What's special about the Triangle?

Pete Thomas

Our new SCC conservation officer has suggested we put our heads together and come up with some ideas about what we think is special about about the Triangle. I'd really like to get the residents, whether owners or tenants, involved in this informal survey.

"Special" might include the architecture, the community, the locality, or any unique features. What in your opinion is worth conserving?

Please let us know your thoughts.
I think it’s the overall feeling of space - the roads are wide, and the houses are quite well spaced out. It doesn’t feel like a city centre location.

I also think there is a really good community, but having moved in only a couple of months before the start of the pandemic, we haven’t been able to experience it fully.

We have quite a lot of wildlife in our garden too.

Jonathan C

There is a village feel about the neighbourhood.
The houses in the Triangle have a distinctive look and feel compared to other areas.
Gardens (front and back) are generally well tended and there are lots of trees and greenery - attractive to wildlife.
We get lots of bees, butterflies and birds!


The triangle is like a little village, within the village of Highfield. With only one entrance for vehicles to the triangle, at the Brookvale Road/Blenheim Avenue Junction, and pedestrian only access from the West (except for cyclists etc), it does not suffer from through traffic and the impact of on-road parking is moderated even though it is so close to the University. The quality of the housing has already been commented on and earned the triangle conservation status, but there is actually quite a variety of residential accommodation, from large 6+ bedroom houses to small flats. There is therefore quite a social variety living here, and there appears to be enthusiasm for living here from across the social spectrum. Access out for residents is also good, with entry points to A27, A34, M3 and M27 all quite near. Likewise, there are buses into town quite handy and also a link to the longer distance buses not far away, including a regular express bus to Heathrow airport The train station has services east to Portsmouth and the south coast towns, north east to London, north to Reading, Oxford, Birmingham etc, and west to Bristol, and South Wales.
What do you hope to find in a village? Here again the triangle is very fortunate but most of what you might hope to find is on the periphery (Winn Road etc), not in the Triangle itself. Churches? Cof E - Highfield Lane, United Reformed - Avenue, RC - a bit further away, St Edmunds - Avenue and IC - Portswood Road. Schools? Highfield C of E (primary). Secondary a bit more distant - Cantell. Also some private schools. Two universities quite near! Shops, a bit of a stretch. But once you reach Portswood Road, two quite large supermarkets and some smaller stores. But the range of shops compares badly with Shirley High Street. For all these outlets, the OTRA community is just part of a much larger community, so we can hope their businesses may thrive, even though our own contribution to their turnover may be insufficient in itself.
This contribution is already too long. But the more I thought of the idea of a central core village surrounded by desirable amenities, the more I thought how special this is, and how lucky we are to live here! I do hope the new broom at the Civic centre doesn't feel we already have too much of a good thing. Perhaps it's that which has kept us here in Blenheim Avenue for 44 years - and I doubt we have been here the longest!

Lyn B

The Common and the modal filters (access for all except vehicles) are my best bits about the location.

Pete Thomas

and the modal filters (access for all except vehicles)
I'm glad you mentioned that. This thread was mostly to get opinions about special charcteristics in regard to the conservation area, and one interesting thing is that when Jon Willets (cnoservation officer) had a meeting with the committe and was asking the question about what we think is special, the bollards were mentioned as something that not only filtered but could also be enhanced in some ways. ( @shaf )

Of course it may be very difficult to persuade SCC to pay for this but we are looking into the possibilities of a grant.

I'm hoping at some time we can arrange a meeting with the conservation officer and all the residents, maybe if we get to have an AGM this is ssomething that could happen.

but there is actually quite a variety of residential accommodation, from large 6+ bedroom houses to small flats. There is therefore quite a social variety living here, and there appears to be enthusiasm for living here from across the social spectrum.

Yes I absolutely agree that this is something very special and is maybe quite rare.

This is all very useful stuff folks and everything menionedf here is something we can use when submitting any information to SCC that supports our efforts to keep our conservation status.

Meanwhile it would also be very useful if people can comment on our conservation pages on the main site here - I can't stress how useful it is to get opinions from residents - whether it's praise, criticism or just telling me about the typoes.
Last edited:

Dave White

I'm a bit late responding to this thread, but I agree with the village feel, and the two points about (i) no through vehicles and (ii) greenery in the streetscene. I was out delivering a newsletter last week along Welbeck/Shaftesbury and a few other Highfield streets and what jumped out to me is the difference in atmosphere, even though their houses are often in the same style as in the Triangle. I guess the difference is (a) the through traffic whizzing by and (b) the loss of walled front gardens - replaced by tarmac and cars from pavement to front door, almost uniformly along the street. I think the triangle also has a community feel that doesn't quite work if you think of a larger zone like Highfield. This forum is an embodiment of that - I don't like or trust getting too involved in 'nextdoor' or the other community forum networks, whereas this forum, and the real world outside in the triangle is different.

Thank you Pete for collecting this together.