past news letters page 2





Dear Member,

Golden Jubilee Summer Party.
All members are invited to celebrate a jubilee summer in the grounds of St Michaels Hall, Summersdale Road at 7.30 p.m. on Saturday 15 June 2002. Weather permitting this will be an outdoor event with a special menu and drinks to mark the occasion. Come in fifties dress if you can or dare! Please support the Committee with a record attendance. (Invitation and details below. RSVP before 30 May please)

Autumn Event
An evening talk is planned to take place at Augusta Court, Winterbourne Road at 7 p.m.on 15 October 2002. The subject of the talk with pictures by Susan Millard of West Sussex County Records Office is Late Victorian Chichester which may have a jubilee flavour. This is a joint venture with the residents and management of Augusta Court. Light refreshments will be available. There will be a small charge or collection as a donation to Fordwater School. All members are invited. Note the date in your diary and watch this space.

Centurion Way
The experimental closure of Brandy Hole Lane as a preliminary to the creation of a safe cycle access from Summersdale to the Centurion Way by West Sussex County Council continues to be delayed by objections from the Sussex Ambulance Service. These objections will be withdrawn immediately the new ambulance station in Terminus Road becomes operative. Current predictions put this to be no sooner than mid August. The experimental closure could then last for nine months. In the meantime further north objections to CDCs compulsory purchase of land have been resolved without Public Enquiry and site clearance work to extend the Centurion Way along the old rail bed between Mid Lavant and Binderton has recently commenced. However, problems with drainage in this sensitive part of the Lavant Valley could prolong completion of this work until July or August.

There have been no recent developments which have come to SRAs attention. Our plea for a commitment from the County and District regarding the planning of cycle routes to and from the site and in the eastern corridor along the lower Lavant valley towards Lavant has recently received support from Lavant and Westhampnett Parish Councils and will be repeated.

Daffodils in the gap
Traffic going north along the Lavant Road/ A286 over the last few weeks has been slowing down rather than speeding up as it leaves the restricted zone. Much of it has then done a tight turn at the Pook Lane mini-roundabout and returned south to go slowly past the daffodils again.
The owner of the land, Ian Lock, has rented the field to a grower who must have been pleased at the quantity of flowers. But Mr Lock says that the early spring and warm days have kept the stems short. Consequently, though much of the crop has been cut and sold, the experiment has not been a total success. The bulbs will probably stay in the ground until June or July 2003, and then be harvested. Beside no lake, beneath no trees,our daffodils have nevertheless delighted the eye.

Enclosure in the Fordwater Valley
A number of residents have complained about the sudden closure of several paths and erection of fences in the Lavant valley near Fordwater. It has to be conceded that these paths are not public rights of way and have been reluctantly permitted by the landowner for the past few years whilst the land was set aside. As was explained in the Notices posted near the land, it is to be converted to an organic farming system and the grazing of organic livestock. It therefore needs to be stock fenced and access limited to the public right of way only. Whilst all this is true, an informal verbal approach has been made by SRA to the landowner The Property Department of Goodwood Estate Company pointing out that the posting of the Notices and the blocking of the paths happened virtually simultaneously so that no prior notice was given to those likely to use the paths, and was therefore an unexpected and unneighborly act. Interest in the planting of more trees along this part of the Lavant Valley continues and Goodwood will be asked for their views about this.



A Vision for Chichester?
For some time the Chairman of SRA and a number of other members of Chichester Residents Co-ordination Group (CRACG) and of the Chichester Society have expressed deep concern about the apparent lack of co-ordination in the control of development in Chichester. The result is that the citys special character and heritage is in danger of being blotted out by piecemeal projects dreamt up by architects and developers who have scant regard for the its special qualities. A number of examples spring to mind, such as New Park Centre/Hornet and St Pancras & Shippams, Stockbridge Girls High School site, and Graylingwell.
The Town Clerk and Chichester City Council have recognized these concerns and have agreed to convene a public Day Seminar as a first step to examining and addressing them. This Seminar will involve representatives from City, District, and County planners as well as residents groups, developers, and other business interests, and will be chaired by an independent facilitator from Winchester. The date is Saturday 13 July 2002 in the Council House, North Street from 10am. All welcome on a first come first served basis.
The refurbishment of the Assembly Rooms is complete. They will be unveiled on 21 May and from then on available for hire for local events and weddings. The Annual Parish Meeting is on 28 May (7pm). This will be an opportunity to see the new Assembly Rooms.

Chichester Police Community Forum and Data Link
At a recent meeting of the above Forum the Data Link scheme was described and is highly commended to SRA members. It is a voluntary scheme for those living alone which ensures that vital information is available to the Emergency Services should they suffer an accident or sudden illness. The scheme is simplicity itself and involves no electronic gimmicks. For further information contact any local chemists shop or doctors surgery..

Summersdale Garage/Hunters Rest
The saga of the weird collection of mostly derelict vehicles unlawfully kept in the grounds of Hunters Rest continues. The vehicles owner has appealed against the Enforcement Notice issued by CDC late last year requesting their removal. This appeal will not be determined until after 18 May. However, most of the vehicles have now been removed from the site.
As for Summersdale Garage, the Peugeot franchise will move to Portfield in August and outline planning consent for the site to be converted to residential use was granted by CDC on 22 April despite representations from SRA and others. It now remains to be seen how much longer Summersdale Garage will continue trading as such. It is possible that the site could be put up for sale.

Goodwood Airfield
Members will recall the Chichester Observers recent report on the inquest relating to a pilots death arising from an incident at Goodwood Airfield last December. Witnesses told the inquest that the light aircraft (a Robin R2160) was flying low and appeared to attempt a roll but the right wing and nose struck the ground. No defects were found in the aircraft. The Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death. The Air Accident Investigation Boards report on the incident has yet to be published. When it is details can be found on the web at

Summersdale Website?
A web page for Summersdale is being considered. If anybody has ideas about its design and contents (including this Newsletter, perhaps?) contact Committee Member Craig Rathbone.


Dear Member,

Apologies for starting on a mercenary note! If you haven’t paid this year’s subscription (£2 per household to Mrs Sophie Rudge) your membership lapsed on 30 June (Clause 4 SRA Constitution). This Newsletter comes to you as a goodwill gesture in the hope that you will re-join the Association without delay.

Autumn Event
This was trailed in the May Newsletter and is still a firm fixture for 7pm on Tuesday 15 October 2002. An evening talk with slides by Susan Millard of West Sussex Public Records Office entitled “Late Victorian Chichester” with a jubilee flavour. This will be a joint venture with the residents and management of Augusta Court where there is a pleasant meeting room for about 80 people. Light refreshments will be available. Entry will be free but a collection will be taken for Fordwater School. Please come and bring a friend.

A Vision for Chichester?
As you will recall from the last Newsletter, there is deep concern about the future control of development in the city of Chichester. The first of a number of public seminars took place on 13 July. SRA was represented and participated in a presentation. Although there were no dramatic outcomes of this first session, it was a worthwhile step towards the possibility of change in the process of planning Chichester’s future development. It set the scene, and yet more public input is hoped for at the next seminar which will be held from 6pm to 9pm on Thursday 24 October 2002 at the Council House, North Street, Chichester. This seminar will look at the NE quadrant of the city so will be of particular interest to SRA members.

Goodwood Airfield & Motor Circuit
Despite SRA’s attempts to thwart it both on radio and at the Planning Committee, Goodwood’s application to stage evening motor racing until 8pm on Saturday 7 September was granted. We are unhappy that the programme of events at the Revival Meeting, including flying displays (planned a year in advance) was not made known to SRA until Monday 2 September.
Rumours about the construction of a hard runway for Rolls Royce/BMW at Goodwood are firmly denied by the Aerodrome Manager. He says that nothing of this sort is planned for the foreseeable future. The Air Accident Investigation Board’s report about the fatal accident at the airfield last December has yet to be published. A search of the website up to and including August 2002 has so far revealed nothing.

SRA Website
Go to and you will find out about SRA. It’s only a beginning, but it shows we are abreast of the times. The May Newsletter is part of it and also this Newsletter.

Centurion Way
Energetic members will know that the extension from Mid Lavant to
Binderton is nearing completion. Final surfacing work could be finished within a month (mid October). It will then be possible to cycle off road from Fishbourne to West Dean, a distance of about six miles. Good news! The bad news is that the temporary closure of Brandy Hole Lane (BHL) as part of the consultation regarding the provision of safe access to the Way from Summersdale is imminent. The Sussex Ambulance Service’s new station in Terminus Road will be handed over to them later this month and closure of BHL is possible next month or early November. This is bound to cause inconvenience to many SRA members. It’s expected that work on up-grading the path between BHL and Centurion Way will be done at the same time as the minor works required to create the closure.

WSCC have reassured SRA that, despite recent press reports, there is no intention to provide a route through Graylingwell to traffic proceeding east and north from the Barnfield Road area thus relieving the city centre. In their words: “A link of this sort is not an aspiration within the Urban Transport Plan for Chichester ... it is our intention that the traffic plan (for Graylingwell Development) will be implimented specifically to prevent the creation of an attractive through route.”

This will be monitored with great care by SRA. We continue to press for a cycle “corridor” north along the Lower Lavant valley to Mid Lavant and the Centurion Way.

Lavant Poppies (by Lenon Beeson)
After the Lavant daffodils the Lavant poppies, millions of them, in a field north of the Valdoe and very visible from Summersdale. Some people say the poppies marked the blood of ancient warriors who attacked the Trundle Hill Fort. Others said the flowers represent the decibels emitted by the motor circuit. As for the accompanying crop circles, were they made by the new Rolls Royce activity? In our own patch, very soon Mediterranean flowers will be evident at Ashmead, number 4 on the part of Summersdale Road that veers off to Fordwater. The front border in September has hundreds of yellow crocus-like flowers, “Sternbergia”, interspersed with autumn cyclamen. The owner doesn’t mind onlookers. If the mystic chemistry of leaf decay gives the marvellous colours that we had last autumn, it will not seem long till the first daffodils. A house on Highland Road nearly opposite The Lane often has the earliest garden flower. As for wild daffodils, the first I know are on a sunny bank near the village of Upperton, near Petworth, alongside the road but behind a rail fence. Try the third week in January, map reference 955320), (Nearer home also check the east shore of Willow Pond in Brandy Hole Copse: ED). When summer comes again, escape from Summersdale to Harting Down. Go through the South Downs Way gate, and twenty or thirty yards south-east on the main footpath, in the middle of June, you will see thousands of orchids. So much easier to reach than the Trundle!

Security of Garden Sheds
Our Community Beat Officer PC Fisk, warns that this is the worst time of year for break-ins to sheds and that extra vigilance is needed.

Planning Online
The public can now view planning applications to Chichester District Council online. Comments on applications can also be made electronically. Those wishing to access this service should go to . Instructions on how to find the application you want are included on the site.
Members should not hesitate to contact the Planning Secretary about applications which may be of local concern. Email

Summersdale Garage/Hunters Rest
Although conversion to residential use was granted in outline earlier this year, the garage continues to trade. City Motor Holdings Chairman, Anthony Wickins has recently informed SRA that removal of the Peugeot franchise from Summersdale Garage to Portfield is likely early next year. Sales of Citroen cars will then transfer from Westhampnett Road to Summersdale later in 2003.
A few vehcles continue to be parked in the grounds of Hunters Rest. Recent information from CDC states that the appeal against their Enforcement Notice to remove all vehicles from the site has been dismissed and removal of all vehicles within one month of that decision (now expired) was ordered by the Inspector.

Summersdale Stores
Two letters to One Stop’s Area Manager this year complaining about (a) the state of the facia and the bin area, and (b) the store’s refusal to fly the Union flag during the summer golden jubilee celebrations have been ignored. For a company that professes to value its good relations with the community this is most disappointing. We now await a reply to a recent letter to the Company’s Chief Executive at its main office in Walsall expressing these sentiments and requesting explanations and action.

South Downs National Park
Although there has been some amendment to the draft boundary to the Park north of Chichester to include parts of the Lower Lavant valley, it seems that areas of the Lavant Gap on either side of the A286 are still excluded. SRA has indicated its support to the Southdowns Campaign Group’s submission of new evidence as to why these areas should be added into the Park.

Lavant Horticultural Society
New members are welcome from Summersdale. Meetings are at Lavant Memorial Hall on the second Wednesday of the month. Activities include interesting speakers, garden visits and plant sales. For more information telephone Mrs Jenny Wiseman on 01243 527902.

Committee News
Do you want SRA to survive? It is becoming an endangered species. A transfusion of new blood is urgently needed on the Committee to add more energy, enthusiasm, and ideas to its leadership. The new Constitution was created to encourage greater input from members outside the Committee, but a permanent invitation to attend Committee meetings has largely gone unheeded. Please come and contribute to our discussions. You can make a difference. The next meeting is on 15 October (changed from 24 October) before the talk at Augusta Court. After that on 12 December and 9 January 2003.

SRA Contacts
Chairman & Newsletter Editor:
John Herniman, 8 Graffham Close Tel:527374
Alan Deller, 28 Stanton Drive, Tel: 528404
Membership Secretary:
Mrs Sophie Rudge, “Appletrees”, Chestnut Avenue Tel: 528632
Planning Secretary:
Craig Rathbone, 17 Croft Mead Tel: 07986 178876


Don’t forget the talk on 15 October!
A chance to discover the Chichester of the 1880s.

An opportunity to share an evening with the residents of Augusta Court.

A way to show that you care about contemporary Chichester and at the same time supporting SRA.
These events take a lot of planning please support your committee and attend. All proceeds to Fordwater school.