Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association April Newsletter Digest
Much has happened since our last newsletter which began by looking at the approach of spring with the prospect of spring flowers, sunshine and the opportunity to get out and about! We have the sunshine and the flowers but less of the going out.
However, we are fortunate to have the park and the countryside nearby so that we can take some exercise and enjoy being outside at least once a day. Although we can’t head off to see the bluebells at West Stoke, there are still little pockets around Graylingwell.
Flooding on the path
You may remember that the flooding on the path around the park had been a problem throughout the winter.
Thankfully, Linden took remedial action on the area before they stopped work on the site and now, when it rains heavily, we can walk safely around the park without having to go on to the road.
Of course, the play areas and trim trail are still fenced off, as they would need to be anyway right now. However, when we emerge from the lockdown and Linden return to site, the GPRA will be pressing them to complete the tree works and reopen these important areas. Although not holding face to face meetings at present, members of the GPRA committee are still communicating by email. An annotated version of the February minutes, including updates to various items, is available to view on the minutes page of the website.
At the moment, with people unable to socialise in the usual way, there seems to be less pressure on visitor spaces. The additional spaces next to the old marketing suite made available by Linden are also helpful, as they can be used without the need to display a permit, particularly for care staff and others making necessary visits to residents.
Bin stores and bonfires
Please remember that large items, such as furniture, should not be left in bin stores. We recognise that it’s difficult to dispose of such items at present, as the waste and recycling site at Westhampnett is currently closed and the council collection service is suspended. The cost of eventually removing such items will be borne by residents as usual.
Please also don’t try to burn waste. Smoke and smells from bonfires can aggravate respiratory problems, which people with virus symptoms may be experiencing. You can report a bonfire via this page of the Chichester District Council website.
Hopefully, most of you are aware of the support available at Graylingwell to those who need help with shopping, collecting prescriptions and the like. As well as the many informal arrangements between neighbours, the CCDT has a team of over 40 volunteers ready and able to leap into action at the ping of a WhatsApp alert. You will have received a flyer through your door recently to let you know about this but, if you have mislaid it, the details may be found on the CCDT website and are on the noticeboards around the development
For information on the local take on COVID-19, the Chichester District Council website can also keep you up to date.
As well as providing much needed support for individual residents, the CCDT is organising a number of virtual events to provide some cheer. Notably, the first Virtual Quiz Night takes place on Wednesday April 15th from 7.00-9.00pm. For this first quiz, which is a bit of a trial run, “Teams” = “Households” – from one to several per team. Please support quizmaster Brian who has prepared his usual mix of fiendish and fun questions and, of course, your entry fee goes to charity. With a following wind, next time we should be able to go back to working in our usual teams, albeit apart!
“What a Racket”
Graylingwell has been cheering for carers at 8.00pm for the last three Thursdays. With a northerly wind they must have heard us at St Richard’s. Of course, it’s not just about those working in hospitals and care homes but also everyone involved in keeping essential services going: the cleaners; the shop workers; the farmers; the delivery drivers; the bus and train drivers; posties; refuse collectors and everyone else doing their bit to keep us safe and the world turning.
Children have brightened up their windows with rainbow pictures and even two road name signs have been decorated.
These, together with the flowers and blossom around Graylingwell, really lift the spirits.
Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association February Newsletter Digest
One of the main concerns raised over the past few months has been the fencing-off of the play areas across the development, as well as the trim trail around the park. Initially the Heras fencing was erected following a failure of equipment but, even though that has been repaired and the equipment inspected, the fencing remains. We understand that concerns about the condition of a number of trees means that, until remedial work on these has been undertaken, the fencing will not be removed.
Airing Courts Shelter
You may have noticed that, although Graduate Landscapes have done an excellent job on the gardens of the southern airing courts, the old shelter has been vandalised on more than one occasion.
Clear up and repair have usually been done promptly. The last incident occurred between Christmas and New Year and even then, Grange and Linden ensured that all was secured. They are currently considering the best way forward to prevent further damage.
Of course, we can all play our part in trying to reduce vandalism and there is advice from the police on what to do if you witness it. If you see a crime in progress call 999, and to report crime after the event, use 101. Jason Lemm, our PCSO, has already visited a CCDT Saturday Café to give advice on safety and security. He will be back in April and we’ll send you information on this nearer the time.
Bike Store Security
Also, on a security matter, bike owners will know that Grange Management is steadily upgrading locks from the rather insecure combinations to key operated hasps and locks, as funds become available.
What you may not know is that each lock costs £100 and, on the occasions when a locksmith has had to be called out to remove the remains of a key snapped off in the lock, the cost is £170.
This may be mindless vandalism or the result of someone trying to unlock one store with a key from a different one. The keys are not interchangeable. Please be careful.
Parking Signs and Visitor Spaces
Visitor parking is still an issue, with some residents using their visitor permits on a regular basis for their own cars rather than leaving visitor spaces free for genuine visitors. This tends to be more of a problem in the evenings. CPM are monitoring this and, with the new permits having been issued, can now link the visitor permit to the residents who are using them.
Incidentally, it is important that you use the newly issued permits, as the old ones are no longer valid and cars will be ticketed.
Parking signs have been looking shabby of late and many of them will be renewed over the next few weeks. There is considerable help and advice on parking issues on the Hot Topics page of the website.
At the end of this month, the New Lodge, overlooking the cricket field will be fully open, although the Little Learners pre-school have to wait for Ofsted approval before they make their move.
There are 18 parking spaces to which users will have free access during their classes/events using time-specific passes. Pay and Display will also operate there, with the option to use the JustPark app.
The Old Lodge by the chapel will become the site office for the chapel works, scheduled to begin around Easter.
The Pavilion in the Park will be handed over to CCDT before too long, once Linden have completed the fit-out of temporary changing rooms and a community space.
The Graylingwell community garden and allotments will not become available until building works on Phase 4 are complete, since access will be through that area. However, green-fingered Graylingwell residents will be able to share the Keepers Green community garden. This small area is almost complete with its raised beds and pergola.
Flooding on the Path Around the Park
This has been a real problem for those who use the path around the park this wet winter, forcing pedestrians to choose either to walk through the mud on each side or in the road, where there is no safe walkway. A surveyor appointed by Linden is providing information on action and pricing.
The old farmhouse to the east, shrouded in plastic to protect the building, is still scheduled to become a gastro pub, withBrunning and Price currently reviewing plans with the conservation officer.
GPRA Committee Sub Groups
Sub-groups have been set up to ensure more effective use of committee time and to focus on areas of particular interest to residents. Full information can be found in the minutes of the latest meeting – available in the Water Tower and The Lodge. If you would like to make a contribution to any of the areas outlined, please contact the committee. Your support is always welcomed.
Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association December Newsletter Digest
Play Park update
As you will be aware, the play areas and trim trail are still fenced off and we await further news on this. However, you can find some information on the Hot Topics page of the website.
Roles of committee members – get involved
As you will see from the minutes of our December committee meeting, we are in the process of setting up subgroups to take responsibility for particular areas of interest which affect us all at Graylingwell. Once these are established, there will be opportunities for other residents to become involved.
Christmas parking at Sales Office
Linden Homes have offered residents the use of the parking area outside the old sales office during the Christmas period. With the barriers which have blocked access removed, the area is available. It will not be necessary to display visitor permits but, if you use the space, please park prettily.
New parking permits
All residents should, by now, have received three new red parking permits for their personal space(s) plus one blue visitor permit. The visitor permits are now linked through a serial number to each home which will allow easier tracking of use and, hopefully, reduce abuse of the visitor parking system. It is important to note that the old permits are no longer valid and anyone using them is likely to receive a Parking Charge Notice (PCN). If you have not received all three of your new personal space permits, please contact CPM directly. Their details are on the Help Guide page of the website.
Pews for sale by auction
If you are looking for a statement piece of furniture for your home, pews from the chapel will be offered for sale by silent auction. There will be an open day for the bidding on 15th February, with residents having priority. More information from the CCDT will follow in the new year.
Don’t forget that our Festive Saturday Café with the GPRA is on the 21st December in the Lodge from 10.00am until midday. Mulled wine, mince pies, coffee and cake – what could be nicer! All donations will go to Stonepillow.
Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association October Newsletter Digest
Welcome to our first newsletter since the AGM earlier this month
Annual General Meeting
The full minutes of this meeting are available on the website. In them you can read the Annual Report given by Rob Norris, our chair, which provides a detailed review of the considerable amount work done by the committee on your behalf over the past year. This has ranged from working on issues which affect us all, to following up concerns raised by individuals who need a little extra support in dealing with our partners, Linden, Grange Management, Graylingwell Energy, Clarion Housing and the Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT).
Some members of last year’s committee have retired, and new members have been elected. The full list can be found in the minutes. There were also some changes to the constitution and the treasurer presented the draft accounts for 2018-2019. There are links to both of these on the website Homepage.
CCDT Director, Clare de Bathe, gave a presentation outlining the work of the CCDT and the benefits that Graylingwell residents receive as a result.
Finally, Jeremey Hunt, our local county councillor, was present at the meeting and made himself available to answer questions from the floor at the end of the meeting.
Every three months, some members of the committee meet with representatives of Linden Homes, Grange Management, Clarion Housing Group and CPM. This provides an opportunity to raise issues affecting the whole development. The full minutes of October’s meeting are on the website but some of the key items addressed are outlined below:
Sadly, some bin stores have been misused recently, with large items being abandoned, non-recyclable rubbish being put into recycling bins and rubbish bags being left on the floor and thus attracting vermin. The upshot of this is that Grange is charged directly by Chichester District Council to remove the mess and then the cost is passed to every household by Grange and Clarion. (Item 3.3)
CPM will be reissuing parking permits to all residents before long, for reasons outlined in item 9.2 in the minutes. You can also read more about parking in the Hot Topics page of the website.
Ongoing concerns regarding streetlights have largely been resolved, with the exception of numbers 42 and 44 on Connolly Way. Incidentally, it is always helpful if residents who spot that a light isn’t working, let Grange Management know by contacting Deborah Nelson, whose details are on the Help Guide page of the website. Every lamppost has a number on it, so quote that if you do make a report. The sooner problems are reported, the earlier they will be fixed. (Item 5.3)
Residents’ individual concerns
As you will have seen, the Help Guide page of the website provides guidelines on whom to approach if you have a concern about your home, heating and hot water, the public realm or parking. Generally speaking, if you follow these, the problem can be resolved reasonably quickly.
If you have tried and failed to get satisfaction, then come along to the Saturday Café with the GPRA on the third Saturday of each month, where there will be committee members available to provide support. Of course, you can just come for coffee, cake and a chat. Everyone’s welcome.
Please encourage your neighbours to check out our website and sign up for newsletters. You can forward this e-newsletter to them or just knock on their door, ask them if you can borrow a cup of sugar and pass on our web address (https://gpresidents.co.uk). It’s a great way to stay in the know about what’s happening at Graylingwell.
And finally, residents are not just affected by what happens at Graylingwell Park. As part of the public consultation for the Chichester Neighbourhood Plan, Chichester City Council has launched a survey to gather views from the local population about what should or shouldn’t be included in the finished Plan. To have your say about what goes on beyond our boundaries, you can complete the survey on-line.