletter is currently being delivered in Roman Way. Further Focuses will be delivered across Alamein ward over the next month To read the Roman Way Focus now click here Roman Way Focus November 2014

Focus is produced and delivered across Alamein ward by local volunteers. If you would like to help in delivery or you have any stories for us to include please contact us at [email protected]