Angmering Village Life
'Tis the Season ..... for Xmas Presents
Yes, it's that time of year again. For the past couple of years, the two books on Angmering have sold well - that is "Angmering in old picture postcards" and "Angmering - Reminiscences of bygone days". Unfortunately, both books are now out of print - well, I think the postcards book may have just sold its last copy within the last few days. However, if anyone is desperate for a copy of the Reminiscences, I can produce copies of this 80 page book with a green card cover and black plastic comb binding for £4.00 (excluding postage). Just phone me on 01903-771935 for further details or to order a copy.
(30 November 2005)
It appears that there was extensive fly-tipping in the village over the weekend with old tyres and car batteries being left in the village centre, the High Street, Weavers Hill, and Roundstone Lane. On being alerted to this, Arun District Council commendably took immediate action and cleared offending items the same day (Monday).
(29 November 2005)
More Housing for Angmering? - Update
Further to my news article on 22 November (below), I yesterday attended the public exhibition on the Angmering site given by the architects, Lewandowski of Eton, and feel I should update readers of my findings. But where on earth do I begin! The project is known as DEEP (Downsview Energy Efficient Project). What a bizarre and almost unbelievable housing scheme is being proposed. The only thing going for it is that some 1-bedroom apartments are proposed and that the buildings are commendably green and eco-friendly. But that is where it all ends.
First and foremost, building any housing on this land will lead to filling the open gap which will inevitably lead to having solid housing from Brighton to Littlehampton which must be opposed at all costs. The land is part of ancient Highdown and the land on which the project is intended to be sited is currently being considered as part of the South Downs National Park. Additionally, it is outside Angmering's agreed building development area, and granting approval for any housing will tear apart Arun District Council's development policy and create precedents for building on any open land whether in Angmering or any other parish in the district. On these grounds alone, should this proposal lead to a planning application, it must be seriously challenged.
Putting 95 rented or shared-ownership homes on an isolated site does not bear thinking about. There is no infrastructure to support some 250 people living in such a small area and many would not have viable means of getting to work,etc. Only 50 car parking spaces would be provided and, of these, there would be an assessment of the need for people to have a car, and then presumably one car at a maximum. The proposal relies on people cycling down the by-pass to get to work/the shops/recreation facilities, or catching a bus, or car sharing. They hope to persuade Stagecoach to lay on more buses, but Angmering (with a population of 8000 people) has been unsucessful in getting them to run buses after 7.00pm, and there are no bus services at all on Sundays.
The scheme envisages four curved solar panel & grass-roofed tenement-type blocks of housing, each three storeys high (see plan right) on an approx 200m x 50m strip of land adjoining the A259 about 100m west of the Wyevale Garden Centre. Apartments would be a mixture of one, two and three bedrooms. The population density on the site would be staggeringly high. In a town environment, to ensure quality of life, it is unlikely that planners would allow a density of more that 70 dwellings per hectare; in a semi-rural area like Angmering, an absolutely top density of 50 - 60 dwellings per hectare might just be argued. What it proposed for the DEEP site is a density of nearly 100 dwellings per hectare, probably far more than could ever be justified for inner-city housing! Indeed, London is tearing down many of its dense housing blocks due to the social problems they have caused. Many of these new London projects give residents gardens. But not so on the DEEP scheme - each housing block would be allocated an amenity area and, from this, ground floor residents only would be able to "create their own private defensible spaces". A very small play area (a circle of land approx 10m dia) with swings etc would be provided and there would be some small community green spaces filling in unusable areas between housing blocks and the access road.
The scheme envisages getting the County Council to provide cycleways, safe methods for getting vehicles out onto the admitted dangerous A259, and safe methods for people crossing the dual carriageway to get to Ferring shops and schools, and bus stops on the other side of the road. Get WSCC to do all of these things? As if...!!!
The brochure handed out by the architects was commendably produced on re-cycled paper rather than expensive glossy material but it contains "misinformation" and what I believe is "disinformation" as well as being unbelievably naive in parts. No good justification for affordable housing in this particular area is given and the statistics provided on this point are meaningless. They remind me of what the 19thC Bishop Andrew Lang said of a colleague -"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses a lamppost - for support rather than illumination". Angmering has within the last couple of years made a massive contribution to new housing including 90 affordable housing units at Bramley Green, which is within 15 minutes walk from this site. Additionally, a further 220 affordable houses are proposed in the large Titnore Lane development only 15 minutes walk in the other direction. There is therefore no need for the DEEP scheme at all.
Anybody wishing to read more about the scheme or make their own judgement, a copy of Lewandowski's brochure may be viewed at Angmering Parish Council's offices in The Square.
(25 November 2005)
Other News in Brief (Week 47)
Car Fire - Petrol was poured over a car in Lloyd Goring Close on Monday before being set alight. The car was completely destroyed.
Award - Gales Brewery has received a deserved Arun Design Award from the Arun District Conservation Area Advisory Committee for the design and workmanship employed in the re-building of The Woodman Arms at Hammerpot which burnt down on 26 February 2004 and which re-opened on 4 February this year.
Music - Chairman of Angmering Parish Council, Councillor Chris Hughes, was guest conductor for one of Denmead Brass band's pieces at their recent performance at St Mary's church in Littlehampton.
(24 November 2005)
More Housing for Angmering?
The Horizon Housing Group, the umbrella organisation for a number of social landlords, want to build 95 'affordable' homes in Angmering on its eastern edge. This would be on 2.5 acres of land next to the Wyevale Garden Centre on the north side of the A259 at the foot of ancient Highdown. Clearly, if approved, such a development would open the floodgates to other developers to build in this area which would be a disaster for such a beautiful location.
Lewandowski, architects for the sellers of the land, are holding a public exhibition of their proposals on Thursday 24 November, 11am to 4pm, at Unit 1B, Downsview & Coopers (off the A259 at 'Ferring'). This is the entrance immediately west of Wyevale Garden Centre when coming from Angmering.
Angmering residents are urged to visit the exhibition in numbers and pass judgement on the scheme. Readers who have friends or relatives in Ferring are also urged to let them know about this exhibition, as residents of that parish will also be very much affected by such a development.
(22 November 2005)
Future of Village Chemist
The following reassuring and welcome comments were left in this website's GuestBook overnight:
"As the pharmacy dispenser in Lloyds may I update your information on the Surgery. It will soon be common knowledge that we as a pharmacy will re-locate to the new site. As to what we can or cannot sell will be a decision taken by higher authorities but obviously we will have much larger premises than at present as we too are working in a very tight environment but still maintaining our very best service. After all the chinese whispers let us be clear, the staff in your local Lloyds pharmacy will always have our customers best interests in our hearts. Thankyou and we look forward to a bright future."
We have also been contacted this afternoon by the project manager responsible for the building of the new surgery who confirms that the space available to Lloyds at their new premises attached to the surgery will be approx 100 sq. metres which is considerably larger than which they have at present at their shop in The Square. Lloyds will therefore have a full retail branch at the new surgery and not a very limited range of retail items as has been suggested by some people. This will be the only chemists in the village. We are happy to clarify this matter as our earlier comments had been interpreted differently by some readers of this page and for that we must apologise for the lack of clarity.
The new Lloyds chemists' shop/pharmacy will be built onto the north-east end of the surgery and it is anticipated that it will open at the same time as the new surgery itself although it is possible it could open earlier. The conditions attached to the approval by ADC have been significantly changed by them on their website within the last couple of weeks and there is now no restriction on the pharmacy opening before the surgery provided, of course, that the car parking/access arrangements have been completed.
(22 November 2005)
Angmering Planning Applications (List 46)
A/134/05 - Outline application for development to provide 1 no. additional dwelling at 4 Ambersham Crescent (East Preston). For Mr N Adams.
A/135/05 - Roof conversion and rear extension at Linkside, North Drive. For Mr A Knowles.
Observations on these Applications must be received by The Head of Planning Services, Arun District Council, The Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN17 5LF by 15 December 2005
(22 November 2005)
Apologies for the lack of weather station facilities for the last couple of days. Problems are being experienced at present with the relevent computerised sysyems. We hope the weather station will be up and running again within the next couple of days.
(21 November 2005)
St Margaret's School on TV
Yesterday afternoon saw a film crew and Reporter from Meridian TV news filming at St Margaret's School in Arundel Road. Over the past couple of weeks children have been filling shoe boxes of goodies which will be sent to less fortunate children in Romania, under the auspices of Operation Christmas Child. They have managed to collect a magnificent 220 boxes containing items such as cuddly toys, toothbrush, flannel, soap, pencils and pens, sweets, jewellery, small ball. The feature should be shown on Meridian News this coming Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 6.00 - 6.30. Well done St Margaret's School.
(19 November 2005)
We do not normally publish communications from individuals on this website, but this plea from Steve Leveridge from Bramley Green is worth making an exception:
"Please can you add a notice on your website to warn motorists about the possible dangers at the Angmering bypass junction at the end of Water Lane. I use this turning every morning and I am shocked at the amount of motorists that pull out when they can clearly see another vehicle travelling down the carriageway at a speed of at least 60 MPH. These vehicles have to break hard to avoid ramming into the back of them. As winter is drawing in fast, the road surfaces are going to deteriorate making it harder to stop in time. Please highlight this danger to others on your website and perhaps motorists will wait for the vehicles to pass before pulling out".
(18 November 2005)
Snippets from recent Parish Council Meetings
(Environment & Leisure Committee Meeting - 31 October 2005)
Street Maps - Two street maps and cases are to be ordered at a cost of £3570. One will be located in the centre of the village and the other at Bramley Green (location still to be decided).
Notice Boards - A Notice Board is to be provided at Bramley Green at a cost of £800 (site still to be decided).
Public Convenience (at The Lamb) - Arun District Cabinet has accepted recommendations that certain public conveniences be closed including those at the Lamb Inn. The Parish Council will advise Arun District Council that the Angmering conveniences are actually owned by the Lamb and will ask Arun District Council to continue making the grant of £1250.00 per annum.
Lime Tree on the Green - The Parish Council are still awaiting advice on the location for the replacement Lime tree.
Water Lane - Contractors expect to start the final shrub / tree planting at the Water Lane site late in November. Some more tree surgery will also take place.
Bulb Planting - Sites at Bramley Green had been earmarked but sites at Downs Way were still to be identified.
(17 November 2005)
Southern FM news this morning carried a report of an Angmering man (Nick B) who is selling on eBay a ticket (worth £35) to his Christmas Office Party in Worthing. What is particularly unusual about this sale item is that he comes as part of the deal. Now that's a pretty cheeky way of getting a date but good luck to him! So girls, if you want to know more about this and are considering submitting a bid, click here to see this eBay auction item. At the time of writing, there have been 17 bids, the latest one being £7.00. Bidding ends on Monday 21 November.
(17 November 2005)
Our overseas readers may be interested to learn that Winter finally arrived in Angmering last night when temperatures suddenly dropped to minus 2°C after a very mild Autumn.
(17 November 2005)
The results of the Arun District Council by-election on 10 November for the vacant Angmering & Poling Ward seat were as follows:
Paul Bicknell (Con) - 846 votes (66.8%)
Trevor Richards (LD) - 421 votes (33.2%)
Conservative majority - 425 (Con hold)
Turnout - 22.8%
(16 November 2005)
New History Resources
Further new history files have been added to our History Centre pages. There is now a list of the names of some 250 Churchwardens of St Margaret's between the years 1593 and 1809. There are also records of Churchwardens' Presentments in the 17th Century which are quite interesting and amusing in parts as they provide us with an insight into both the lack of religous toleration and social attitudes to wrongdoers of that time. In addition, the page on St Nicholas' Church has been substantially re-written to include far greater details of its excavation.
(15 November 2005)
Limes on the Green
Tree surgeons moved in today and began severely pruning our lovely 100-year old lime trees on the Green in The Square. Approx 15 - 18 ft are being lopped from the tops, and most lower side branches are being removed.
The necessity for this pruning is hotly debated and it is doubtful whether these factions will ever agree. However, I suspect it will be about three years before the trees regain something like their former appearance and shape.
It will be recalled that earlier this year, one of the limes was completely removed due to disease. The Parish Council has undertaken to replace this with a fairly mature lime tree.
(15 November 2005)
Angmering Planning Applications (List 45)
A/132/05/TC - Pruning of 1 no. Eucalyptus tree, 1 no. Acacia tree and various shrubs (Within the Angmering Conservation Area) at Wayside Cottage, High Street. For Mr P Webb.
Observations on these Applications must be received by The Head of Planning Services, Arun District Council, The Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN17 5LF by 8 December 2005
(15 November 2005)
St Margaret's Re-ordering
Now that parish residents have had the opportunity of seeing the proposals for the re-ordering of St Margaret's Church, I suspect there will be heated discussions in the village, the village organisations, and in the press. These are likely to continue, not only up to the approval stage, but for many years after any re-building has taken place. Sixty years after the last major re-building (1853), villagers were still complaining about the mess that had been made of their church! Today, villagers consider that the once 'ugly' new building to be beautiful. It's all subjective, of course.
Already we see life long residents of the parish suggesting that there should be no changes to the church and accusing newcomers of always wanting to change things in the village. People coming into the village from further afield are aghast at the apathy to village affairs from life long residents who they see as doing nothing to effect needed change. But what constitutes a 'newcomer' and how relevant is it anyway? I've lived within a few miles of Angmering for most of my life and actually in the parish approaching 40 years and have had both epithets applied to me from each camp.
The real issue here is change - people fear or do not want change for many reasons. However, history teaches us that organisations that are not prepared to change do not survive. Our buildings have to adapt too. Look at Angmering's old buildings. Have they changed over the centuries to meet new demands and situations? Indeed they have. Most of Angmering's buildings over 250 years old have undergone at least two major alterations in that time and some considerably more. Yet when it comes to the church, many villagers are not prepared to accept any change whatsoever. If St Margaret's does not adapt to new situations it will become an empty or near-empty museum.
Having said that, it is for the majority of people in the parish to determine the acceptability of these changes. The church may deep down consider that this is only a matter for the church 'family' but I disagree. The building itself, and particularly its outside appearance, is part of Angmering's heritage and the voice of the majority of residents of the parish must be heard and respected.
The feedback from last Saturday's well advertised Open Exhibition suggests that two-thirds of people who left their comments on forms provided were in favour of the modifications and one-third against. This was possibly the only opportunity for villagers to have their say. Those who did not go along cannot complain at a later date that their views have not been taken into consideration. I suspect that the comments left on 32 forms in the church will be a major influence on the planning authorities. As there were 111 visitors to the Exhibition, there were a considerable number of people who did not fill in a form. It can only be supposed that these people did not have any strong objection to the changes.
(10 November 2005)
Angmering's effort for National Tree Week
Volunteers are needed to help replace felled dead elms along a stretch of bridleway from Ecclesden Manor to Mill House. Both the Local Tree Warden and Ranger have collaborated with the landowner to help restore the existing hedgerow with trees and shrubs.
During November and December, they will be working hard to prepare the chosen sites along the south side of bridleway BW2140 where they aim to have the site ready for National Tree Week on 27 November.
Children and teenagers, accompanied by and adult, are especially welcome as naming after them the tree they plant will help give a sense of community spirit. Dates include:
Sunday 20 November - Site
preparation and planting
Sunday 27 November - Tree and hedgerow planting
Sunday 4 December - Site preparation and planting
Sunday 11 December - tree and hedgerow planting
Times start from 11am and finish at 4pm with an hour for lunch. People are welcome to come at any time and contribute as much work as they wish. Naturally, the site preparation days will require more rigorous work, so healthy adults are more desirable to help prepare the site for planting at this time.
Should you wish to volunteer or have further details, please contact the Tree Warden, Ken, on 01903-740056 or visit the Parish Council Offices in The Square.
(8 November 2005)
The Angmering Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) will be holding a "Drop-In Surgery at Angmering Parish Council Offices from 10.00am to 11.30am on Wednesday 16 November. If you have any issues that you wish to raise, you can go along and speak to the Officer present. Mobile phone security marking will also be available on the day.
(8 November 2005)
A 24-year old Worthing woman died yesterday afternoon after her car left the road in wet conditions and hit a tree on the eastbound carriageway of the A27 at Hammerpot, about 300 metres west of The Woodman Arms. In rush hour this morning there were some traffic delays, also at Hammerpot, after two cars were in collision. It is thought no-one was seriously hurt in this second accident.
(4 November 2005)
A teacher from The Angmering School has been suspended following her admission that she had kissed a boy pupil on several occasions earlier this year and had regularly sent him text messages. At Chichester Magistrates Court, Samantha Grixti, 30, mother of a two year old boy, admitted abusing a position of trust by intentionally sexually touching the pupil. She will be sentenced on 30 November but in the meantime has been released on bail. It is unlikely she will ever teach again.
(3 November 2005)
New Surgery Update
The construction is making good progress. The roof has now been fully tiled and PVCu window frames are being installed this week.
Last week, Arun District Council gave permission for a pharmacy to be set up in a section of the complex but this will not be allowed to be opened until the new surgery is up and running (targeted for May 2006). Apart from prescriptions and sale of over-the-counter medicines, additional items sold by chemists are likely to be limited. It is therefore not entirely clear at this stage what impact this will have on the Lloyds Chemists shop in The Square who, it is understood, may run the new pharmacy at the surgery.
It is noted from the approval conditions for the surgery that details of a gate to the entrance need to be submitted to and approved in writing by Arun District Council before the building is allowed to be occupied, in order to reduce the risk of crime.
(2 November 2005)
Angmering Planning Applications (List 43)
A/126/05 - Conversion of a loft space to offices at Chestnut Tree House Children's Hospice, Dover Lane, Poling . For Chestnut Tree Hse Childrens Hs.
A/127/05/TC - Minimal lopping and topping of 1 No. Silver Birch tree within the Angmering Conservation Area at St Margaret's Church, Arundel Road . For Robert W Hutchings.
A/128/05 - Change of use from Transport Warehouse (B8) to sale of Camper Vans (A1) at The Works (formerly ETS Transport), Lower Trees Nursery, Littlehampton Road . For Mr G Richardson.
Observations on these Applications must be received by The Head of Planning Services, Arun District Council, The Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN17 5LF by 24 November 2005
(1 November 2005)
St Margaret's Church Re-Ordering - Public Exhibition
A reminder that St Margaret's is holding its Public Exhibition this Saturday (5 November) between 10.00am and noon when you will be able to see the plans for the Church's significant re-ordering, both to the inside and the outside of this Grade II* Listed Building. Here is an opportunity for residents of the parish to talk to the architects and PCC members and to make their views known whether positive or less so. Whatever your beliefs, the Church is both a place of worship for a section of the community and arguably a building 'owned' and protected by the wider community. The views of both are important so do make the effort of going along to see and hear what is proposed and remain open-minded until you have seen the plans. For more details of the re-ordering, visit the Church's website news page by clicking here.
(1 November 2005)