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Urban Studies - Chippindale Venture 1998 - TrustNews Spring 1998

This year's Chippindale Venture involves four schools:- Twyford, St Faith's, Compton and Owslebury.

We have already started the exercise which, after four 2-hour sessions once a week, will culminate in a full presentation by the teams in Twyford Village Hall on 10th February. There are 11 teams, each with six children (aged 9, 10 and 11) plus an architect. They are all preparing a proposal for a Heritage Centre at Twyford Water Pumping Station. The schemes will be presented to a panel who will ask questions about the proposals and then critique each scheme.

Twyford Water Pumping Station is a Victorian building with its steam pump still intact and in working order. There are a number of interesting lime pits, salt pounds etc and a small rail system, all of which are visible and have excited the teams already into thinking about some very imaginative proposals.

The enthusiasm of the children is infectious and, as always, all the team leaders (architects, landscape architects and planners) and fully stretched in keeping up with the ideas from their teams.

It will be interested to see the final results and we are all looking forward to the great day.

A TWO HOUR SESSION WITH A CHIPPINDALE VENTURE TEAM!

We arrive - architects to the slaughter! Introductions by the teacher to a team of six children. I think I am more nervous than the children. I have two hours to get to know them - Richard, Felicity, lain (with an "i" as he keeps informing me), Leonie, Bill-Jean and Genevieve. They quickly become individuals. We struggle with trying to understand room sizes. The brief gives us 40 sq.m, 10 sq.m and so on. How do we make a decision on what size a 25 sq.m room looks like? How does it fit an adjoining space? Felicity measures her classroom. We all troop out into the playground and set out room sizes. We then prepare a linked bubble diagram indicating where the exhibition room links to the shop and to the sandwich bar. Where do the lavatories fit in and the offices and storage? Then there is the site. We have decided to place our building on the quarry, possibly with a turf roof and glass frontage. Genevieve doesn't like this idea. She would like to see brickwork and a slate roof to match the existing building. Richard wants to use the railway to transport people from the car park to the pumping station, then to the Heritage Centre and on around the other interesting sites. This is a very infectious idea! Now I'm panicking with only 15 minutes to go for this session and I have to leave them with preparation work at school.

Two hours has whipped by and I'm leaving drained from the experience. Teachers - you have my full admiration. I only had six children. As for a whole class ... phew!

Four more sessions to go, at the end of which we have to produce drawings, written explanations and a model. Tiring but exhilarating!

Keith Leaman



PROJECTS GROUP

The past year has seen a shift in emphasis for the Projects group. Rather than dealing with small "built" projects, the group has focused on matters at a more strategic level.

For example, within the planning laws, householders are entitled to carry out certain works to their homes without needing to apply for planning consent. This is termed "permitted development". In certain sensitive localities, such as the conservation areas of Winchester, this is undesirable, as piecemeal change (for example windows, doors, chimneys etc) gradually erodes historic character.

"Article four directions" allow permitted development rights to be withdrawn, where there is a demonstrable threat to the character of a localised area. The projects team has carried out research on the implementation of article four directions, put together a "test case" and submitted the proposal to Winchester City Council. It is hoped that the City can be encouraged to take up the case and put this added level of protection in place.

Secondly, the City Council is currently engaged on the reappraisal of the Winchester conservation area. This is an important matter, as an up-to-date assessment of the conservation area is vital if unsuitable developments within the city are to be successfully contested by the planning department. The retiring City Conservation Architect, Andrew Rutter, is carrying out the study. The projects group is hoping to assist Andrew in his work, but he has specifically asked if the membership of the Trust can help in bringing to his notice unusual or important items to which he would not normally have access. Please contact Andrew directly, via the Planning Department, (848177) if you have any information.

Antony Feltham-King