A303: Amesbury to Berwick Down

An application has been submitted by Highways England to the Secretary of State for the creation of a two-lane dual carriageway on the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down in Wiltshire. As this is a nationally significant infrastructure project, the Planning Inspectorate will be determining this application.

Details of the application and accompanying documents and plans area available online.

In summary the scheme will be approximately 8 miles long and will comprise of:

a) A twin bore tunnel approximately 2 miles long, past Stonehenge

b) A northern bypass of Winterbourne Stoke

c) A new junction between the A303 and A360

d) A new junction between the A303 and A345

The deadline for any comments is 11th January 2019.

A show-stopping end to 2018 for The Lights


The Lights is thrilled to announce that the venue has achieved an audience capacity of 91% for December! This is significantly higher than last year’s capacity of 78%, and they will enter into 2019 with six shows already sold out.

More information about the shows, workshops, classes and facilities available at the venue can be found online: www.thelights.org.uk

Andover Heritage Trail Mural at The Angel Inn

The proposed new heritage mural at the Angel Inn yard in Andover has now been granted full planning permission. The aim is that the mural will be installed in early spring 2019.

The designs show an image of a coach and horses, depicting the route of the famous Quicksilver coach from Falmouth to London that stopped in Andover.

The project will also see a new mural painted behind the bars of the Old Gaol on Bridge Street depicting a prisoner, which is another stop on the Andover Heritage Trail.

Romsey is Hampshire’s first coach-friendly town

Romsey has been declared Hampshire’s first coach-friendly town.

The town has been accredited with the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) Coach Friendly Town Status.

This comes hot on the heels of Romsey’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) winning the Gold Award for best visitor information centre in southern England and being entered into the national Visit England awards. The VIC caters for 55,000 visitors each year and supports tourism businesses across Test Valley.

The coach-friendly accolade is the culmination of several years’ work and is a great achievement for the town.

In 2016 the Council, in response to feedback from Romsey Future’s Tourism Group, invested in four new coach parking bays at Romsey Rapids.

Over the past 12 months, the Council has worked closely with the CPT to install a comprehensive set of new traffic signs guiding coach drivers into Romsey from all four points of the compass to a new drop-off point in the heart of the town centre at Broadwater Road and onwards to the parking bays at the Rapids.

The Council is keen to start working with the CPT to encourage more coach visits to Romsey.  Last year VIC staff welcomed 28 coaches and this number is set to rise. If the tour companies let us know in advance, the VIC staff will “meet and greet” visitors with local information leaflets, including the Test Valley Visitor Guide, and give them a special Romsey welcome!

Broughton site named as ‘Development of the Week’


A new affordable housing development in Broughton has been named Development of the Week by Inside Housing magazine.

Completed in February 2018, the 12 affordable homes at Morgan’s Field, Broughton and comprise eight one, two and three bedroom houses for affordable rent and four two and three bedroom houses for shared ownership (part rent, part buy).

Test Valley Borough Council worked in partnership with Sovereign Housing Association and Linden Homes to deliver the affordable homes which are part of a total development of 32 new homes.

Bryan Beggs

Sadly Bryan Beggs has passed away. Bryan was a Test Valley Borough Councillor from 1973 to 1987, and Mayor in 1986/87. Such bare facts, however, do not do justice to the enormous contribution that Brian and his wife, Diana, made to the Borough. His book, ‘Testing Times’, is an eloquent witness to his commitment and energy on behalf of the people of Test Valley. That did not cease when he retired as a councillor, as exemplified by his tireless work with Andover Charity Trustees. His wonderful ‘Churches of Test Valley’ book will forever remind us of his determination, and his ability to succeed despite the odds being stacked against him. We would like to express our sincere condolences to Bryan’s wife, Diana.

Some of you will remember when Bryan came to the King’s Somborne Historical Society to talk about Test Valley Churches and I still have the signed copy of Testing Times that he gave me.

Woodley Cemetery

Consecration of the upper half of Woodley Cemetery took place on Wednesday, 16 August by the Right Reverend Jonathan, Bishop of Southampton, and was attended by Mrs Sue de Candole, the Diocesan Registrar.  

The Service was also attended by Councillor Dorothy Baverstock and Dave Tasker, Head of Community and Leisure Services, who acted as Registrar of Burials for the Council.

The Bishop recognised and appreciated the care and hard work that is put into the upkeep of the cemetery and expressed his thanks on behalf of the clergy. He requested that this message was conveyed to all members of staff involved in the work in the cemetery.