E-Newsletter Volume 5 Issue 2 March 2018
Welcome to the March edition of our newsletter. Since our first edition of the year, we have had a GRPA committee meeting and also a Quarterly Meeting with representatives from Linden Homes. You can read the full minutes of both meetings on the website but some highlights are included here.
Progress on Section 106 commitments
Section 106 refers to planning obligations of Linden Homes, such as the provision of play areas and other community spaces. The Chichester District planning committee finally gave its approval at its meeting in December and the documents are expected to be signed off by the middle of this month. All the plans should be implemented by August.
Many of you will have walked around the park after it has been raining, and then found yourself facing the choice of walking through the mud on either side of the path to avoid the flood or to walk in the road. This is all very well if you are wearing Wellington Boots or six years old but not so much fun if you are in normal shoes. Linden will be looking at this as part of the S106 work to the park this summer, so hopefully, by next winter we can expect dry feet when we are on the path.
As most of you will know, three play areas are to be provided. These are the adventure playground on the park and two smaller spaces – one to the north of the Chapel and the other on the outer perimeter of the eastern airing courts (near the two large parking areas on Graylingwell Drive). You can just make these out if you enlarge the site plan available from our Hot Topics page. This will be welcome news for many of you with families.
It was almost three years ago that we lost our acclaimed community garden, now buried beneath the houses of Phase 4. However, part of the S106 commitment was to provide allotments and an orchard (also shown on the site plan) at the eastern edge of the development and we are very hopeful that it won’t be long before this area is opened up. The fruit trees are ready for planting, but water and power still have to be laid in. The sheds, greenhouse and tools from the community garden have all been safely stored and we look forward to the time they can come out of hibernation – hopefully no later than September 2018.
Looking forward to the spring and summer
Now that we have emerged from the cold snap, we can look forward to getting outside in warmer, sunnier weather. However, for some residents last summer, the pleasure of sitting out in the evening or just having the windows open, was marred by noise coming from the student accommodation in Pinewood House. This was not from university students but visiting groups of much younger language students during the holiday period, particularly until late in the evening. Those of you affected by this will be pleased to know that we have already contacted the University to ensure that this level of disturbance does not happen again.
Linden Homes Customer Services
In the last newsletter, we asked you for comments on this, which we took to the Quarterly Meeting. There had been just a few responses, which might suggest that most people are satisfied with the way in which Linden has dealt with problems occurring within the two-year “snagging” period. However, the experience of a few residents has been much more difficult with multiple issues not being dealt with in a timely manner, if at all. In part, as mentioned in the last newsletter, this has been due to a complete change of personnel, with new staff finding their feet. However there have been further changes to staffing since Christmas and the situation has deteriorated. Consequently, the GPRA have written to the Managing Director of Linden Homes, Philip Chapman, explaining our concerns and asking that he take action. We await his response and will keep you updated on this matter.
New office space for the CCDT
The building works at the foot of the water tower continue apace with the facing complete and work beginning on the inside. As well as providing a permanent base at the centre of the Graylingwell development for the Chichester Community Development Trust , it will work as a voluntary sector hub.
Our next Community Space
The asset transfer on the chapel is now complete. Consequently, the Heritage Lottery Funding will begin to flow, and the project can begin in earnest.
Graylingwell Chapel will be redeveloped and refurbished into a warm, inviting, multi-purpose space that will serve the community, both at Graylingwell Park and Chichester, for decades to come.
When walking from Graylingwell Park down College Lane you may well have noticed a small thatched cottage, located on the left-hand side of the road.
This former house is one of very few surviving thatched buildings left in the area and is currently in an extremely dilapidated state. It is owned by the University but, until recently, funding for its repair was not readily available. However, the good news is that money has now been found to re-thatch this building.
A specialist thatcher is being employed, with the aim of reinstating the reed to its original specification. The University is working closely with officers at Chichester DC. It is hoped that this work will begin in early March, so it will be interesting to follow its progress.
We hope that updated photographs of the restored property can be included in the next Newsletter.
More historic buildings
The Chichester Society have published another of their Heritage Trails to take you on a self-guided walk around the city. This time it takes in Churches, Chapels and places of worship, many of which can be found tucked away in lesser known corners. You can download a copy from their website or pick one up at a number of places including the library and the Novium.
New after-school clubs at Graylingwell
These free sessions, organised by the CCDT and St Pancras church, take place on Mondays in the Lodge from 3:30-4:30pm for primary school students and from 4:30-5:30pm for students in years 7-11. They provide an opportunity for children and young people to chill out after school, chat to the leaders (or beat them at table football) and take part in different activities. All those attending will be required to complete an Information and Consent Form on their first session at the group, so please arrive with your child or young person.
The joys of spring!
Cunningly displayed below the daffs in the picture is a clue to an important event taking place in the park on Sunday 18 March. The GPRA will be doing a spring clean (more prosaically – a litter pick) and would welcome the support of as many residents as possible. We can provide disposable gloves, grabbers and bags. Just turn up at 10.00am at the sales office and join us in making the park even more beautiful.
And finally, a rather special visitor
This peregrine falcon spent most of the day today (Tuesday) on the ledge around the top of the water tower looking down on us.