Bury Parish Council responds to the Barlavington Estate Plan

On Friday 19th February, the Council submitted its response to the Barlavington Whole Estate Plan:

‘Bury parish council wishes to record its considerable alarm about the prospect of any forthcoming application to undertake sand extraction at the Horncroft/Coates reserve. We would be vehemently opposed to such an application on the grounds of the destruction of rare heathland habitat, the introduction to the rural national park setting of large-scale open cast mining and the unprecedented and hostile impact from the level of HGV traffic from the fleet of lorries that will be required to transport the extracted sand. The extraction operations would destroy the tranquillity of the district and blight not just the immediate surroundings but an area for many miles in all directions. It would undermine those very special qualities of the South Downs National Park that we all work so hard to sustain.’

Films and theatre at home

Visits to the cinema are currently off the agenda of course but the Windmill Cinema have a programme of films that can be viewed via online streaming. For details of their current offering please see here: –
https://windmillcinema.co.uk/WindmillCinema.dll/Home

Theatre-going is also off limits for now but Chichester Festival Theatre have also put together a number of productions for streaming, full details of which can be seen here.

The cinema… at home

In common with other cinemas and theatres, the Windmill Cinema, Littlehampton, has once again had to close it doors to cinemagoers but has been looking at ways to bring movie fans some new films during the COVID restrictions. They have now announced their new initiative, Virtual Screenings, enabling viewers to watch the films in the comfort of their own home. For full details please see www.windmillcinema.co.uk

Entertainment venues reopen

Following the end of the latest lockdown on 1st December, theatres and cinemas are able to open their doors to the public again, albeit subject to the Covid-19 protocols on social distancing and face coverings etc. Patrons who would like to see a particular programme or performance but prefer not to attend the venue in person can often purchase tickets for a live streaming on their TV at home.

These are some of the venues now operational once again – their websites provide more details.

For Chichester Festival Theatre please see here: https://www.cft.org.uk/
For The Windmill Cinema in Littlehampton please see here: – Windmill Cinema
For The New Park Cinema in Chichester please see here: – https://chichestercinema.org/
For The Worthing Theatre/Cinema Group please see here: – https://wtam.uk/whats-on/all/

A27 Arundel bypass

Highways England last week published details of their preferred route for the Arundel by-pass which can be seen here:-
https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/south-east/a27-arundel-bypass/#latest- updates

Highways England will now will carry out extensive surveys and investigations to help them design the scheme in more detail and will work with key stakeholders, including local authorities and statutory environmental bodies over the coming months to ensure this consultation is suited to local needs. They will publicise the details of the consultation and how the public can take part in due course.

Our MP, Andrew Griffith has written to Bury Parish Council following the announcement and his comments can be seen here: –

“I am pleased to share with you the news that Highways England have today announced a preferred route for the A27 Arundel By Pass. It will reduce congestion, enhance air quality, improve road safety and support much needed employment and economic growth across the whole of West Sussex.

“This is one of the largest Government investments ever made in West Sussex and I am pleased to have worked with the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chancellor to secure the necessary funding for Highways England to proceed. As you may know this is a project that has been off and on since the 1950’s when it was first suggested. The current single lane road around Arundel is a regular bottleneck operating way above its design capacity and will only get worse if nothing is done.

“For residents of Bury this will take some traffic away from the local single carriageway roads. In particular it should reduce the number of inappropriate heavy good vehicles seeking to avoid the current peak time congestion at the Crossbush junction near Arundel and those ‘rat-running’ motorists shaving a few seconds off their journey by speeding on quieter country roads. By reducing congestion this should significantly improve air-quality with parishes such Storrington having been an Air Quality Management Area due to high levels of NO2 air pollution since 2010.

“Whilst I support this project, I am disappointed that the alternative routes which would have had less impact on the residents of Walberton, Binsted and Tortington were blocked by certain areas having protected status and by the failure of the South Downs National Park to endorse any route within its boundary. I am committed to supporting these local residents in getting the best noise mitigation, road design and where appropriate swift compensation although of course nothing can ease the pain of this decision on those whom it most affects.

“Once the finer details of the route have been developed there will be a full statutory consultation and I hope the parish council will respond to that in addition to publicly welcoming the announcement today. Some question whether we need to improve our roads at all. Whilst I support a rapid switch to cleaner and quieter vehicles – and the UK is a leader in this respect – they will still need roads to drive upon and there is nothing environmentally friendly about pollution caused by congestion.

“The current pandemic highlights the importance of supply chains and whilst long distance commuting has declined, the usage of local roads has if anything increased.

“Please would you share this message with local residents and businesses via any local email distribution lists or social media sites? Going forward I will share all the latest information on this topic at www.andrewgriffithmp.com/A27.”

Cinema closures

Movie fans will doubtless be dismayed that following the news that Cineworld has announced it will close all of its cinemas in the UK from Thursday 8 October, with no official date on when they might re-open again, the multi-screen Chichester Cineworld will be lost to the community as a source of entertainment until further notice. However, for those seeking the big screen experience there are other options locally – the Windmill Cinema on the seafront in Littlehampton has a wide variety of films on show during most of October, including Two by Two: Overboard for children during half-term week at the end of the month. For details as well as information as to how the auditorium has been made COVID-19 compliant please see here:-
https://windmillcinema.co.uk/WindmillCinema.dll/Home
Another option is the Chichester New Park cinema which, having been closed for 30 weeks, is due to open again on Friday October 16th – full details can be found here: –
https://chichestercinema.org/

Chichester cycling and walking network improvements

Chichester District Council have now published details of the public consultation seeking views on this scheme designed to encourage more people to cycle and walk in and around the city centre area. The consultation period is now live and runs until 19 th October and further information, which includes a link to the questionnaire can be found here:- https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34451/New-consultation

Re-opening of libraries

As from Monday 17th August, limited browsing and I.T. is available in all 36 libraries in the county. Temporary opening hours are operating and will be subject to change. WSCC say that you should contact your chosen library for information. All physical West Sussex library loans which were due for return during the period the libraries were closed have been extended and there are currently no overdue charges for outstanding items but you should check your library account to see the new current due date for return of your loans – due dates may vary depending on when you borrowed the item. Details of how the libraries will be operating following re-opening can be found here

You can also see details of which libraries have large letter boxes for the return of items outside of temporary opening hours.

If you do not have internet access, here are the phone numbers of libraries local to Bury:
Chichester 01243 777351, Arundel, Petworth and Storrington 01243 642110.