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Local Talkback
Talkback is for the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about local issues and events.


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Allianz
- RH (10th Sep 2020 21:22:45)

I understand that Allianz is due to leave its Haslemere road premises.

Re: Allianz
- Rob S (11th Sep 2020 10:01:50)

Can't imagine why they are there in the first place really, a very strange place to have a large office building.

Perfect site for some nice flats with communal gardens, retirement village perhaps?

Re: Allianz
- r (11th Sep 2020 12:15:41)

Of all the speculated development sites for housing in Liphook this is probably one of the most sensible, however this site has a restrictive covenant that says the land must be maintained for business/commercial use

Re: Allianz
- Joe (11th Sep 2020 20:12:20)

I agree it would make good flats. There are new planning laws which I believe have already come into force which means there are no restrictions anymore in planning terms that preclude turning offices into domestic dwellings. I am presuming that is what the previous poster meant by restrictive covenants.

Re: Allianz
- Ian (11th Sep 2020 20:48:14)

Covenants are different from planning policy!

Re: Allianz
- AF (11th Sep 2020 22:43:36)

How about a skate-park.

Re: Allianz
- Joe (11th Sep 2020 22:43:51)

I understand that Ian, but there is no land registry restriction or ownership covenant relating to what land is used for. After all if the building were demolished and the landowner wanted to build flats upon it the only possible restriction could be the planning policy in force at the time. Just imagine, if covid means more working from home then large offices will be redundant. It is better to convert to housing than leave empty. All along Catteshall lane in Godalming, each time a warehouse/ office building has become empty, it has become used for new housing. The area has changed totally. The Allianz building is in a residential area.

Re: Allianz
- jane (11th Sep 2020 23:47:01)

I agree completely with AF, demolish the existing death trap that is the skatepark, cover it in grass, put more CCTV onto the back rec and turn the old Allianz building into homes..

Re: Allianz
- Ian (12th Sep 2020 08:13:08)

Sorry Joe, you’re wrong. Allianz have spent a fortune in trying to get the covenant lifted as they realise as a development site the land would be very lucrative. Not going to happen. Agree it’s a super site for housing but it’s going to remain commercial. The best you can hope for will be a care home

Re: Allianz
- Barbara Easton (12th Sep 2020 11:43:31)

Ian are these restrictive covenants something you have seen on the land registry then for yourself?

Re: Allianz
- Ian (12th Sep 2020 12:20:33)

Barbara, yes!

Re: Allianz
- rolli (12th Sep 2020 12:25:19)

this is also relevant

easthants.gov.uk/article-4-direction-conversion-employment-residential-use

Re: Allianz
- Joe (12th Sep 2020 13:35:34)

Thanks Rolli As I have tried to impart before, there are new planning laws coming in to make that conversion easier. EhDc do not update their website very often! Also the adticle 4 direction is something the Neighbourhood Plan can influence if they desired to. In the covid world will these huge office blocks still be relevant? I say this because of the passfield business centre now becoming a housing site when up until recently it was set in stone it was an employment site. Things change.

Re: Allianz
- rolli (12th Sep 2020 15:27:25)

I suspect that after all the Coronavirus fuss has eased there will not be the significant changes many are predicting in the work place. It will come down to economics and commercial pressure will see many premises owners, both large and small, have to significantly reduce the rents they are asking. In addition councils will need to look at reducing business rates otherwise we will see deserted high streets and offices on a massive scale. It is recognized people need to interact with each other and a world of lone office working, buying on Amazon, playing on Xbox is not a thing to be encouraged

Re: Allianz
- D (12th Sep 2020 17:13:37)

I agree with Rolli, I feel coronavirus is being hijacked by a lot of groups to further their own agenda. Environmentalists and the anti house building brigade for example.

Re: Allianz
- AF (12th Sep 2020 22:03:45)

We need to think big. demolish allianz, and the library old scout hut skatepark little car park clear it all.

The start again with a link road from London Road to Haslemere road to ease pressure on square build new state of the art library rather than a conversion as the current library is, a new quality skate park for the youth of the village, they deserve it for all the sacrifices they are making for the old due to COVID19.
These things could be built and paid for by the builders who will use the land for housing.
Perhaps the old Coytes buildings and car parks could also be used.
I would get rid of the Church as well, but it may be a step too far for some.

Re: Allianz
- M (13th Sep 2020 08:09:37)

AF
Thinking big is exactly what some have in mind for other areas of our village. More and more housing will come in the next 20 years so having it all in one place makes sense, and should also find some benefits too.
The Allianz site is large but not that large and is surrounded by properties in different ownership so a big scheme might be difficult to get off the ground. The biggest hurdle is the EHDC planning policy that restricts the buildings to commercial use only, but of course that could change but I imagine the buildings will stay empty and boarded up for some years before the owners can get it changed.
One of the road improve schemes put forward was a link road through the Little Rec and making a one way system through The Square, still possible but no sign of it ever being done.
We're all discussing this again after a here say comment, we've had them before on this site but Allianz are still there. Let's hope they do stay. Maybe close the big Guildford site and have Liphook as their smaller office?

Re: Allianz
- Joe (13th Sep 2020 17:14:04)

There is a press release issued by Allianz which I have seen on line. They are re locating all the staff there to their Guildford Office.


www.insuranceage.co.uk/insurer/7524196/allianz-to-close-liphook-operation

Re: Allianz
- D (13th Sep 2020 18:10:41)

This building should be preserved, it is the first purpose built office building in Liphook and of significant historic interest. Just as the oak tree outside the Anchor was, the Anchor annex was, Childerstone House was, George's Hospital was, the old Buck's Bakery building was, the two garages at the bottom of Station Road were. Disappointing how Dibley Parish Council let all these get the chop.

Re: Allianz
- AF (13th Sep 2020 21:02:09)

D
I understand you mean well but you are wrong on some of these issues. The allianz building is an ugly concrete block and i can see no merit in keeping it. The oak tree was rotten and would have fallen down and done untold damage depending on the direction of it falling.
Just because something is old or the first does not mean it has to be kept.

Re: Allianz
- Joe (13th Sep 2020 21:53:27)

D the tree outside the Anchor was a horse chestnut and was diseased and dangerous. The Allianz building is not a building worth retaining for aesthetic reasons.

Re: Allianz
- James (13th Sep 2020 22:20:02)

D,

What history does the building own exactly? And more importantly what purpose could it have for the future that will benefit the community?

Re: Allianz
- D (14th Sep 2020 07:18:26)

Joe, aesthetic value is really a matter of personal taste. The unused derelict farmland in your back yard does nothing for me. So none of you have an opinion on the Anchor annex, Childerstone House or King George's Hospital then?

Re: Allianz
- Joe (14th Sep 2020 09:12:50)

Hi D do not know what is meant by the Anchor Annex the Bohunt land is not " in my back yard" and if the Allianz building was in any way worth preserving it woukd have been listed as a grade 2 building by now.

Re: Allianz
- er (14th Sep 2020 09:56:57)

D, you missed out the Royal Anchor Railway, Joe is possibly too young to remember either, the annexe shows up on some old photos but sadly there is no record of the Anchor Railway!

Re: Allianz
- Anon (14th Sep 2020 10:23:43)

I thought the hospital was worth preserving, it gave Liphook part of its unique character. Interesting that it bordered Penally farm which has been subject to development rumour for years but as of yet no knock affect from bramshott place development.

Re: Allianz
- D (14th Sep 2020 10:35:34)

Joe, the Anchor annex is exactly that. The annex to the Anchor which stood at the top of Longmoor Road and was demolished in the mid 1970's to facilitate the mini roundabout. Childerstone House was a very nice large house which stood on the housing estate which now bears its name. You mentioned earlier of the square conservation area but a lot of stuff that was well worth hanging onto disappeared long ago.

These days we seem to hang onto particular things to create an image of what life was never like anyway. The statue of the shepherd in Petersfield for example. There were never any sheep at that spot, they were on the other side of the square in The Spain.

Re: Allianz
- RTJ (14th Sep 2020 11:53:59)

D

I have to correct you! Childerstone House, built in 1846, is still very much standing and occupied. Land around there (i.e.in the Close) was sold off in the mid 1990's and planning was given for a restricted number of dwellings to be built in the grounds.

Re: Allianz
- Joe (14th Sep 2020 11:55:28)

D, I do think there is a working group of the neighbourhood plan which deals with heritage buildings and maybe that might lead to actually having some influence over EHDC conservation officers over what is worth preserving in the neighbourhood plan. I do not think talkback has any influence at all on the planners.

Re: Allianz
- D (14th Sep 2020 15:24:20)

Thanks, RTJ, I'll have a look. I notice the wall is a lot lower than it used to be.

Re: Allianz
- MJR (14th Sep 2020 19:17:34)

Joe

The Heritage and Design Policies prepared by the Bramshott & Liphook Neighbourhood Plan can be found on

bramshottandliphookndp.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Heritage-Design-NDP-Consultation-Feb-2019.pdf

As can be seen from the title on the link these policies were displayed for comment at the Public Exhibition held in February 2019

Hope this helps

Re: Allianz
- D (16th Sep 2020 18:39:54)

Before this building went up I'm sure it was either a coal yard or a builder's yard. I remember lots of lorries going in and out all day. This would explain the covenant for it to be business premises only. It might even have been called "Ajax Yard", maybe Lifetime Resident can remember.

Re: Allianz
- Lifetime Resident (16th Sep 2020 20:58:32)

Yes it was a builders yard one of the biggest around. Chapman Lowrey And Puttick with yards at Haslemere and Godalming.

Re: Allianz
- D (17th Sep 2020 08:10:55)

er, I would love to hear about the Anchor Railway, I think that one was before my time.

Re: Allianz
- Editor (17th Sep 2020 08:20:13)

Hi D

This old thread from 2009 gives more information for you.

The Royal Anchor - railway

Re: Allianz
- D (17th Sep 2020 10:10:15)

Cheers, Ed.

Re: Allianz
- Joe (17th Sep 2020 15:27:39)

On the subject of history the wikipedia entry for liphook states that the Berg Estate was built on the site of Chiltley Place and Arbouretum. Perhaps you were not living here to remember the Arbouretum.

Re: Allianz
- Liphook Heritage Centre (17th Sep 2020 16:59:23)

Joe

Reference to the Berg estate.

The Liphook Heritage Centre has detailed information on the history of the Berg estate.

When it reopens following cessation of Government pandemic restrictions we recommend a visit.

In the meantime why not browse our web site liphookheritage.org.uk where you will find a wealth of information plus contact details should you have any questions.

Re: Allianz
- Joe (17th Sep 2020 18:21:32)

Thanks I am interested in local history, but my post was in answer to D who said the Berg was not built where there was an Arboretum, I expect it will be a while until the Heritage centre re opens. Does anyone have photos of the Anchor Annexe? It does not appear on old photos online.

Re: Allianz
- D (17th Sep 2020 18:23:46)

We know, Joe. You had to look at Wiki to find that out?

Re: Allianz
- D (17th Sep 2020 18:53:51)

Joe, I don't think I did, do show me. You can't find pictures of the Anchor Annex? Well, there you go, if there's no pictures of it on the internet then I must have imagined the whole thing.

Re: Allianz
- Joe (17th Sep 2020 21:31:47)

D I trawled back in the postings the reference is on the " referendum thread." I think
I must have mis interpreted your post as you said" An arboretum is not the best place to build a housing estate." I took that to mean you disagreed that there was an arboretum there.

Re: Allianz
- D (17th Sep 2020 21:39:59)

Joe, there is a photo of the Anchor, three ladies to the left with their backs to the camera wearing blue, yellow and red. The annex is the building to the right of the tree.

It was on the corner of the A3 and Longmoor road. In those days Longmoor Road t-junctioned onto the Headley Road (at a very awkward angle) which then t-junctioned onto the A3. The annex stood where the chicane is at the top of Longmoor Road.

Re: Allianz
- D (18th Sep 2020 08:41:28)

It's worth mentioning that to accommodate this new roundabout the perimeter of the Anchor changed drastically. Instead if the gentle curve you see coming off the old A3 onto Longmoor Road you see now the presence of the annex made it a definite right angle which protruded onto the road much further than their boundary does now. People think the centre of Liphook is bad now, try manoeuvering a large vehicle either way through the route mentioned previously but I do think drivers were more skillfull (and patient) in those days.

Re: Allianz
- Joe (18th Sep 2020 09:35:31)

Where is the photo please?

Re: Allianz
- D (18th Sep 2020 09:55:35)

I put "old Liphook" on Google and old pictures of Liphook come up. I was hoping these pictures might have numbers or something but I can't see any.

Re: Allianz
- D (18th Sep 2020 12:27:35)

It's a shame, some of these old pictures of the Anchor would show the annex very well, if that tree wasn't in the way.

Re: Allianz
- er (18th Sep 2020 13:13:51)

Just on the Berg estate estate thing (yes i know this is off the original thread), some of the houses in Chiltley Way have parts of the original garden wall of Chiltley Place House at the bottom of their gardens, I was lucky enough to see a stretch of it, some 10-15 feet tall and in great condition (I can't remember if it's listed or not), the original estate must have been very grand, I believe one or two of the minor buildings still stand in the gardens of lucky homeowners, one was being used as a squash court I heard!

Re: Allianz
- Jack (18th Sep 2020 17:44:18)

In answer to the comment at the beginning of this thread by Rob S, the offices were originally the premises of Ajax Insurance, a specialist engineering insurer, started by Michael Poland. This was sold to Norwich Union and, somewhere down the line, ownership passed to Allianz. Michael also owned Stackhouse Poland Insurance Brokers in Newtown Road, which, when he sold it, moved to Guildford and has now been absorbed by a large American corporation. Michael talks about Ajax Insurance in Liphook here: islandlifemagazine.co.uk/michael-puts-his-success-down-to-good-fortune-and-the-odd-risk

I presume it was named Ajax Insurance after the Ajax Yard mentioned above?

It is sad that Allianz are leaving Liphook. They have been major sponsors of the Carnival and I presume their office staff frequented the shops, pubs, sandwich bars and coffee shops of the village.

Re: Allianz
- Simon Coyte (18th Sep 2020 20:17:37)

Allianz is on the land that was once one of the village builders A. Caesar and sons, in the early 20th century, they were builders and undertakers. There are still descendants living in the area.
After the site was sold by Chapman Loury, & Puttick, to the Poland family who lived at Downlands in Rectory Lane it became the home of Ajax Engineering Polices at Lloyds, the Poland Family business.
I as many older residents still refer to it as Ajax
Simon Coyte

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