Coronavirus update

National Vaccine Update
More than 32 million people in the UK have now had their first dose of a Coronavirus vaccine and more than 7.6 million their second. The Government have announced that with all people over 50, together with those in high risk groups in the UK, having now been offered a first dose, the target of offering a first dose to the top nine priority groups by 15th April has now been met. The UK is still on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July, with those in their late 40s expected to be next in England.

Local Vaccination Update
Pulborough Medical Group are now offering the second Astra Zeneca vaccination for patients who had their first dose prior to 26th February. They are also offering first dose Astra Zeneca vaccinations for all patients aged between 45 and 50. PMG will be contacting all eligible patients but you can phone the surgery on 01798 872815 (Option 1) to book an appointment. For more information please see here.
The latest information for patients at the Arundel Surgery can be found here.

Getting Tested for Coronavirus
As reported in a previous Newsletter, with effect from April 9th, as part of the Government’s drive to encourage people who do not have Coronavirus symptoms to get tested, symptom-free COVID-19 test kits that can be used at home are now available, free of charge. Test kits can be ordered from the Government website, be collected from community sites and test sites across West Sussex, or if preferred, you can book an assisted test and visit participating pharmacies and test sites. For more information, please see h ere.

Roadmap to ease lockdown – step 2 w.e.f. 12th April
Last week we provided a brief summary of the changes being implemented under Step 2. The Government have now published full guidance as to how these changes will operate across a wide spectrum of settings, venues, activities etc. and as there are a number of penalties the police can impose for various breaches of the rules, we would suggest that you might care to browse the guidelines which can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-
do?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=88247f11-00d8-43ab-b4cd-
5952d5a4b5c5&utm_content=daily

A quick reference poster has also been produced and can be found here: –
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/977567/COVI
D-19_Roadmap_Posters_STEP_2_2021_-_print.pdf

Stay well and keep safe and if you require help with shopping or prescriptions, please contact
Fr. Peter Mallinson (Bury) 839057 or Ken & Diana Rowsell (West Burton) 831475

The passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The following is a communication from the Chairman’s Office, West Sussex County Council, to local authorities and parish councils following the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Thanks to colleagues for implementing their protocols for Operation Forth Bridge, following the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday. I can now confirm more details for local authorities. You will probably have seen that the funeral has been arranged for Saturday 17 April. This means that the official period of mourning will finish on Sunday 18 April at 8am. I hope that the following advice is helpful:
• The funeral will be broadcast, including a minute’s silence at 3pm on 17 April. You may wish to encourage your communities to mark this at home. The Palace is giving a strong lead on adhering to guidelines about the public health restrictions to avoid gatherings.
• Flags being flown at half-mast should return to full mast at 8am on Sunday 18 April if practicable. If your buildings are not staffed on a Sunday, it is acceptable for this to be done on Monday 19 April instead, as soon as possible in the morning.
• It is expected that the Palace’s online book of condolence will be closed at 8am on Sunday 18 April. You are invited to do likewise if you have an online book of condolence, or as soon as practicable on the Monday.
Yours sincerely,
Charles Gauntlett
Chairman’s Office, West Sussex County Council

Mini Bus drivers needed

We are pleased to publish this message from our West Sussex Minibus Service local organiser:

Community Mini Bus Covering Coldwaltham, Watersfield, West Burton and Bury
Volunteer Drivers Wanted
We are hoping to restart this valuable service during the summer months and we will need some volunteer drivers. If you have a spare morning, once a month, and willing to drive a minibus on a local shopping trip, helping the local community. Please contact: Janet Mattey 01798 839122 or email: janet_richard@btinternet.com for more information.

Booking slots at Household Waste Recycling Sites

The new trial system requiring residents to use a booking service to visit certain Household Waste Recycling Sites in West Sussex became operative from 29th March. West Sussex County Council report that some sites have experienced a surge in visitors at the start of booking slots and are reminding residents that they can arrive at any time during their booking slot period – there is no need to arrive at the start. Residents are also reminded that while the majority of sites have 30-minute booking slots, the sites at Bognor Regis and Shoreham operate a 15-minute slot. A reminder of the system and the rules for using the sites can be found here: –

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/land-waste-and-housing/waste-and-recycling/recycling-and-waste-prevention-in-
west-sussex/household-waste-recycling-sites/book-to-recycle-trial-booking-system/

 

Hirers return to Bury village hall

We are pleased to report that, with the advent of Step 2 of the Roadmap, this week will see the return of two of our regular hirers to Bury Village Hall. Although community halls still cannot stage stage indoor social gatherings, they can open for such purposes as formal education or training, registered childcare, support groups and for supervised activities for children (not birthday parties, though!). Consequently, the Boathouse Ballet School and the Matt Fiddes Martial Arts Group are resuming their weekly slots and we look forward to the eventual return of Barry and Sue Bird with the Bury and Pulborough Dance Club, possibly at Step 3 but we await further confirmation. We were also pleased to hear from the Martlet Indoor Short Mat Bowls group that they intend to return to the hall in September once their outdoor summer programme finishes.

As things stand, it will be Step 4 on 21st June at the earliest before we can contemplate using the hall for any kind of social activities – and even then, there may be some degree of ongoing social contact restrictions we will have to observe. If you are contemplating holding an event or celebration during the second half of the year, we would be happy to make a provisional booking although this would obviously be subject to any ongoing COVID-19 or other Government restrictions at the time. This website contains information on hiring the village hall and/or if you would like some more information please contact our village hall manager, Judith Daykin at vhmanager@buryparishcouncil.org.uk

Glebe Field update

Bury Parish Council recently reported that the council had agreed to meet the cost of a surveyor’s report requested by the Diocese in connection with the possible sale of their part of the Glebe Field.

By way of some further background, since the 1970s, there have been Bury Parish Council resolutions to secure the Glebe Field as a permanent open and green space at the heart of the village by acquisition should the opportunity arise.

The recent news from Wisborough Green that Chichester Diocese is willing to sell a similar Glebe Field, integral to the character of that village and adjacent to their Grade1 listed church is alarming – the proposed development of 25 new houses on the site is obviously viewed as a tremendous threat to their village.

In the Bury Neighbourhood Plan, the Glebe Field is designated as a Local Green Space and therefore enjoys a high degree of protection from development – however it is not without precedent for the provisions of a Neighbourhood Plan to be challenged, if necessary at appeal/enquiry stage, by determined developers backed by planning consultants and with pressure on the planning system and the need of local authorities to meet housing targets, such assaults have been known to succeed.

Obviously, the Diocese is free to sell the space to whoever they wish but the protection afforded to the Glebe Field would be even more certain if the land could be acquired by BPC. We are therefore talking to the Diocese about the potential purchase of their half of the Glebe Field. A survey has been carried out by the Diocese to ascertain the covenants on the field, the use we would put it to and the willingness of the Diocese to sell and it seems that they may be open to moving a conversation forward with Bury Parish Council. There has been no discussion on terms as that will depend on the outcome of the investigations and consultations that are now underway.

The Chair of the Parish Council at Wisborough Green has appealed to us for our help to object online to the proposals for their Glebe Field. He believes they now have a hard fight ahead to stop a planning disaster being successful. His advice to us is that if we should explore every avenue and do all we can to acquire our Glebe Field for the Parish and to secure it in perpetuity as a village green space. BPC will therefore continue to explore any possibility that is for the benefit of the village and we will, of course, report back with news as it develops.

Pill Pond, West Burton, new proposals

The Pill Pond in West Burton is designated within the Bury Neighbourhood Development Plan as a Local Green Space, much cherished by the local community although it does present us with a number of ongoing repair and maintenance issues such as dredging and silt trap and bank refurbishing. At the request of a South Downs National Park ranger, a report was commissioned to explore options for the sustainable management of the location and this issue was discussed by BPC’s Environment and Planning Committee at their meeting on 12th April. A link to the report is included below so that parishioners can see what is being proposed. It must be stressed that at this stage it is simply a proposal that is being considered and any implementation would, amongst other things, very much depend on the availability of grant funding. BPC are obviously concerned about the historic and community value of the Pill Pond and are keen to hear from parishioners with any views they may have.

West Burton Stream and Pill Pond Project Proposal

Bury Parish Council response to developers about Hillside Nurseries Development

Email from BPC to MJ Homes

Dear Mr Hartnett

Thank you to you and your team for attending council meetings to discuss your proposals for Hillside Nurseries. As you know, we welcome this dialogue as the scheme develops and the presentation, the drawings and the schedule of accommodation all help to give a clearer idea of the direction of the scheme.

We very much hope we can continue the conversation in order to encourage you to offer a scheme which we would be able to support. To that point, however, we feel there is more work to be done both in terms of the design and the effect of the amount of accommodation you are seeking to build.

Below are the comments from the Council on your latest proposals. We hope you find them helpful and look forward to your response. We also look forward to your thoughts on how your proposals will have an effect beyond the site boundary. What, for example, are your thoughts about a crossing linking your site with the ‘Coffin Trail’ to the centre of the village? Have you thought about the impact of a new group of young children on the capacity of the local school? How will parking be restricted to within your site boundary? And what are your thoughts about the landscape between the eastern boundary of the site and the A29?

We very much appreciate the consultation you are undertaking with your neighbours and, to help us, it would be interesting to know who you have talked to and what the responses have been.

We look forward to your thoughts about how the scheme will develop and to our questions.

With kind regards

Mike Simpson

…………………………………………………….

Hillside: A review of the pre-application proposal

Comments on the presentation to the on-line BPC meeting 15th March 2021 at 6.30pm

1.Background

 This was the third meeting in a pre-application process. In previous meetings, BPC have expressed concerns about both the content and the character of the proposals. BPC have suggested that connections – in every respect – should be made to the main part of the village. It advised that, for the design to be a successful and welcome addition to the village, the first task is to understand the village, its evolution, character, hierarchy, typology and its needs.

Given that Hillside is a site with an employment use, BPC accepts that development in some form is likely and therefore welcomes the opportunity to positively engage with the owners and their representatives to ensure a scheme comes forward that meets the aspirations of both the owners and the village. This should be a worthwhile development that should sit well in its context and one that is not based on the perception of the A29 as a barrier to turn a back to, that provides a mix of accommodation which benefits the future of the village and that should provide a design that understood and positively responded to the unique character of Bury.

In preparation for the meeting, BPC was issued earlier in the day with two drawings – a site plan and 4 elevational site sections (printable at A4) and a schedule of accommodation. The site plan was clear and easy to read, the site sections less so because of the size of the drawing and the lack of cross references to the plan. This information was supported by a verbal description of the scheme at the evening BPC meeting, but no further visual information was made available. The comments therefore relate only to the information made available by these two drawings and the schedule.

2. Content: The uses and likely occupants

Though there is agreement to the principle that a mix of workspaces, houses for sale and affordable dwellings should provide an appropriate basis for the development, BPC does have concerns in relation to definition and to detail.

The workspace units should be better defined with specific use classes as the use of the words ‘warehouse’ and ‘industrial’ caused some concern. If, as discussed, there are limitations proposed within the use classes bands, it would be useful to know how these restrictions will be imposed – by covenant or other legal agreement – so they could form a condition to any approval that might be granted. It would also be useful to what form of tenure is proposed for the business units and how they would be offered, in the first instance at least, to local people.

BPC looks forward to seeing the detailed plans for the houses and flats. There is particular interest in two aspects. First is the plan details for the units proposed as live/work which might have space for a number of employees. How will the arrangement of home and office work? And how will parking be provided if all the staff drive to work? And second, there was some disappointment with what has been termed the ‘affordable’ units (though they may be policy compliant) being simply market units discounted to 80% of their market value rather than designed and managed in partnership with a housing provider to meet the needs of local people unable to afford these market costs.

3. Density: Site capacity and the amount of proposed development

The impression gained from the site plan is of a layout dominated by its road pattern. The area of the site taken up by road surface and the associated parking provision for over 50 cars seems at odds with such a rural context. Consequently, it is hard not to form the view that too much accommodation is proposed and that a site area of less than 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) cannot both support this level of density and contribute to the character of the village. If the proposal seems too urban, it raises the concern that either the design has not yet managed the density or that the proposed density is too great. It would be useful to understand how the density of the proposal in terms of built footprint, extent of road coverage and parking provision compared with the main part of the village.

4. Character

The character of the village is only in part defined by how buildings look. Their elevations, the choice of the materials and the details are important, but proposals based on these factors alone rarely manage to produce the character it is hoped to achieve. Character is based on the structure of a place and with Bury, it is its street pattern and topography that makes it unique. This underlying structure provides the context for how one building relates to the next and how a group of buildings form a space. Added to this is the almost serendipitous juxtaposition of walls, fences, hedges and gates that both shape the space and tell the story of what is public and what is private. How buildings look is a significant part of the making of a place but without an idea of how it is structured and why that is important, the character will be harder to assemble and sustain.

It follows that the greater the density of a development, the harder it will be to balance these subtle relationships and the harder it will be to balance the amount of hard road surface to the built form. If the spaces between buildings seem to be filled with cars, that will dominate the character making the task of placemaking so much more difficult. These proposals are dominated by a quantity of cars (some in tandem parking) and by an extent hard surfaces that makes placemaking extremely difficult. It is understandable, therefore, that emphasis quickly passes to elevations and detail but, without a real understanding of the structure that underpins the making of these new places, these elevational references will seem little more than a surface ‘copy-pasting’ exercise.

5. Moving forward

BPC very much welcomes the dialogue with the development team and appreciates the initial direction of a mixed-use project which included employment use and affordable housing. It seeks clarity on the exact nature of the uses, and it seeks a proposal that is more based on the spatial structure and sense of place that makes up the character of the village so that what emerges is not simply the highways consequence of a scheme that may be too dense. Elevations are important and will no doubt follow but they must be preceded by a real understanding of the village so that a scheme worthy of both the village and its place in the South Downs National Park can emerge. To that end, BPC hope that a scheme might emerge that is perhaps less dense but certainly with fewer visible cars and, notwithstanding the existing employment use, that the commercial units be reconsidered with greater emphasis on home-work units.

Markets return

As shops and businesses prepare to reopen from 12th April, Chichester District Council have launched a Shop Local, Spend Local, Support Local scheme. Full more details of the initiative, including news of the return of the Chichester Wednesday Market and the Farmers’ Market, please see here.