The Chichester Post published this account of our Easter event that is available here.
On Saturday the 13th April the Friends of Centurion Way staged an Easter egg hunt in parallel with a name the bunny competition. Both young participants in the photograph won chocolate eggs and correctly picked the bunnies name. There were also beautifully iced cup cakes available for hungry path users and many cowslips were sold at only 50p each.
Many passing individuals, groups and families were unaware of the looming threat to the path. This lack of public awareness came as surprise to our group since we have been vigorously campaigning for eighteen months hoping to draw maximum attention to the issues.
Our group has seen draft plans showing the removal of the entire section of Centurion Way that runs adjacent with Bishop Luffa school. These plans indicate that whole section of path will be re-routed elsewhere. The Friends of Centurion Way wish to see minimum disturbance to the paths existing route and we are eager to ensure both developers and planners adequately consult residents to ensure the maintained high quality and convenience of Centurion Way path. The 1600 home Whitehouse Farm development is destined to be the largest ever in Chichester’s history. The developers have pledged to open a new southern access road by occupation of the 225th home – and even earlier for construction traffic. It is this access road that threatens the future of Centurion Way and since the ground is already broken for construction of the new homes, it cannot be long before construction of the access road must begin.
Despite grave concerns for the future of the path, our group still see room for optimism. Many of us attended the recent 5th April County Council meeting and heard the motion on Climate Change being debated. Reducing local carbon dioxide emissions was stated as being of highest priority with particular attention being drawn to the importance of promoting and enabling walking and cycling.
Councillors Peter Catchpole (Holbrook) and Dr Kate O’Kelly (Midhurst) declared that all West Sussex housing developments must now include at their earliest stages adequate infrastructure to allow a future modal shift towards sustainable transport.
Jacquie Russell (East Grinstead South and Ashurst Wood) pledged West Sussex Counties ongoing commitment to their Walking and Cycling strategy.
Jamie Fitzjohn (Chichester South) overcame his issue with the term “humans have caused climate change” after speaking of the influence of subterranean rivers of molten iron. He concluded that humans do indeed have a climatic impact and compromised on the term to then support the motion.
West Sussex county council’s concrete committent to reducing transport driven CO2 emissions gives the Friends of Centurion Way enormous hope for the future. The Whitehouse Farm Southern access road threatens to dissect three popular cycle routes: Saltern’s Way, the Chichester to Emsworth coastal route and Centurion Way. Our local planing priorities are rapidly changing to embrace sustainable transport. We now look forward to local residents participating in constructive consultation so we can find ideal solutions to these challenging planing issues.
FoCW are organising numerous events over the coming month. To find
more details please follow the link http://centurionway.org.uk/my-calendar
Mark Record (on behalf of the friends of Centurion Way)
The Friends of Centurion Way will be holding an Easter Egg Hunt for delicious chocolate. There will also be a “Name the Bunny event” where a lucky participant can win their own genuine Easter Bunny!
Come and join us between 2 till 4 pm on Saturday the 13th of April. We will be meeting by the railway footbridge.
Look forward to seeing all of you and your families there.
A poster for advertising the event is available Here
Mark Record (on behalf of the Friends of Centurion Way)
The Chichester Post ran a story on the Gingerbread Hares Event available to read here.
FoCW are holding an early Springtime event on the path by the Tesco footbridge to raise awareness of the continuing threat to centurion way from development. Please come lend a hand giving out leaflets and informing local people about our campaign to preserve and enhance the path. Hot drinks will be available for supporters and public alike.
We are not yet sure who will be baking the gingerbread hares. If this kind of baking is a way you would like to support this local community action, then please contact Ian Bartle so we can co-ordinate efforts.
The plan is for everyone to meet up on Saturday the 9th at 2pm and the event should run for approximately two hours.
Looking forward to meeting many of you there,
Mark Record (on behalf of the Friends of Centurion Way
A story of the event has now been published in the Chichester Post
The Friends of Centurion Way held a Valentines Love your Path event on Saturday February the 9th and for a cold mid February day the path was especially busy. We handed out lots of leaflets to passers by highlighting the development threats to the southern end of the path. We also made people hot drinks to help warm their hearts. We met many happy but slightly muddy youngsters enjoying vigorous healthy exercise with their families and shared some delicious heart shaped biscuits with them to help boost their energy.
At least one family brought bicycles, fixed to a bike roof rack from Bognor Regis so they could enjoy a bike ride together. Centurion Way is such a wonderful shared footpath cycle-way leading into the beautiful South Downs that people are willing to travel a long way to visit this environment where they can cycle safely. There are now plans to extend the path further North to Cocking but it is already a great ride up from Chichester to West Dean where the local store offers excellent toasted sandwiches, pastries and coffee. A handy tip for any tourists wanting to cycle Centurion Way is the excellent local bike shop in Fishbourne http://www.barreg.co.uk/ who do very reasonable bike or tandem hire. They are only a short walk from Fishbourne station.
Sarah Sharp (Chichester’s green city councillor) joined our event and explained the importance of extending wider cycle and pedestrian provision to match Centurion Way all across West Sussex. She is passionate that community access to centurion way is not impeded by local development and said it is vital that local people demonstrate their commitment to maintaining the path as a community asset. She and Philip Maber certainly matched words to action by filling two large bags with all manner of nasty rubbish which they gathered from along the path. It was just as well they bought a little antibacterial hand-wash. If we could gather more support like theirs we could soon have a cycle network to rival the Dutch National Cycle Network where 26% of all trips in the Netherlands are now made by bicycle. (source https://www.eesc.europa.eu/glossaries/glossary/european-cycling-lexicon/page/some-cycling-statistics & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands)
We believe the heritage and naturalised route of CW along the old Railway Line to Midhurst is very special. If you agree that we should conserve and actually enhance the safe, family friendly access to not only Centurion Way, but also to Fishbourne and Chichester Harbour (including Salterns Way), and into Chichester City Centre, then please consider joining the Friends of Centurion Way http://www.centurionway.org.uk/sign-up-form/
Photo from Chichester Post story
Elements of the review that FoCW supporters will particularly wish to give feedback on.
Sara Sharp attended a Chichester Local Plan Review exhibition on the 8th January and made the following important notes:
I have just been to the exhibition at CDC.
I was given a form and I think it will be essential – or at least easier to use their on-line form
You need to use a new form for each representation – so I presume this means each time you want to comment on a paragraph.
You need to give the page /paragraph number and the policy Reference no
You need to tick if you support or object or have comments
You then need to enter your full representation and give details of the reasons for support/objection – here it is good to reference govt policy or NICE guidelines or other best practice.
You then have a section to add the improvements or changes you suggest.
If you want to use the online form to give feedback and feel slightly technophobic, it might be easiest to find someone who is a confident computer user to help or to do it as a group activity. I suspect the form will be much easier to completer with a device that has significantly more screen area than a mobile phone (advice Mark Record).
Consultation is open for eight weeks from 13 December 2018 to 7 February 2019!
Philip Maber has highlighted, there is an CDC exhibition about the Local Plan at their Offices on Tuesday 8th Jan at 3.00 till 8.00 p.m. and on Monday 14th January at 9.00 a.m. till 5.00 p.m. He is considering going himself and has asked if any one else is interested in going.
The Chichester Society have a particularly helpful page that explains details of various public public exhibitions about the Local Plan Review.
The following link takes you to a top level page, good for getting an overview and explanation of the review process http://www.chichester.gov.uk/chichesterlocalplan2035
My understanding is that the main document open for comment is the Local Plan Review 2016-2035: Preferred Approach [pdf 27Mb] . However, I am unsure this document will reliably load using this link. It is a notably long document that takes a long time to read through.
Another way of locating the same document is to follow this link http://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/30923/Preferred-Approach—consultation-December-2018 and scroll down the page until you find the pdf files at the bottom of the page. The first document is the one which (I believe) is the main focus for consultation.
Due to the size and scope of the document/s, the council is keen that feedback is given clearly and is specifically addressed to precise elements within the review. Considering the lengthy administration task necessary to collate the feedback, this seems like a reasonable desire.
The councils preferred way of receiving review feedback is through a structured web based system https://chichester.jdi-consult.net/localplan/.
This system presumably shoulders some of the administrative burden through use of automation.
An alternative options for giving review feedback is offered through use of email or written post.
The pdf version copy of the “Local Plan Review 2016-2035: Preferred Approach” document is 259 pages alone and there are five additional documents to also consider. I do not pretend to have thoroughly read all the areas of the review that may relate to the path and recommend that other FoCW supporters search through the documents.
Policy S14: Chichester City Transport Strategy (page 60) a very promising committents!
Page 197 (is relevant)
7.185 Some key strategic green infrastructure assets of biodiversity, landscape and
recreational value in the plan area, include but are not limited to: (this then includes)
Page 199 (is also relevant)
Policy DM32: Green Infrastructure
Planning permission will be granted where it can be demonstrated that all the following
criteria have been addressed:
Hopefully FoCW supporters find these links and instructions useful.
New years greetings on behalf of the Friends of Centurion Way,
The Friends of centurion way are interested in researching the biodiversity of the path. Records of which could help the achieve path classification as a wildlife corridor? Philip Maber has invested in a miniaturised infrared wildlife camera that will occasional be located where animal tracks can be seen by day, so we can discover what goes there by night.
We have photographed a fox already.
We also caught a shaggy dog having a good sniff around after the fox had visited
Hopefully we will discover a variety of wildlife that follow our path while we are sleaping.
On the 31st January between 3pm and 7.30 Linden and Miller homes will be presenting plans for their “Reserved matters proposals for two residential applications (circa 160 homes) and sports pitches”. We recommend anyone interested in the planning of the new development attends. For full details of the event you may go to the developers information page here.
Unfortunately the plans are sparse on detail showing any provision for pedestrians, people using prams, cyclists, or mobility scooters. There will be detail showing a short (approximately 250 meter) northern section of the proposed developments spine road. It is shown joining a roundabout off the Old Broyle Rd. The north-western side of the spine road section will carry a combined footpath and cycleway. However the plans don’t give indication of how non motor-vehicle traffic should negotiate the roundabout when new residents wish to visit existing parts of the city. No indication of pedestrian crossings are shown on the plans on what is likely to become a busy road as the estate nears completion.
The plans will outline a boardwalk path that travels roughly north-north-east/south-south-west through a section of proposed green corridor. This section looks appealing for pleasure walks but appears unsuitable for prams cyclists, or mobility scooter users. This path joins Newlands Lane which could then be used to access Centurion Way if pedestrians don’t mind walking a huge zig zag route. It might make an appealing route for a leisure walk onto centurion way.
Miller and Linden homes exhibition Thursday 31st January 2019 plans are available from their website here
The Liaison meeting discussed the area outlined in the image below.
Many of the people who attended the meeting appeared frustrated that so little detail of the wider developments road layout was shown or explained.
An important point was established regarding access for people onto Centurion Way. It was agreed that the park area is not intended (and will in fact not be suitable) for cycle, pram or mobility scooter access. This is because all access to it is via sprung gates. The main purpose of this area appears to be for dog walking and the sprung gates are presumably to prevent disobedient dogs running away from their owners.
The boardwalk pathway through the green corridor area was described as a potential cycle route by the Linden Miller representatives. However this statement appears to have been made in error as close inspection of the plan shows a narrow and tightly curved pathway that would be unsafe to use as a cycle way.
The only access to dwellings currently shown on the plans, available to cycle, pram or mobility scooter users wanting to reach existing parts of the city, would be by negotiating a new roundabout off the Old Broyle Rd. Personally I would find cycling around such a roundabout an intimidating prospect at night or during rush hour. I don’t think I would attempt to negotiate this route if I had a pram or mobility scooter. Pedestrians from the new dwellings will have an alternative route to follow into existing parts of the city and onto Centurion Way via the green corridor boardwalk pathway. However this route would be particularly convoluted following a huge zig zag course. There was no indication of new access ways directly onto Centurion Way that new residents could use to enjoy our path.
The Linden Miller representatives stated that the cycleway along the spur road would have priority over traffic wishing to turn onto the adjoining streets. I find it difficult to imagine this being be a safe arrangement and I would personally lack the confidence to use such a pathway myself as a cyclist. It seems likely this unusual right of way for cyclists would not be recognised by motorists potentially leading to injury to a cyclists. From a motorists point of view I would also feel anxious about this arrangement. If many people are using the pavement it would be extremely difficult for a motorist to distinguish a cyclist about to cross a junction. It is also unclear how cars would approach a junction during times of heavy traffic. Would cars wait at the road junctions 3 meters from the road to allow cyclists to freely pass. I consider myself pro-cycling but I can’t imagine I could practically drive in such a way during pressured rush hour traffic. My gut feeling is that the cycle provision outlined in the plans falls a long way short of the standard of safety provided for cyclists by Centurion Way. I will ask Linden Miller representatives for precise details to how the junctions will be laid out so we can better understand how the various forms of traffic using the spur road will avoid conflict.
Sarah Hughes is the Community Wildlife Officer for Chichester District Council. She has contacted Sarah Sharp (our Green City Councillor) to ask if she knows local people who can give information about types of animals that use ‘Wildlife Corridors’ in the Chichester area.
If path users can report what wildlife is seen on Centurion Way (or the land immediately surrounding it), then we may be able to have the path classified as a ‘Wildlife Corridor’. Obtaining this classification for the path will certainly help in our campaign to protect the path from development threats.
Sarah Hughes gave the following explanation:
Chichester District Council are consulting on the new and not-yet adopted ‘Wildlife Corridor’ policy and we would like to ask for your support with three requests:-
1) Can you help with providing biodiversity records that will help us further improve the evidence base for the wildlife corridors (even if you have recently submitted them to the SxBRC or other biological groups)?
2) Can you record further biodiversity on these vital wildlife corridors? We will need the data before summer 2019 in order for the evidence to be in time for the plan’s submission to the independent examiner.
3) Can you support our proposed wildlife corridor via the consultation portal.
The evidence paper for the Wildlife Corridor policy is at http://www.chichester.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=31016 please read this first
The consultation portal is at https://chichester.jdi-consult.net/localplan/ you will need to register first in order to make a comment, then please see https://chichester.jdi-consult.net/localplan/readdoc.php?docid=6&chapter=6&docelemid=d105#d105 which is the link direct to the consultation page on Policy S30 (Strategic Wildlife corridors)