Look back at 2022 in Andover with our review and roundup of the year!

This is the second part, looking at the biggest events that happened from July to December.

READ MORE: Look back at Andover 2022 January to June


Andover Advertiser: July began with the announcement that a charity which provides services to people with disabilities near Andover had been found to be “Inadequate”.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Enham Trust care home services inadequate overall following an unannounced comprehensive inspection which had taken place in February.

The CQC carried out its inspection of the service due to concerns received about how people were being supported to make decisions, as well as concerns about the environment and leadership within the service.

Following the inspection, the rating of the service dropped from “requires improvement” to “Inadequate”.

Also in July, news broke that permission had been granted to construct a huge solar farm at land south east of Pernham Down.

Proposed by Low Carbon UK Solar Investment Company, the proposal was given the go ahead by the Test Valley Borough Council’s northern area planning committee in a meeting on July 14, with the plans approved with seven votes in favour and three against.

During its 40-year life, the solar farm, which will cover more than 75-hectares of Grade 3, “good quality” fields, will produce enough power for around 16,500 homes.

The historic Overton Mill also closed its doors, resulting in 300 people losing their jobs.

Portals, which has been printing bank notes and security paper for more than 300 years,  opened the Overton Mill site in 1922.

However, the company said that, due to rising costs and the on-going effects of the pandemic, it’s business in Overton was “no longer viable.”


Andover Advertiser: August opened with the news that global firm Britax Römer will cease manufacturing at its site on Churchill West Way in Andover at the end of 2022.

A spokesperson for the company, which specialises in child safety seats and strollers, said that the decision was a result of “the current economic climate” and “the need to constantly evolve.”

The spokesperson continued: “Britax Römer will no longer manufacture in the UK, nor directly distribute its products from Andover as of the end of 2022.

“This is in no way a reflection of the efforts of our employees or everyone’s hard work and commitment to Britax Römer.”

Later in August, a reverend called for government action after his church’s energy bills skyrocketed to more than ten times its rates in 2021.

Reverend Andy Fitchet, of Andover Methodist Church, said that in July 2021 the building’s electricity bill was £70, while in July 2022 it had risen to £1,000.

He said: “It made me feel sick. I have no idea how we are going to pay for the winter.”

Pet owners also received a warning after a second dog died following a walk at Anton Lakes.

The two-year-old Jack Russell Miniature, Maple, sadly died shortly after swimming in the lake.

A spokesperson for Test Valley Borough Council said: “We are aware of the sad passing of a dog following a visit to Anton Lakes and we are in touch with the owner.

“While we don’t know the cause of death, we have already collected water samples to test for blue-green algae and are awaiting the results.”


Andover Advertiser: September saw the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The monarch, who reigned for 70 years, passed away at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle, and was succeeded by her son Charles III.

Thousands of people from across Andover paid tribute to The Queen as a period of national mourning was declared.

September also saw Andover War Memorial Hospital receive a multi-million-boost to build a community diagnostic centre.

The boost meant that GPs will be able to refer patients to the new centre where they can have potentially lifesaving checks and diagnosis by nurses and radiographers without having to travel to Basingstoke or Winchester.

As part of the plan, the maternity ward will move to a new maternity hub, creating a modernised setting for maternity teams to work in an improved birthing environment for families.


Andover Advertiser: At the beginning of October, the Enham Trust announced that it was merging with housing association The Aster Group following a consultation with

Aster group chief executive Bjorn Howard remarked: “This merger will protect Enham Trust’s legacy and crucially secure it’s future, while enabling it to make use of our expertise, greater scale and financial stability.”

Enham Trust chief executive Simon Williams added: “The merger is the right move for the trust, our residents, and the communities we serve.

“It will mean we can do even more for our current and future residents.”

October also saw police undertake a week-long operation to crackdown on county lines crimes in Andover, with four arrests made during the operation.

As part of the crackdown, officers also visited 10 cuckooed addresses to speak with residents and provide safeguarding advice.

Sergent Stu Harris from Andover’s High Harm team said: “We are working harder than ever to crackdown on county lines, which bring misery to communities in the form of drug dealing and violence.

“Disrupting county lines drug dealing and preventing the exploitation of vulnerable people is a priority for us in Andover. We will continue to keep up the pressure on those known to us locally as being involved in this kind of activity.

The Pride of Andover awards also returned in October.

Hosted by Channel 4 star Jordan Wylie, dozens of helpful heroes from across Andover were celebrated, with the main Spirit of Andover award going to Ronnie Hoo for his work supporting vulnerable people with poor English skills.


Andover Advertiser: November saw the news that Andover-based arts charity Chapel Arts Studios had signed a lease to take on the long-vacant M&S unit on Andover High Street.

The charity will turn the unit into a new arts hub for the town, with ambitions to bring creative people and charities together in one space, with a studio space, art classrooms, workshop space and an exhibition area.

Creative director of Chapel Arts Studios Susanne Hasselmann said: “The whole point of having a lot of that space is to bring creative people together, and that is around the studio spaces – creating a community of creators, creating a home.”

Susanne called the unit, which was closed by M&S in 2018, a “centrepiece” of the High Street, and reassured residents that the charity will work to ensure the new hub “makes the street scene flourish”.

November also saw a consultation for plans to build an 86-acre solar farm near St Mary Bourne launched by BSR Energy.

The company, which intends to submit a planning application to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in 2023, hope to create a 29-megawatt solar park at land at Lower Wyke Farm.

The proposed solar park would produce enough energy to power approximately 7,252 homes in the UK, saving 6,423 tons of CO2 emissions every year.

Project manager Sarah Hymas said: “We encourage the community to take part in our consultation and share their local knowledge and views on our proposals, ahead of the project design being finalised and a planning application submitted.”


Andover Advertiser: December opened with Andover’s first Winter Wonderland coming to the town centre.

Organised by Our Andover CIC and Bringing Together Andover CIC, the wonderland was praised by residents.

However, the event was also criticised by several High Street traders due to stalls blocking the entrances to shops.

Beverley Power of The Travelling Cupcake explained: “The opening by our shop was tiny, a little gap on one side.

“It was all very haphazard.

“It just felt that no thought was given to local businesses – it just infuriated me.”

Popular ice-cream palour Canto Gelato also had to close its doors for the day due to the wonderland.

Following the criticism event co-organiser Cllr David Coole said: “By their very nature, High Street events mean bringing in stalls and activities that can obscure the shops and cafes, but this does not stop people going into them and spending money.

“Sufficient space was left in front of all shops and cafes that were open, so people could visit them whilst enjoying the Winter Wonderland day.”

December also saw the Riverside Café re-open following a break-in in September which saw windows smashed, CCTV broken and £300 taken from the till.

Manager Hannah Mattia said: “I know the break-in really did impact Stephanie and Ricky, so it’s been really nice to be back open and get business flowing again.

“Business has been quite slow since reopening, but we’re really trying to push through, find our niche and just let everyone know that we’re here and back open.”