ARGUS article 16 October


Reported in the Argus 16 Oct 01

The Scale of the Project

Hundreds of people are facing major disruption to their lives after plans were tabled for a massive new housing estate. Developers want to build up to 875 homes on 112 acres of farmland on the outskirts of Worthing.

The estate, adjoining West Durrington, would boost the town’s 100,000-strong population by about 2,000 and create up to 750 jobs on a business park. It is the last greenfield area in the borough where substantial numbers of homes could be developed.

James Appleton, Worthing’s development control manager, said the borough council was unlikely to consider the plans in detail until early next year, and work could start at the end of next year and last until 2006.

The consortium which submitted the plans is comprised of Heron Land Developments, Persimmon Homes and Bryant Homes.

Neighbours will have their views spoilt

There has already been opposition from residents, who face years of construction on their doorsteps. Householders in Fulbeck Avenue, Varey Road, Adur Avenue, Tasman Way, Adelaide Close and Hobart Close, who look out on to the countryside, face the biggest upheaval.

Mother-of-five Kim Cameron, 43, who lives at the junction of Fulbeck Avenue and Varey Road, is concerned about heavy lorries being driven past her home to the land behind her end-of terrace house, where the first 300 homes are planned. She said: “It is a beautiful area and they are just going to destroy everything. I don’t want lorries going up and down outside my home all day, every day. We have deer behind our house and they are going to wreck it all.”

Supporters of the scheme say many people in the area cannot afford to buy their own homes and the building of 220 social houses would ease the shortage of affordable accommodation. This has angered some residents who fear anti-social tenants from deprived districts of Sussex would be given accommodation, fuelling an increase in crime and vandalism which is already plaguing other parts of West Durrington, particularly the Barley Fields complex.

Lorraine Fordham, 46, of Adelaide Close, fears property prices in the area will fall due to the volume of social housing proposed.
Mrs Fordham, who has lived in West Durrington for three years, said: “It’s scary because West Durrington has taken over from Maybridge as the trouble area. They are bringing in from other areas truck-loads of people who aren’t wanted.” She said there were not enough facilities on the estate and feared wildlife would be “annihilated”.

The consortium has pledged land and/or finance towards a first and middle school, shops, a library, community centre, medical centre, sports pitches, children’s play areas, small parks, a swimming pool off the site, pedestrian and cycle links and improved bus services.

In an effort to avoid the bland building design which has blighted much of West Durrington in the past, the council wants traditional Sussex building materials, such as clay tiles and flint, to be used.

A village community is planned

A report by the developers says: “The proposals are not for a featureless housing estate. The area will have a sense of community and the identity of the existing community will not be lost.” A village green and a circular open market area are likely to be included in a bid to give the area a village feel, possibly with its own name.

Increased Traffic

However, traffic in Titnore Lane is likely to increase by 50 per cent during peak hours, with a 15 per cent rise in Yeoman Road.
Improvements would be carried out to Titnore Lane, an unlit single carriageway with numerous sharp bends, to reduce accidents. These include “a slight widening and minor realignment of the road to improve visibility”, resulting in the loss of 1.5 hectares of woodland. However, the developers said the number of trees planted would more than make up for those lost. Titnore Lane was renumbered A2700 without telling anyone.

Business Park linked to the estate

Nine acres of land at the junction of the A27 and Titnore Lane has been set aside for use as a business park, linked by footpaths and cycle paths to the new housing.

The developers would make cash available for West Sussex County Council, which is the highways authority, to promote traffic calming in New Road and Terringes Avenue. Bus services would be increased to and from the West Durrington area, based on the 10 and 10A services, whose routes would be extended into the new estate, possibly using Tasman Way.

Impact on Castle Goring

Conservationists are concerned about the impact of the housing on Castle Goring, an historic listed folly on English Heritage’s “buildings at risk” register. In a bid to allay the fears, the consortium wants to stop building about 450 metres south of the structure.

Possible Tesco expansion

A Tesco supermarket, already struggling to cope with customer demand, is likely to expand once the houses are built.

Infrastructure improvements needed

A pond would be constructed to the south of the site to prevent the area flooding during wet weather. Water mains would be laid and connected to those already operating in Fulbeck Avenue, Tasman Way and Titnore Lane.

It is a nightmare scenario for William and Kathy Cock, who have lived in Hobart Close for 20 years. Mrs Cock, 62, organised a protest petition and has collected 400 signatures against the proposals. She said: “The infrastructure isn’t here to support the houses. There are no facilities. I just don’t think there is any need for more housing up here.” Mr Cock, 63, said: “At present it is altogether a very pleasant outlook and people enjoy it but there are already signs that the area is going downhill. The amount of vandalism on the other side of the estate is terrible.”


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