Review of the Year: April to June

Basingstoke Gazette: The Duchess of Cambridge at Naomi House The Duchess of Cambridge at Naomi House

APRIL: SYLVIA Stops, from Twyford, jumps out of an aeroplane for charity — at the age of 88 — in aid of Parkinson’s UK. Miss Stops was a founder member of the Winchester branch of Parkinson’s UK which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Campaigners propose a new leisure centre on playing fields in Bar End, Winchester. Fit For the Future, an umbrella group of sports clubs, comes up with a scheme which would include an indoor running track, squash courts and 50m swimming pool.

Controversy over the rerouting of Andover Road as part of the Barton Farm estate shows no signs of abating at a public meeting in Winchester Guildhall. Bosses from developer, Cala Homes, say they are convinced it is the right to divert a stretch of the main road through the new scheme. But residents’ concerns include rat-runs developing in response to slow traffic and pedestrian safety in “shared space” areas.

People attending a public exhibition are shocked to find their homes could be bulldozed as part of an ambitious plan to remodel a Winchester estate. Consultants propose to demolish 49 properties in Stanmore to make way for more council homes. The council tells tenants, though not owner-occupiers, that their properties could be affected, but many only find out when they attend the exhibition in the Carroll Centre.

EDF Energy Renewables applies for planning permission to build 14 turbines on farmland near Bullington Cross.

Bonfire night revellers will have to pay to see Winchester’s popular fireworks in future. Organisers, Winchester Round Table, makes the announcement, citing safety concerns as the main reason. Traditionally, people put money in buckets.

Police reopen an investigation into allegations of child abuse dating from the 1960s at a former Winchester children’s home. The probe will cover alleged attacks on boys over two decades at the former county-run Winton House in Andover Road.

MAY: The Hampshire Chronicle goes compact after two centuries. Most readers seem pleased...

The boss of a collapsed auction house drops plans to open a new business after a string of stories in the Chronicle. Charles Evans aims to open a new auction business at The Furniture Warehouse, Winnall, after a previous business he had been associated with collapsed with substantial debts. The move sparks outrage, as Prospect Auction Rooms, in Alresford, shut in autumn 2012 owing money to hundreds of people.

A pregnant Duchess of Cambridge brings a ray of spring sunshine to Naomi House, Sutton Scotney, as part of the National Children’s Hospice Week on her second wedding anniversary. It is one of her last public engagements before the birth of Prince George.

Children suspected to have been victims of trafficking disappear in Hampshire. Two children in the care of the county council who go missing are never found. The two boys, from Vietnam and Iran, are both 17.

The new £3.3m outpatients department opens at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Frank Pearson, does the honours with Winchester MP, Steve Brine, also in attendance.

The new facility in the Burrell Wing will be used by 100,000 patients a year and replaces the old huts facing Romsey Road.

Tories keep control of Hampshire County Council, but a surge for UKIP sends shockwaves across established parties. The Conservatives lose six seats, while UKIP gain 10, heralding the start of four-party politics in the council chamber. But the Lib Dems remain the official opposition party.

Winchester civic chiefs consider controversial schemes to build council homes on public open spaces at Abbotts Barton and Weeke.

Opponents say the proposals will destroy the green lungs of Winchester. But councillors take first steps to develop part of the main park in Chaundler Road and two other grassy areas at Dyson Drive and Hillier Way in Abbotts Barton. The council also wants to develop a play area and 10 garages off Westman Road, Weeke.

A brawl erupts on the streets of Wickham where thousands of people gather for the historic horse fair. Several men are left covered in blood after a street fight believed to have been sparked by a family feud.

But the rest of the day passes without incident as people come from far to see the biggest and oldest horse fair in the country.

Controversial drilling for shale gas across swathes of Hampshire hits the headlines. Companies have been handed licences to explore in South Wonston, Crawley, Littleton, south of the Itchen Valley, Hedge End and Botley.

JUNE: AN arsonist is jailed for an attack on the “heart and soul” of the city. The Recorder of Winchester, Judge Keith Cutler, sends Sean Clement, 47, to jail for six years for setting fires at the Deanery in the Cathedral Close, Phase Eight Boutique in the High Street and a rubbish bin near the Buttercross.

Marks and Spencer wants to open a food store in Winnall. The aim is to refurbish the old Hendy Ford car dealership in Easton Lane, creating 26 full-time and 46 part-time jobs.

Winchester residents are revolting against plans to turn Abbey Mill into a River Cottage canteen.

Thousands of people flock to Winchester Cathedral for its Symphony of Flowers festival.

Winchester residents oppose plans to build homes on a playground. Around 40 protest at city council plans to turn green open space at Westman Weeke into council homes.

Liberal Democrat county councillor, Jackie Porter, throws her hat into the ring to stand against Steve Brine as MP. Cllr Porter, 58, is announced as the parliamentary candidate for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford.

The Army wins outline permission for a £270m expansion of its Worthy Down camp at South Wonston, signalling its intention to stay in Winchester, a military city for centuries. The council approves plans for a new college and 90 homes for service families.

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