You can extend one of Spring's controllers, e.g. SimpleFormController, as you suggest, and extend that for individual purposes.
If all of my controllers have to extend from this base class I won't be able to use any of the predefined controllers Spring comes with
You can set up a template:
I don't like the idea of repeatedly injecting the property set into each controller I am defining. I would like to inject it once and be done with it.
and use this as a parent for your controllers:
<property name="myProperties" ref="myPropertiesBean">
<bean id="myFirstController" class="xxx.yyy.zzz" parent="myTemplate">
. . . all the properties unique to this controller . . .