TWO people have launched a campaign to save Crosfield Hall in Romsey.
Hilary Philbin and Keith Lawrenson have this week started a petition to pressure civic chiefs to amend plans for revamping the town centre.
They aim to highlight the threat to the hall on Broadwater Road which would be knocked down to make way for an expanded Aldi supermarket.
The pair oppose demolition and are calling for retention, refurbishment or rebuilding of Crosfield Hall by Test Valley Borough Council.
The petition is available on the Test Valley Borough Council website and at six locations across the town.
Petitions are available at: The Green Room Hair & Beauty; The Exchange Restaurant; BellRay Hair Design; FW Kersey & Son, Jewellers; Fig & Fox; and Curves Fitness Club for Women.

This is their statement:

Over recent months the pages of our local paper have been filled with letters and articles addressing the future of the Crosfield Hall within the South of Town Centre Master Plan (SOTCMP). 

But what exactly has or has not been agreed? 

It seems there is significant confusion and generally a feeling among residents and hall users that councillors are not being entirely open with regard to development plans and the decisions taken to date. 

Also public consultation with both local bodies, residents and the public has been less than extensive and/or adequate prior to an apparent approval of the SOTCMP by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) in July 2020.

So what are we talking about and why must this be a time for reflection, transparency and clarity? 

The Crosfield Hall plays a significant role in Romsey daily life. Its own website notes that it is available for business meetings, playgroups, dinner dances, weddings, craft fairs, exercise classes, theatre groups, business presentations, parties, fashion shows and quiz nights but this is not an exclusive list as many other groups and organisations use the facility on a regular basis to include U3A, Romsey Quilters, sports clubs, choirs, council committees and many, many more.

The hall is now included as part of the South of Town Centre Development Plan which has a stated intention to demolish the current hall and effect relocation to a site across the by-pass adjacent to the far side of the Rapids, such relocation enabling the existing site to be utilised for the relocation and enlargement of the town’s Aldi.

Criticism of the Crosfield Hall’s facilities seem to avoid a viability study for refurbishment or the rebuilding of a new state of the art, sympathetically designed replacement on its present site which would have much less impact on the feel of the town centre and reduce carbon costs. It is surely appropriate for the costs of enhancement and an open and clear cost/benefit analysis of the replacement or refurbishment of the hall to be included in any decision-making process.

Of the published reports on the Romsey Future Project and Master Plan there seems a lack of any clear thread which one could follow such that the proposals in the Master Plan were seen to be the obvious solution. And of more significance there remains an absence of technical reports or studies, including costs, which would enable the public and TVBC to make informed judgements.

Romsey Future’s initial involvement with local bodies sought information, opinion and suggestion on a range of subjects including leisure and recreational facilities, open spaces, medical and educational services, housing and transport. The exercise was not specific to the South of Town Centre Development which now, in its Master Plan format, appears to have been approved by TVBC in July 2020. The involvement of 50 selected but unidentified local residents in two Citizen Assembly days does little to support the contention that the Master Plan is in accordance with the town’s wishes.

Indeed, their seven point agenda for improvement of the Crosfield Hall and bus station area does not appear to accord with the Master Plan’s outcome.

If you would like your voice heard with regard to the future of the Crosfield Hall please respond to our petition.

In the coming months, we hope there will be an opportunity to gather in the Crosfield Hall at an open public meeting, along with representatives of Romsey Future, TVBC and authors of the Master Plan.  

This will enable us all to obtain the information, transparency and clarification needed before final decisions are reached in respect of our beautiful town.

The petition will be available for supporters’ signatures from February 16 to April 2.

It is available at

Petitions are available at: The Green Room Hair & Beauty – 9 Latimer Walk; The Exchange Restaurant & Cocktail Bar – 14 Market Place; BellRay Hair Design – 1a Love Lane; F W Kersey & Son, Jewellers – 5 Latimer Street; Fig & Fox – 42 The Hundred; and Curves Fitness Club for Women – Station Approach. 

By Hilary Philbin and Keith Lawrenson