Historic Old Bedhampton is at risk from housing development | Verity Lush

Old Bedhampton looking along Bidbury Lane towards St Thomass Church. There is a danger a nearby field will have 50 houses built on it.
Old Bedhampton looking along Bidbury Lane towards St Thomass Church. There is a danger a nearby field will have 50 houses built on it.
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There are causes in life that light the spark for folk to come together and join other like-minded individuals.  In the 21st eyes-down-on-your-devices century, it’s rare for that cause to be a  community one, so when it does occur, you know that people feel passionately. 

On Monday, October 21, residents of both Bedhampton and Havant flocked to the Waterloo Room at local Grade II listed landmark, The Elms, in order to hear the latest news about the possible development of Lower Road in Old Bedhampton.

For those who don’t know Old Bedhampton, it is a rare and unique pocket of the semi-rural; tucked away like a well-kept secret, in the midst of busy town life.

Lower Road has ‘sunken lane’ status, and the area is steeped in history. In fact, Keats once stayed there, completing his poem, The Eve of St Agnes. 

The proposal itself is for a site of 50 new houses on a local field, with an entrance that would lie perilously close to a sequence of blind bends – where a child was hit by a car as recently as this July.

There are myriad serious concerns about the site, from safety, to conservation, to traffic and the impact of this. In the middle of it all lies the future of the ancient Narrow Marsh Lane that passes through the site.

A recent review of the Old Bedhampton Conservation Area cast a spotlight upon the archaeological significance of this route that once led down over the rich coastal salt marshes to a landing stage in the upper reaches of Langstone Harbour.

If you have concerns yourself then I would urge you to make those known before October 28 to Havant Borough Council.

The benefits of such a development are far outweighed by the extreme harm to the history of our land, the safety of families, and further pressure on local roads.

Of course houses are needed, but there are sites that are far more suitable than one that offers such rich cultural heritage. Why destroy history that we can never regain when other options are available? 

The application is APP19/00427.

Harry must step away from public life for his own health

I tuned in to watch the Harry and Meghan documentary last Sunday. 

Much of what was said by both was frankly disturbing. Prince Harry clearly needs to take real care of his mental health. I speak as someone whose father died when she was 12, very suddenly, of a massive asthma attack, on a stark and bare car showroom floor.

I mention this to make the point I have knowledge of childhood bereavement and its absolute trauma.

However, Harry’s reaction to cameras flashing does not speak of healthy grieving – it speaks of the need for stepping away from the public eye, not being a royal, and taking stock of his role in life and what aspects he really needs to focus on.

The older I get, the more I know what I want out of life

It is often said adults feel as though they are only 18 on the inside.

I used to feel this way but I no longer do. 

As I approach 43, I can gladly say I look back on the 18-year-old me from afar, bearing much less resemblance to her and her world views with every passing year.

It is only as I experience more of life and what it really means to me – and what I want from it – that I see the past with my new perspective, brought of middle-age.

Aside from the inevitable – and oft-mentioned in this column –   transition into my mother, there is also the fact that I no longer have that awful self-consciousness that develops in our teens.

Good riddance!