E-newsletter Volume 2: Issue 6 – July 2015
Congratulations to Homestead Road resident Tony French. Tony, a city and district councillor for many years, has received an MBE for services to the community in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Tony is still a city councillor and also serves on the CCDT’s Trustees’ Board, so continues to maintain his community links to the city and Graylingwell in particular.
Inadequate bin provision
Both the Clock House dumpsters are over-filled and have been for weeks as none have been provided for blocks F or G and other parts of phase 3. The open skips provided by Linden as a temporary solution are unsatisfactory, encouraging vermin and posing health issues. Pressure continues to be exerted by the GPRA on a regular basis for this situation to improve.
Linden has advised that the real problem is CDC not providing the correct number of wheelie bins/ dumpsters. CDC maintain that Linden owe them a further S106 payment in order to supply them. However, they have not invoiced Linden yet and have only just realised they need to do so. Linden has chased this with CDC and asked them not only to invoice ASAP but also to continue supplying bins in the mean time. We promise to keep chasing this issue.
Trees in the Park
Because of the number of dead and diseased trees in Havenstoke Park, a task group of committee members and interested residents has been formed to monitor and improve their condition and care. The Park is an asset for us all and we are determined to do all we can to protect it.
The group has met and considered arboreal reports and, contrary to their previous position, Linden Homes now accept responsibility for the costs associated with the vast majority of the work, including the inner ring of Havenstoke Park trees. Grange Management’s responsibility is therefore restricted to the outer ring and any other trees in Phases I and II of the development, (these phases having been handed over by Linden), and Grange have considered costs in their budgets going forward.
The recommended work on the outer ring will involve the felling of 5 trees, the possible removal of one stump and work on 4 other trees. Just 2 trees in the public realm of Phases I and II probably need to be felled.
In contrast, Linden will have to pay for the felling of 14 trees in the inner ring and a further 11 in the development, plus urgent work on another single tree.
We will focus with all parties on a suitable tree replacement programme.
Rats are pretty much ubiquitous at Graylingwell. The old tunnels under the ward blocks, the derelict buildings to the east side, the undisturbed wild life area and food waste in the park all pretty much guarantee their presence
The Pest Controller from the council called recently to one house to find a family of rats under a water butt. Additionally the rats had gnawed through the air brick immediately behind the water butt and had got into the loft.
Rats chew through electrical cables and plastic water pipes so it is sensible to deal with an infestation quickly. Two visits from the council, a week apart, cost £46.89.
It is possible to buy mesh to cover airbricks and stop infestation but they restrict the airflow to about 75% of the maximum so it is probably best to be watchful, never leave waste food accessible or leave bird food on the ground.
Number 50 bus – use it or lose it
A representative of the committee recently attended a travel plan meeting together with Linden, CDC, WSCC and the CCDT.
Linden advised that the S106 monies devoted to this service would probably run out in 2 to 3 years at most and therefore the current bus provision would cease. The number 50 bus is very important to the concept of sustainable transport at Graylingwell and its green ethos. It is also the only night bus in north Chichester.
Martin Brownsey, the Travel Plan Coordinator, stated that revenue from the bus would have to increase by a factor of nearly 6, from £34K to £180K, to reach a breakeven point. A survey, conducted in March, had recorded 225 daily passengers of whom just 55 were GP residents. Only 25% of those 225 passengers paid cash, generating about £100 daily.
We believe that once a bus route through to Homebase is completed, usage will rise, since people, including non-residents, will then have easy access to a variety of shops including Sainsbury’s supermarket. However, just as completion of a care home and school will probably not happen for some years, any extended bus route will not open before the S106 monies run out.
There is a requirement that any new housing must not be more than 400 metres from the nearest bus stop so we will continue to explore and discuss options and feed them into the review process but the basic message is use it, or lose it. If you have views on how to increase bus usage please forward them to members of the committee who will be discussing this topic at their next meeting.
Don’t forget the Summer Family Fun day in the park on 11th July and watch out for publicity about the upcoming GPRA AGM on August 14th and an exciting Lodge Fest event on 22nd August.