Newsletters

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GPRA Newsletter Digest June 2021

Welcome to the June edition of our Newsletter. Since April, we have held one GPRA Committee Meeting. However, the Quarterly Meeting with Drew Smith, Grange Management and Clarion, scheduled for 15th June, had to be postponed until 29th June.

Changes in Havenstoke Park

Although not yet fully free from the constraints on our lives due to Covid, there have been a number of positive changes here at Graylingwell, not least around Havenstoke Park. The handover from the developer to the Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) has finally taken place, although there are still one or two outstanding items to be completed by Drew Smith.

A contractor has been appointed to maintain the park and adventure play area, and this has already made quite a difference. The Pavilion, with its wonderful living wall, has been completed and is now being used for various classes. The coffee cart has returned and there is a chiller cabinet which provides cold food and juices.

To cover the running costs of the park and community buildings, the CCDT must raise funds. Events centred on the Pavilion and in the park should go some way to achieving this. A programme of acoustic evenings on the deck of the Pavilion every Friday and Saturday evening throughout June and July has begun, weather permitting.

There will also be Halloween activities, a return of Santa’s Grotto with a light trail at Christmas and a weekend music event in the park in June 2022.

Additionally, parking charges will be introduced in the spaces along Blomfield Drive adjacent to the park and in the area by the Pavilion. The company used will be JustPark, as by the Lodge at Keepers Green. There will be a two-week grace period from the time all the signs have gone up.

As CCDT have taken over the park, this will include the cost of emptying all the waste bins around the park for which, until now, residents have paid via their management charges.

More Parking

Staying on the subject of parking, a number of residents have expressed concern that CPM have not been patrolling. In fact, they have been covering all areas which have been handed over to Grange Management and the number of visits has steadily increased as we have emerged from the latest lockdown.

During a walkabout by GPRA representatives with Grange Management and CPM, we were able to clarify many of the parking issues which have caused problems and examples of infringements were identified. Letters have been sent to several residents regarding misuse of visitor spaces and inappropriate vehicles. Unfortunately, since the handover of Phase 4 (North Mead and Pinewood Way) from Drew Smith to Grange Management has been delayed, the CPM patrols have not yet begun, although the signs are in place. Once they start, parking rules will be enforced rigorously. This will be taken up again at the Quarterly Meeting on 29th June.

Recycling

To help address the long-term problem with contamination of the recycling bins, WSCC have agreed to fund a year-long project under which all flats will be allocated a specific bin store, fitted with individual key codes and new signage. Allocated bin stores should ensure sufficient capacity and help identify where additional information is needed. It is hoped the West Sussex Waste Prevention team will be on site for a day in July to provide advice and answer queries when the project begins.

Heat Exchangers

The heat exchangers, which are in every property, and provide our heating and hot water instead of an individual boiler, need to be serviced regularly. The service is carried out at no extra cost to residents, as this is included in the charges from Graylingwell Energy. Veolia, who are responsible for this, sent letters to all householders asking them to arrange an appointment for the service. Unfortunately, some residents did not respond to this, even though it has already been paid for. This means that, as washers etc have not been replaced, the unit may leak. To avoid this possibility and to keep the unit running efficiently, contact Veolia to set up a service appointment.

Whilst on the subject of energy saving equipment in properties, those of us who have a Heat Recovery Unit, which circulates air in these energy efficient homes, should ensure that they have these serviced once a year. There are various companies who can do this, but some residents have used Service Vent and been very satisfied. Contact details can be found on the Help Guide page of the website.

Who’s who at Graylingwell?

Residents sometimes find the roles of the different organisations who operate at Graylingwell, confusing. This is hardly surprising since there’s the CCDT, Grange Management, Drew Smith, Clarion, CPM, Graylingwell Energy and the GPRA to name just a few. The “Who’s Who?” website page gives more information.

The GPRA needs you

Three of our committee members are retiring at the October AGM and we would welcome other residents joining the committee. We hold meetings just once every two months so the commitment is quite light. The committee acts as the eyes and ears of the community and is often able to support residents when they find the usual channels aren’t working for them.

Please contact Susan to express your interest in joining the team.

GPRA Newsletter Digest – April 2021

Welcome to our first newsletter since the Easter weekend when the sunshine brought people out to enjoy the park and most of the play areas.

These had been newly opened following the transfer of the management of the park from Drew Smith to the Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT).  There are still a few loose ends to tie up but it’s good to know that many of the facilities we have been awaiting, for so long, are now coming our way.

The CCDT’s Easter Trail brought families from other areas of Chichester to enjoy the park and, hopefully, in time, use some of the facilities, such as the Wellness Centre to be located in the Pavilion. Since the CCDT will need the revenue from this and other community spaces in order to maintain the buildings and park in future, this will have an increasing importance for us all. The trail took in the Water Tower, Chapel Green, the Keepers Green cricket field, Lodge and community garden as well as the Pavilion and Park.

Other news from the CCDT

The popular coffee cart has moved to the Water Tower on a temporary basis whilst work on the Pavilion is completed ready for a re-opening in June (hopefully).  Removal of the railings and renewed decking should provide the perfect place to sit on the newly commissioned outdoor furniture and enjoy a coffee overlooking the park. 

Work will begin shortly to install the synthetic cricket pitch at Keepers Green which should provide an extended period of use in the year as well as lower maintenance costs.

The community garden, also on Keepers Green, already has a team of volunteers including Graylingwell residents, who have been busy sowing and planting in the raised beds.  You could do a stint in the garden and then relax even more with a game of table tennis. 

It is hoped that the Graylingwell Community Garden, together with the allotments and orchard will be accessible within 12-15 months.

Lottery funding has been won for the development of the wildlife area at the western edge of the park. This will provide further opportunities for volunteering for those nature lovers amongst us

The Pipeline

The current work going on across the playing field just to the south of the Lodge (as well as the tunnelling in Wellington Road) is all part of the major 10 km Southern Water sewer pipeline running from the west of Chichester, across the north of the city to Tangmere.

Roadways around the development

With the move of the Drew Smith site office from its current position near the chapel to the development entrance from Kingsmead Avenue, a number of changes are taking place.  These include the installation of speed bumps along Graylingwell Drive and the moving of lampposts from the middle of the footpath alongside, to the inner edge. 

The poor state of parts of the roadways will be addressed once the West Sussex Highways officer has provided a scope of works to Drew Smith.  This includes such things as the poor surface at the entrance to Connolly Way, where the white lines have been painted but the uneven surface remains.

Parking – again

There are still a few problems with parking and misuse of visitor spaces.  The GPRA has produced a reminder of the covenants governing parking, which will be delivered to all residents.  By the time you receive this newsletter you may already have it. Suggestions for easing any parking difficulties may be found on the Hot Topics page of the website.  We shall be setting up a walk-about with CPM and Grange Management very soon to check the current situation and will ensure that CPM has clear understanding of how things should operate, so that their wardens follow the guidelines.

Those residents considering downsizing in terms of the number of cars they run, may be interested in signing up for the car share company, Co-Wheels, which has a number of cars around Chichester, including one at Roussillon Park. It’s far cheaper than running a second (or third) car which is only used occasionally. The CCDT and the GPRA environment sub-group will be looking into getting one based here at Graylingwell.  This was in the original plans when Graylingwell Park was set up as the largest carbon neutral development in the country. Worth considering not only on cost grounds but also for the sake of the climate.

GPRA Newsletter Digest February 2021

Welcome to the February edition of the GPRA e-newsletter. Since December, we have held one committee meeting via Zoom, the minutes of which can be found on the website.

Handovers

With the country still in lockdown and just emerging from the effects of the Beast from the East V2, there may be a little flexibility in handover dates from Drew Smith to the CCDT and Grange Management.  It’s hoped that this will all be completed by 1st March, but there may be a little slippage in some areas, with Drew Smith suggesting a final date for all pending handovers set for Easter.

Certainly, with all legal agreements in place, Havenstoke Park itself, the Pavilion, all play areas and the trim trail should transfer to the CCDT by 1st March – all in a good state of repair.

The Pavilion is currently being refurbished, including essential work on the roof, hence the scaffolding, so that it can eventually be brought into use as a wellness centre.  Throughout the works, the volunteers at the Coffee Cart have maintained excellent service between 9.30am and 12.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

Grange Management will be taking over responsibility for the maintenance of Phase Four (North Mead and Pinewood Way) from Drew Smith at around the same time, which means that patrols by CPM will begin then.

Developments at the Chapel

The roof works at the Chapel continue apace in spite of the difficult and uncomfortable cold weather faced by the guys on the roof.

Movement of Site offices and speed bumps

The Drew Smith building compound is in the process of being moved from its current location opposite the Water Tower to the corner of Kingsmead Avenue and Graylingwell Drive.  In addition, this work has involved improvements to the footpath and the hoardings alongside.

Speed bumps will also be installed along this stretch of the road.

Vandalism and responding to crime

Sadly, there has been an ongoing problem with vandalism in some of the bin stores.  The police have been helpful in responding to the problem and Grange is considering additional security options which might be useful.  As always, you should follow the advice on the Help Guide page of the website, calling 999 if the crime is in progress or 101 after the event.  Jason Lemm, our PCSO, is always helpful and his details can also be found there.

If you obtain a crime number from the police, this can be sent to Grange Management who will be able to use it in any insurance claim.

Bike removals – pre warning

The bike sheds between Phases 2 and 5 are full with a number of apparently old, unused bikes that are in a fairly derelict condition.  Grange would like to remove them and will therefore put tags on the relevant bikes and notices on the sheds. If owners wish to keep them, they will have a grace period in which to contact Grange.   

Fire risk assessments

These periodic assessments will start in the week beginning 15th February and will take about three weeks to complete.

Environmental charter proposals

A sub group of the committee has been looking at environmental issues at Graylingwell and are proposing a GPRA Environmental Charter with the goal of the development becoming the most sustainable community in Chichester.  To that end, core aims have been identified as follows:

  • To have a focus on Transport issues in its widest form eg promoting cycling, bus routes, car sharing etc
  • The physical environment including the maintenance of the Park in conjunction with CCDT and Friends of Havenstoke Park
  • Energy issues and Recycling and Waste Prevention
  • Community Engagement – perhaps the most important aim of all as without the community being involved the other aims will have limited impact

Sussex Garden Trust

The Airing Courts to the south and east of the development are classified as Historic Gardens and, as a consequence, we hold membership of the Sussex Garden Trust.

There are two forthcoming online lectures on sculpture in the designed garden and landscape. The first, on February 18th at 6pm, by Dr. Kim Wilkie is called “Sculpting the Land”.  The second, on March 4th at 6pm, by Anthony Archer Wills is called “Sculpting Water”.

Recordings of the lectures will be available online for three days after the live broadcasts.

Individual tickets cost £5 and can be booked via https://bookwhen.com/sussexgtevents#focus=ev-suvv-20210204180000.

If anyone has any problems booking, contact Barbara Howden Richards and she should be able to help.

Street representatives

There are some changes in the committee members who act as street representatives and these can be found on this page of the website.  We still need to find someone to act as a rep for Lloyd Road.  Any resident who would be interested in volunteering as a point of contact for residents there, please email Susan Shord.

Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association e-Newsletter Digest – December 2020

Welcome to the final newsletter of 2020 – a strange and difficult year – which finds us in a Tier 4 limbo between Christmas and the beginning of 2021.

Since the last edition, we have had a Committee Meeting and a Quarterly Meeting with our partners, Drew Smith, Grange Management and Clarion – both held via video conferencing.  The full minutes of both those meetings can be found on this page of the website.

Progress on a number of items of concern to residents may have seemed disappointingly slow this year but there has been progress.  The handover of Phase 4a (North Mead and Pinewood Way) from Drew Smith, the developer, to Grange Management has been held up, in part due to the difficult market for sales.  However, the handover is getting closer with the transfer of vacant, completed homes to Clarion for shared ownership.  This will mean that the parking issues in that area will be resolved once CPM begin patrolling – hopefully in March. All the signage and marking of bays has been completed already, so patrols can begin immediately once handover has taken place.

A planned walk-about to look at parking in general, with Trudie from Grange and Faith from CPM, had to be postponed due to the November lockdown. This was to identify misuse of visitor parking permits by a minority of residents, as well as the parking of commercial vehicles and camper vans, prohibited by covenant.  There has been some success in this area with a positive response to warning letters. The walk-about will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

The play areas on the park and southern airing courts, as well as the shelter to the south, are still surrounded by Heras fencing.  This has been the situation for well over a year and there have been a number of false starts to re-open them. The matting has to be replaced in the area around the small play area to the south and further inspections by Chichester District Council and RoSPA have been necessary in both areas. On the plus side, the play area to the north of the chapel is now open and being enjoyed by youngsters from across the development.

Another bright interlude in the run up to Christmas was Santa’s Grotto, set up in the Pavilion on the park by the CCDT, with support from a number of willing volunteers, including Graylingwell residents.  Seeing it grow from piles of bits and pieces on the floor to a magical wonderland over a relatively short time, was an education in the art of the possible. The addition of the daily coffee cart made the Pavilion a place to meet up with friends and neighbours.  Community in action.

On a less positive note, there have been some minor incidents of anti-social behaviour but our PCSO, Jason Lemm, has been very supportive in dealing with these by responding speedily to appeals from residents.  By way of a reminder, you can find advice on reporting crime on this page of the website.

There has also been a theft of a bike from one of the bike stores.  The owner correctly informed the police so that a crime number, necessary for insurance purposes, was issued.  Some time ago we included advice in one of our newsletters on the securing of bikes. A diagram can be found here.  The security of the stands within the stores is to be reviewed by Drew Smith and Grange.

With the arrival of Drew Smith on the scene, taking over from Linden as the developer, a new relationship between partners has been forged which bodes well for the future at Graylingwell.  Undoubtedly, there is some catching up to do, largely due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, but the GPRA is optimistic that 2021 will prove to be one in which progress will be made on all fronts.

 

Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association e-Newsletter Digest – November 2020

Since August there have been several meetings including the following: a Quarterly Meeting with Grange Management, Clarion Housing and Drew Smith; the GPRA Annual General Meeting; an interim Committee Meeting.  If you are interested in the detail, you can find the minutes of all three on this page of the website.

Who/what are/is Drew Smith?

In January, Linden Homes (and its parent company Galliford Try) was acquired by Bovis Homes, forming the Vistry Group.  Following some reorganisation within the group, the Graylingwell development has, from September 2020, become the responsibility of Drew Smith rather than Linden.

This means that there is new contact information for Customer Services, which can be found in the Help Guide on the website. There is also a link on the Who’s who? page to a briefing note from Drew Smith which outlines some of their plans for the future. 

In addition, Drew Smith are beginning to address items on parts of the development which are still to be handed over to Grange Management.  These include work on the Airing Courts, bin/bike stores and the fenced-off shelter.  Already, polycarbonate sheets have been fitted to replace the broken glass in the structure.

They will also be working to get the play areas back into use (future lockdowns permitting). The RoSPA assessment has been completed and so one more hurdle has been jumped.  Further work on other outstanding items is underway, so that the park can be handed over to the CCDT.

AGM

The AGM was an unusual affair in that it took place over Zoom, rather than being the usual convivial event with refreshments and an opportunity to chat afterwards.  However, the brief meeting allowed us to fulfil the requirements of our constitution.  Rob Norris delivered his annual report and this was later summarised and distributed as a hard copy to all households.  The full version can be found in the minutes.

Committee officers and members were elected and we were delighted to welcome three more residents on to the committee who will surely bring a fresh perspective to the GPRA.  There is always space for more and, if you are interested, please contact Susan.  

Parking

North Mead has not yet been handed over to Grange Management as there are still some outstanding issues to be dealt with by Drew Smith.  This means that parking patrols by CPM will not start yet.  However, to the relief of a number of residents, the spaces have been marked with bay numbers or as visitor spaces, which should result in less confusion about the parking in that part of Graylingwell. 

Sadly, in other areas, parking by residents in visitor spaces is still an issue. Action is being taken against some persistent offenders in that they have been identified and received warning letters indicating that they run the risk of their visitor permits being cancelled.  There is plenty of information and advice on parking on the Hot Topics page of the website.

And finally …

Later in the year, the plan is to have a Graylingwell Christmas Tree complete with lights to provide some cheer during the festive season.  The GPRA has made a donation towards this, using funds from the annual grant we receive from Clarion Housing to improve resident involvement. Let’s hope the weather plays nicely and we can all get out to enjoy the grand illuminations …

Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association e-Newsletter – August 2020

Coffee and cake and fish and chips are back!

This last week has seen the return of two popular events at Graylingwell.  The Saturday Café with the GPRA provided a sociable couple of hours where residents could get together over a cup of coffee and piece of home-made cake.  Committee members were present to answer any questions although, for the most part, people were there for the chat and the chance to enjoy a bit of normality.

The Fish and Chip Quiz Night took place on Wednesday evening with twenty one quizzers exercising their brains, grappling with quizmaster Brian’s fiendish questions. Andy’s delivery of the meal midway through the evening gave a respite from all that hard work and more time to socialise.  It was an uplifting and enjoyable evening.

The next quiz night is scheduled for 16th September.

More coffee and cake with added recycling advice

The CCDT Saturday Café on 22nd August will feature Kate Keays leading a recycling workshop whilst you enjoy your coffee and cake.  It’s free and, although on the CCDT website, it suggests that you should register in order to attend, this is not necessary.

Graylingwell residents tend to be a tidy bunch as demonstrated by the great turnout for our litter pick a few weeks back. However, there has been some fly tipping around the park recently and the odd tin can and bottle have started to reappear.

Kate may well have some ideas and advice about how we can keep our environment tidy as well as guidance on recycling.

Car parking in North Mead

We have recently received requests for help from some residents of North Mead ( Phase 4) with reference to the marking of car parking spaces. Although this area has not yet been handed over to Grange Management and is therefore not part of the CPM patrol area, we have, with the help of Grange Management, been able to arrange for 91 plaques to be installed commencing the week of 31st August. It is hoped that this will help with any misunderstandings regarding allocated parking spaces.

Play areas

The GPRA has emphasised to Linden Homes the importance of the opening of all the play areas on the development. We have been informed by them that the play areas are to remain closed at present due to COVID restrictions.

Anti-social behaviour

Chichester is acknowledged by the police to be a very safe environment in which to live, ranked highly, compared with other local towns.  However, there are occasionally incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) some of which can cause great distress to residents.  ASB can take the following forms:

  • noise nuisance
  • neighbour disputes
  • verbal abuse
  • threatening behaviour
  • harassment and intimidation
  • vandalism
  • criminal damage.

The security sub-group of the committee has been working with partners to clarify action which can be taken against ASB.  A summary of this will be posted on the website shortly.  A full copy of the minutes of the committee meeting held on 12th August, can be found on this page of the website

Neighbourhood Watch (NHW)

We have a Neighbourhood Watch group which operates at Graylingwell with a new overall co-ordinator – Joe Etienne. You can contact him directly by email to find out more at joe.nhwgraylingwell@gmail.com .  By registering with him, you will be kept up-to-date with the latest information from NHW for our neck of the woods

Watch out for a number of community events being planned by NHW over the next eight months.

Although Neighbourhood Watch is a completely separate organisation from the GPRA, there are some areas of overlap.  We are hoping that Joe will be joining the committee to bring an additional perspective to the group.

The GPRA Annual General Meeting

This event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 7th October in the New Lodge from 7.00-9.00pm.  All residents are welcome to attend and also to stand as committee members or officers.  Nearer the time we will send out further details but, if you’d like to find out more, please join us at our next Saturday Café on 19thSeptember.

Haircuts all round 

Although many of us managed to get our hair cut after lockdown by the end of July, the park has only just had its first cut of the year and is looking much more open and inviting as a result.

Graduate Landscapes did a good job on behalf of Linden Homes but, as you will have read earlier, the issue of the opening up of the play areas remains to be resolved.  We will get to the bottom of it and keep you updated via the website.

It’s not just the grass that’s had a trim, Marcin of Graduate Landscapes has been singlehandedly pruning the bases of the lime trees around the edge of the park.

Arbor-call have almost finished the surgery to a number of chestnut and ash trees in the park but it seems to be a bit of a stop-start affair which has left quite a few branchless trunks still standing. 

Hopefully, all the work will be completed by the end of the month.  There is more information about plans for the park on the Hot Topics page of the website

Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association June Newsletter Digest

Welcome to our second e-newsletter since lockdown began.  At least the good weather we have had has allowed us to enjoy the changing park, as the wild flowers in the meadow have bloomed and the wide variety of grasses have come to the fore.  The close mown areas have hosted football, frisbee and even a bit of sunbathing for households and socially distanced friends.

Tree work

Sadly, the play areas and trim trail are still fenced off, awaiting completion of essential tree work.

You may have seen the latest planning application fixed to a tree by the path round the park, near South Lodge. Much of the work requires the removal of dangerous branches or crown lifting, but there are still a number of trees which require felling.  These will be replaced in due course. 

Some work has already begun with the removal of dangerous trees near the Southern Airing Courts.  At first glance, these beautiful copper beeches would have looked healthy but the interior of the trunks was badly diseased and there was a high chance of them falling in strong winds.

We will keep updating the Hot Topics page  of the website regarding progress of the tree work and the return of the play areas.

Return of parking patrols

Having had several months without parking patrols, CPM will be restoring these gradually during June.  This might be a good time to refresh your understanding of the parking arrangements at Graylingwell.

 Basically, each home is allocated one or two numbered residents’ spaces and must display a red permit in the windscreen of their car(s).  This permit has the bay number on it.  In addition, each property has one blue visitor permit which should be used by visitors only, in the marked visitor bays.  These are not to be used for second or third cars belonging to residents.  The serial numbers are linked to each property.

 No commercial vehicles are allowed in any spaces between the hours of 7.00pm and 7.00am.

 The Hot Topics Page of the website has a wealth of information and advice on parking.

Parking at North Mead has yet to be handed over to Grange and patrolled by CPM.

Co-wheels Car Club in Chichester

 For those residents who are keen to reduce their carbon footprint, there is the option of signing up for Co-wheels who have several cars of varying sizes located around the city.  Currently, the closest Co-wheels cars are situated at Roussillon Park but eventually there will be at least two cars here at Graylingwell.  To find out more about Co-wheels in Chichester, click the link here.

Anti-social behaviour

 Sadly, as in all areas, there are some incidents of antisocial behaviour.  This can range from littering and rowdiness to vandalism and threatening behaviour. Thankfully, Graylingwell, and Chichester in general, are among the safest places to live in this country.  This doesn’t negate the distress caused to those affected by antisocial behaviour.  The GPRA security sub-group has been addressing some of these issues with the police and Chichester District Council.  More on this can be found on the Minutes page of the website. 

In addition, there is advice on how to deal with crime in the Help Guide on the website.

Contacting the committee

The Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association is here for you.  Members of the Committee work hard to represent your interests with our partners: Linden Homes; Clarion; Grange Management; Graylingwell Energy and the Chichester Community Development Trust. We are all volunteers and residents ourselves, and want to make Graylingwell a great place to live.  If you have an issue, feel free to contact your street representatives once you have exhausted all avenues suggested in the Help Guide on the website.

If you would like to join the committee, please let us know and we can explain what is involved.  Our AGM is scheduled for 7th October when elections will take place.

Community Spirit

 Throughout this last three months, over 40 volunteers from across Graylingwell, organised by the CCDT, have supported vulnerable residents both here and across the city – for example, by shopping and collecting and delivering prescriptions. There have also been informal networks of support.

… and on that note, we will soon be asking for volunteers to help with a litter pick around the park and other areas where there has been a build-up.  We’ll send an e-flyer out once we’ve fixed the date and time.

Our Historic Gardens

You may not be aware that the gardens to the south of the development, known as the Airing Courts, are designated historic. Consequently, we have a community membership to The Gardens Trust and all residents are able to enjoy activities provided by the trust at reduced rates.  With the lockdown, they are offering free on-line garden history talks which garden enthusiasts can access by following this link.

… and finally:

Since we refreshed and renewed our website, some committee members’ contact details have changed, as we are no longer using the “@gpresidents.co.uk” email addresses. Please check on this page of the website to find which ones are different and update your contacts list accordingly. We would also appreciate it if you would encourage other residents at Graylingwell to use the website to seek out information to help them resolve issues and to find out more about what’s going on at Graylingwell.  Signing up for our regular e-newsletters can be done from this page of the website.

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.

Parking

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.

Good neighbours

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. 

Virtual activities

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

Play Park

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.

Community Buildings

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 Pub

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.

And finally:

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.

Quarterly 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.