Volume 1: Issue No.1 March 2013
Welcome to the first e-newsletter from the GPRA. This issue focuses on news from the development and an exciting project on the history of Graylingwell led by Chichester Community Development Trust.
The good news
The GPRA has put a lot of time and effort into improving communication links with all development partners and some of this is gaining good results. Sue Cressey, our vice-chairman, once she was involved by residents, got a 24 hour response to a leaking sewer pipe which, despite being already reported by householders, had been problematic for days. We are now working with Grange Management to improve communications channels and response times for the common good. Residents should remember that problems inside their houses are the responsibility of Affinity Sutton, their private landlord or Linden Homes (if occurring during the first two years of occupation). If two or more properties share an external amenity (such as lighting or drains) Grange Management should be informed immediately when there is a problem. Housing association occupiers should also report the problem to Affinity Sutton at the same time.
Prior to the takeover of Phase 2 by Grange, the GPRA was involved in the decision-making over choice of contractor, ensuring the best value-for-money result was obtained. Once the handover is complete residents in Phase 2 should be aware that maintenance charges will apply going forward, once funds paid on occupation are used up, and should budget accordingly. Payment methods will vary by household depending on tenancy agreements (private and housing association) and ownership schemes. We will keep you informed of developments.
SCS, the new grounds contractor, has made a good start on tidying planted beds and clearing leaves and debris after the storms.
Lists of remedial work were sent to Linden by the GPRA prior to the expected handover (Grange only repair and maintain what they inherit). Action on this list is ongoing but the unsightly concrete anti-traveller measures at the Connolly Way entrance have been removed and new posts erected in their place. Badly closing bin-store doors have been fixed and more improvements will occur over time.
A street light failure across the park was rectified within 24 hours.
83 individual website addresses have visited the new website and over 150 hits have been recorded. Disappointingly, only 23 residents have signed up for this newsletter but the launch has brought more contacts to the committee from individual residents with concerns.
The not-so-good news
Whilst the developers have agreed with the residents’ view that the original site for the play area was unsuitable, new planning permission has to be sought. This will be submitted along with the changes to the master plan (shown on the website). The application will go in around late March/early April, but the planning authorities have at least 13 weeks to consider changes and may seek a time extension. This will delay the plan considerably and the GPRA will continue to urge the developer to press on with their commitment to community facilities. We do now, however, have better links to decision-making at Linden Homes and will keep all residents informed as things progress.
Future focus will be on customer services (where residents have reported some poor response times) and Graylingwell Energy, where there are persistent billing issues. Committee member Barbara Howden Richards has been in extensive contact with ENER-G Switch 2 and has been assured that residents who have not yet received any bills will be receiving them by the end of this week, along with an interest-free payment plan, to avoid a one-off substantial charge. Should anyone want to email them if they do not get a bill by early next week the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCDT Graylingwell History Project
(Graylingwell prior to closure)
The Chichester Community Development Trust, in partnership with Pallant House Gallery, University of Chichester and West Sussex Record Office, has received a confirmed grant of £99,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Graylingwell Heritage Project. This exciting new project aims to explore, interpret and preserve the extensive social and cultural history of the Graylingwell Hospital (originally West Sussex County Asylum) through a cohesive and largely volunteer heritage and arts programme.
Throughout 2014, the Graylingwell Heritage Project will offer opportunities for the local community to explore this important historical, social and cultural institution and the lives of the people who lived and worked there. This project will be offering many volunteer opportunities for the public to become involved in areas such as heritage research and interpretation, oral history, photograph gathering and arts workshops. The research aspects will be led by the University of Chichester and concerned with uncovering the hidden histories of Graylingwell Hospital and assembling findings into several exhibitions. Pallant House Gallery will be organising a series of community arts workshops in order to explore this important area of local heritage through the arts, with a view to creating a permanent art installation at the end of the project. Throughout the duration of the project, West Sussex Record Office will be digitising portions of the fragile Graylingwell archive, along with recording oral history testimonies from former patients, staff and members of the wider public. As lead partner, Chichester Community Development Trust will be hosting numerous community events relating to the project throughout 2014. The Graylingwell Heritage Project will conclude in Spring 2015, by hosting numerous local heritage and art exhibitions along with producing a booklet presenting the results of the project that will be publically available.
If you felt this e-newsletter was helpful or informative, please encourage your neighbours to sign up on the website.