Christmas Lights


The nights are drawing in and that can only mean one thing…the annual Christmas lights switch on event in Andover High Street from 5pm to 7.30pm on Friday, 18 November.

The Big TV screen will once again grace the High Street to make sure that you don’t miss anything that is going on, and there will be lots to see! Father Christmas will be stopping by, and the stage will play host to a range of local performers. The Breeze will compère the evening, and there will be rides and attractions, children’s face painting and lots of delicious food to keep you warm.

The evening will culminate in the Christmas lights switch on, followed by a grand firework display sponsored by The Chantry Centre. Make a date in your diary now so that you don’t miss the High Street event of the year!


The Romsey Christmas lights switch on will take place on Saturday, 26 November. As part of the event, there will be a winter procession which will begin at Crosfield Hall at 6pm and make its way to Market Place before heading towards Bell Street. The town centre lights will be switched on at 6.30pm.

Andover Railway Station car park

South West Trains has announced that the car park at Andover Railway Station will reopen on Tuesday, 3 May. The majority of car parking spaces will be available from this date, with the full 480 spaces available from Monday, 9 May.

Shop in town for longer this Christmas

Shoppers will have even longer to stock up on fabulous festive goodies and tantalising treats this Christmas, as Test Valley Borough Council is set to offer one hour’s free parking this December.

Visitors will be able to make use of the offer on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 30 November to 16 December and will need to purchase a minimum of one hour’s parking in any Test Valley Borough Council car park to qualify. They then need to display the Christmas voucher on their dashboard alongside a valid pay and display ticket to get another hour free. The voucher can also be used with a Ringo payment.

The Council’s car parks continue to be free to use after 4pm, so during the offer period visitors will be able to stay in town from 2pm until late for just 90 pence! Shoppers can collect vouchers from participating retailers or the Former Magistrates’ Court. Simply look out for the poster in shop windows and pop in to collect one. Alternatively, vouchers can be downloaded from the Council’s website, or cut out from the autumn issue of Test Valley News which was distributed to all households from late October. Retailers can contact Town Centre Manager, Mark Edgerley, for vouchers to hand out to their customers.

Free Christmas parking voucher scheme launched for Andover and Romsey

For shoppers in Andover and Romsey the Council is running its free Christmas parking voucher scheme again this year. The scheme will run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1 to 17 December. Free parking for an extra hour will be available to all those displaying the voucher alongside a valid pay and display ticket or Ringo payment purchased for a minimum of one hour. This means that during the offer period you’ll pay just 90 pence to park from 2pm until the end of the day, so you’ll be able to shop until you drop! Retailers can collect vouchers from their Town Centre Manager to distribute to their customers and the voucher can also be downloaded from

Andover lakes cycle FINALMAP

The Lakes cycle path is an attractive route suitable for all the family. It offers a wide, safe, and easy off-road route, taking in parts of both Charlton and Anton Lakes. Cyclists can join the route at any point, and cycle as much or as little of the 11km in one ride as they wish.

New or returning cyclists in Andover are being encouraged to try out the route, and challenge themselves to lengthen the distance cycled, or to shorten the time taken to complete it. Alternatively just take in the amazing views and hidden parts of town as part of getting fit, healthy and enjoying the place in which we live!

A map of the route is available and stickers along the route clearly define the way to go.

Maps can be downloaded from:

Inspectorate Overrules Council

Rows of Houses

The Planning Inspectorate has allowed the appeal and granted outline planning permission for 150 homes at Harewood Farm, Andover between the B3400 and Ox Drove. In reaching the decision the Inspector considered that, despite house building in Andover having increased in the past three years, a shortfall remained from earlier in the plan period primarily during the recession, and that this should be resolved in the next five years. By doing so the Inspector increased the annual housing requirement.

The Inspector also disagreed with the number of houses estimated to be delivered per year on Picket Piece and discounted all brownfield sites in Andover identified within the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) which are both acceptable in principle for development and have a willing landowner/ developer. The Inspector concluded that the Council could only demonstrate a housing supply of 5.17 years against the 5.25 years as required in the National Planning Policy Framework.

It seems Central Government is still determining the numbers of houses not Local Government.

Millionth customer visits Andover Leisure Centre

1 millionth customerOne lucky young man became the one millionth customer to visit a Valley Leisure Centre. He was given the full VIP treatment, and awarded a year’s free membership to all Valley Leisure facilities including The Rapids in Romsey and Charlton Lakeside. It is the first time that Valley Leisure has recorded a million customers in a 12 month period.