500 signatures reached
To: Fareham Borough Council
New ARDEN Theatre for Titchfield
Don't waste public money on an ailing failing theatre in the Centre of Fareham . Let Titchfield Festival Theatre(TFT) have planning permission for their NEW ARDEN THEATRE. A new totally sustainable 600 seat theatre in a run down warehouse at no cost to the local authorities budget
Why is this important?
The new application. For the Arden theatre is due to be heard on 21st August and it would seem pretty sure that it will be refused by both FBC officials and Councillors. It is clear that there is a degree of protectionism for the revitalization of Fareham centre which is ailing and failing with footfall down by a third. This includes the refurbishment for Ferneham Hall. It would seem that we are direct competition to this and FBC require a clear playing field in which to invest £4 to £10 million of public money. We have never been competition so not sure how we are suddenly seen as this now?
Of course FBC Officials and Councillors will deny this and give other reasons cited below which they can conveniently hide behind. perhaps we can explode some of the myths!.
Yes we know we have not enough parking on site, yes we don't encourage parking in the lane and have called on several occasions for the authorities to yellow line the lane to no avail.
Yes we have tried to purchase,lease, licence or rent the whole, part or a strip of the adjacent field. We have approached HCC Councillors and officials at the highest level all to no avail. They will not even meet us to discuss anything. They insist the field is for start up agriculture use,despite the field having lain unused and uncropped for over 5 years! They will deny this but everyone knows it's TRUE since we all have eyes and can see for ourselves! We have had initial contact with the farmer who leases the land and he would be keen to do a joint venture with us. This would ensure that the field has a viable agriculture crop as well as give him a rental income. The farmer is however precluded from discussing this very viable project with us and has clearly been warned not talk to us. Again HCC Councillors and officials will deny this but the field being unused speaks volumes! (No doubt the field will now get immediately ploughed and the farmer made to sow an unviable crop...lets face it he would have to grow a marijuana crop or something similar to recoup the amount of cash he could make via TFT!! )
Despite the above TFT are nothing if not lacking in innovation. There are over 300 combined parking spaces available at the Great Barn, Holiday Inn and in Titchfield itself this is besides the parking onsite at TFT and possibly in St Margaret's Nursery. We have proposed a park and ride scheme initially using 2 electric buses to and from these locations, if successful we would increase this to 6 electric buses. On average 1 parking space is required for every 3 patrons. We would therefore require 300 spaces only if all three theatres operated at the same time at full capacity! This even in our wildest dreams will never happen! In reality we will never need no more than 200 spaces and we will never have all 3 theatres operating at the same time.
Instead of embracing this green,sustainable option Councillors and officials have completely pooh poohed the idea...and will not even give the idea the chance to work.
Did you know that you, our patrons according to our neighbours, FBC officials and Councillors are an unruly,noisy drunken bunch who keep them up at all hours slamming car doors and screaming at the tops of your voices! We get the impression that perhaps the neighbours have us mixed up with the centre of Fareham on a Saturday night. Especially since no noise complaints have been made to the local authorities in the 9 years we have operated at St Margaret's lane! We see no reason why this would change particularly as there are no extra parking spaces available at our site so risk of increased traffic fro there..( in fact there will be less as there will be no traffic from our industrial neighbours!) Patrons would come and leave as quickly and quietly as they always have done even those using our park and drive scheme who can wait in the foyers and bars until the buses are available to pick them or their drivers up. But obviously our patrons cannot be guaranteed to do.this.Perhaps we should hand a gag out with every ticket!
SETTING We are likely to be told that the setting of the building we are proposing is not in keeping with the area. We believe it is self evident that turning a rundown 1960s warehouse into a new theatre which will look like a modern day globe can only be an improvement to the area. We have already made the lane look so much better with the new frontage and the rest of the building which cannot be seen from the lane but only from the A27 will further improve the area. Yes the building will be higher but this will not be seen from the neighbours in the lane since the angle of vision is too close or obscured by bushes. Clearly officials or Councillors haven't got an an ounce of design knowledge between them to recognise this. Nonetheless they are allowed to pontificate what we propose is not acceptable to the neighbours and essentially to all those hundreds of fleeting cars who will look at the building on the A27! Frankly neighbours should be giving us money for increasing the value of their properties by getting rid of an unsightly factory. One has only to look at the size of the Estee Lauder building at Kites Croft now shrouded by trees to know that this is a complete whitewash of an argument.
It is a sad situation when a Local and County Council Authority are willing to forego a £3.6m input into what is already a thriving Community Arts centre in order to safeguard an ailing and failing council run white elephant on the say so of less than 500 people who responded to their miserable survey . Both FBC and HCC are still in complete denial of what many academics and leading authorities are saying . That is- that William Shakespeare definitely spent time in Titchfield (not Fareham) and instead of celebrating this fact by allowing a first rate world beating theatre to flourish they would rather plough millions into their Arts black spot (The Arts Councils words not ours)