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News archive

GWR news

The following items may be of interest to residents. The company does not take a view on these items and does not generally get involved in issues that do not concern the maintenance of the estate,

 

Added April 2016: 2016 Accounts

Added June 2016: AGM minutes from 2015 (PDF)

Added January 2014:

To All Gardenwood Residents

G.W Res Co has no political affiliations and does not have an opinion on the content of this email. We have been asked to pass the information onto you by the PRC. We have done this with a view to keeping our residents informed of local issues that from time to time come to our attention.

The Directors, G.W Res Co Ltd 

 

Latest MSDC 'District Plan' – a renewed threat to East Grinstead

We are writing to you as you have supported the work of the PRC in the past during our campaign against the Mid Sussex District Council Leaderships’ sustained attempts to dump unsustainable mass-housebuilding at East Grinstead.

East Grinstead & the surrounding villages need you to object once again as the Leadership at Haywards Heath are currently consultingon their latest version of the District Plan - and they do not want to hear from you!  There has been virtually no publicity and of course the Christmas/New Year period is a notoriously bad time to hold a consultation.

Your efforts have helped stop earlier flawed plans that would have added thousands more homes without infrastructure - the East Grinstead Area Action Plan, the Core Strategy, and the first draft District Plan. Even though thousands of residents objected to those plans for mass-housebuilding, and their most recent attempt was thrown out by the Government Planning Inspector in December 2013, this latest version is virtually unchanged.

If unopposed, the PRC thinks this current plan poses a very serious threat to East Grinstead and the surrounding villages and treasured countryside – the Strategic Gaps, the AONB and the Ashdown Forest.

If you don't respond expect MSDC to claim that you support their proposals! 

It’s a "Developers’ Charter"

This latest version is more dangerous and far worse than no plan, because it would remove existing constraints on development - set out in the current 2004 Local Plan - opening the door for MSDC to allow unlimited development. It would undermine the existing  

    Protections for the local environment

    Requirements to provide essential infrastructure before further development by providing

    Essential infrastructure – schools, doctors’ surgeries, dentists, car parking etc

    Effective traffic relief

    Requirement to Balance new homes with provision of additional jobs in the town to improve the economy & make the town more sustainable  - with no new jobs planned new residents would have to travel to Crawley/Gatwick for work turning East Grinstead into a commuter suburb of Crawley.

A recent report to East Grinstead Town Council revealed that the MSDC leadership are still trying to pressurise EGTC to allocate a minimum of an additional 1,600 homes via the Neighbourhood Plan.  Their draft District Plan is designed to force the Town Council’s hand, undermining the idea of ‘localism’ and keeping control firmly at Haywards Heath.

Please Act NOW if you object to unsustainable development!

If you don’t like the idea of

    East Grinstead becoming East Crawley or

    Your village being swamped with rat-running commuter traffic then we urge you to e-mail an objection TODAY - AND ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS TO DO LIKEWISE.

  Easy-to-use downloadable objection forms

  The PRC website provides easy-to-use downloadable objection forms in WORD format which you can use to send your views to the Council:

http://eghouses.org.uk/district-plan.php?id=178

If you do not object, expect MSDC to claim that you support their proposals!

    NUMBERS COUNT - please encourage everyone in your household to e-mail their own objection

    If you do not have time to personalise your objection then it is still worthwhile simply adding your details to the standard form    

    MSDC will be claiming that they have made every effort to publicise the consultation - if you didn't hear about the consultation from them make this clear in your OBJECTION

If you wish to, send a copy of your objection to the PRC archive at eghouses2013@gmail.com  

Information about the District Plan can be found on the PRC website:

http://eghouses.org.uk/district-plan.php?id=17


Advice on selling a house (added January 2014)


2014 newsletter and accounts (added June 2014)

PDF copy of GWR 2014 newsletter

PDF copy of GWR 2013 accounts


2013 newsletter and accounts

PDF copy of GWR 2013 newsletter

PDF copy of GWR 2012 accounts


2012 newsletter and 2011 accounts

PDF copy of GWR 2012 newsletter

PDF copy of GWR 2011 accounts


2011 newsletter and 2010 accounts

PDF copy of GWR 2011 newsletter

PDF copy of GWR 2010 accounts

2010 May 22

Chairman's report to 2010 Annual General Meeting

PDF copy (261 kBytes)


2010 April 26

2009 accounts

PDF copy of the 2009 accounts (22 kBytes)


 

Neighbourhood Watch Message 2012 April 18

Mid Sussex district has been subject to a series of catalytic converter thefts. It is thought that the value is the platinum, palladium and rhodium metals contained within them so they are likely to be disposed of at scrap metal dealers.

They are more valuable if it is the vehicle's original one. The bigger the converter, the more valuable it is. Of the 7 recent thefts on Burgess Hill, 5 have been various vans and the other 2 have been large vehicles (Ford Ranger & Suzuki Vitara).

Vulnerable vehicles appear to be those that have a higher ground clearance, making it easier to remove the exhaust.

If you witness any suspicious behaviour, please contact Sussex Police on 101. If a crime is in progress, please use 999.

Jan Lavis, Sergeant, Mid Sussex District


2011 January 26

The future planning for housing growth in East Grinstead for the last few years has now been itemised in a map of the town. This covers approximately 3,036 houses that have received or are pending planning permission. On the map below (click image to see in greater detail):

Red = 1 – 5 houses, Green = 6 – 14 houses
Orange = 15 – 30 houses, Blue=  31 – 100+ houses
Stars = commercial planning


From 1/1/2004 to 31/3/2009, 1,073 housing planning permissions were granted for East Grinstead.

From 1/1/2004 to 31/3/2009. 91 housing units were granted Planning permission for villages.

The remaining 1,872 houses are strategic houses and of this 787 houses are destined for the land west of Imberhorne Lane. At the moment the development opposite the west end of Heathcote Drive has been refused but the land developer Crest Nicholson has now lodged an appeal to the Secretary of State for the Environment. If this natural barrier has been breached, housing developers are likely to swarm into the farming area.

From 1/1/2004 to 31/3/2009 148 affordable housing units were granted planning permission for East Grinstead.

From 1/1/2004 to 31/3/2009 no affordable housing units were granted planning permission for villages.

From 1/1/2004 to 31/3/2009 residential completions within 5 km of Ashdown Forest: 162.

Commercial building planning permission granted for 33,299 square metres for East Grinstead and 2,926 square metres for the villages.

The plan now is to find out the housing units completed for East Grinstead and local villages to see what is still outstanding.


2010 August 6

Application to build 100 houses on woodland west of Imberhorne Lane

Crest Nicholson has made an application to build 100 houses on ground west of Imberhorne Lane. The area is the wooded fields just at the end of the School grounds from the corner of Heathcote Road to the left on Imberhorne. When this barrier is broken, many developers are likely to pounce and start building.

I have attached a PDF document (click here to view, download or print). The last page is an official objection form. I would appreciate it if you would individually print the last page and send to Mid Sussex District Council.

I do not have the time to print and distribute to all on Gardenwood before the dateline of 13th August. But I am your representative on the PRC which has been fighting for the last 5 years to stop building until we see improvement to the roads and infrastructure.

PLEASE ALSO FORWARD THIS OBJECTION FORM TO YOUR FRIENDS LIVING IN EAST GRINSTEAD. IN THIS WAY WE CAN ACHIEVE SOME COVERAGE


2009 December 11

The proposed revised Core Strategy
by Michael Brown, chairman of the PRC Management Committee

The next few months will decide what level of development will take place in East Grinstead and the surrounding villages, and to what standards such development will be built. This is our last real opportunity to influence the outcome.

The current state of play

When the PRC was originally formed with your backing and that of the other member associations, East Grinstead was faced with the twin dangers of 5,000+ new houses in the town and an ineffective 'Relief' Road through the High Weald ANOB that would generate traffic across Ashdown Forest and swamp the villages with cars. Outrageously, residents were told by the Town, District & County Councils that they wanted the mass-development plans - even after the Referendum in June 2003 where 96.3% of voters rejected the scheme. The PRC's mandate was established against that background to ensure that the views of residents would not be brushed aside by politicians or officials.

Since then the PRC has fought a long, but partially successful, war of attrition with the planning officials at Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council.

With the help of our professional planning, transport and legal advisors - and the strong mandate provided by residents widespread and repeatedly expressed opposition to the Council's plans (not least the record 6,800 objections to the EGAAP 2006 consultation) - we have seen off for the foreseeable future the threat of a 2,500 home housing estate at Imberhorne Lane and a relief road that would bring no traffic relief. Working with the Town Council, we have developed alternative proposals for the town that would see it reinvigorated, but that would respect its historic market town character and recognise the limitations imposed by its poor road network.

But the story does not end there. As most of you will already be well aware, Mid Sussex District Council will soon be finalising its Core Strategy document for the District and putting that document out for public consultation. The Plans will then be presented to an independent planning inspector who will assess whether that Core Strategy is sound and should be adopted. This Examination in Public, or EiP, as it is known, provides everyone with an opportunity to challenge before the independent inspector the soundness of the Council's proposals and the evidence base that supports those plans. There are government-set criteria by which the soundness of such plans are assessed by the Inspector, whose findings are conclusive. If the plans go unchallenged the Inspector is liable to consider them sound.

Mid Sussex Council has published a timetable for this process (although the timetable has been constantly slipping). As matters stand, the Council is due to approve their Core Strategy in January and issue it quickly thereafter for 6 weeks public consultation. The EiP would be held next October and the Core Strategy would take effect in June 2010, subject to the Inspectors recommendations.

Your Management Committee anticipates that the Core Strategy is likely to propose plans for East Grinstead that will not be sound and that the majority of concerned residents will continue to find objectionable.

MSDC is perpetuating the same mistake that has dogged its past failed planning proposals: as before, it wants to determine the number of houses that it will allow to be built in and around East Grinstead before it has assembled the evidence as to the number of homes that the town can sustain; and the number it appears to have in mind (over 2,600, though the exact number is difficult to pin down) is far more than the traffic experts instructed by West Sussex County Council and East Grinstead Town Council consider acceptable from a traffic congestion standpoint. Moreover MSDC still seems determined to include a (smaller) strategic development along Imberhorne Lane within its Core Strategy plan despite all the opposition and evidence against it, and is still in contact with the developers who hold options over the strategic development sites.

We are also disturbed at the fact that the District Council still has no strategy to deliver economic growth and local jobs for the 3,000 or so additional residents of working age, meaning that their plans will still turn East Grinstead into a commuter satellite of Crawley.

No less worrying is their intention to relegate much of the crucial detail of their plans for East Grinstead into a subsequent Supplemental Planning Document (SPD). This document is not subject to any independent public inspection process, and its soundness is therefore not subject to challenge. The Council Leadership will be free to self-certify it. We have no timetable for the publication of this SPD.

PRC's mandate

For this reason the Management Committee is particularly keen to secure a reaffirmation of its mandate to represent your association in arguing a united case for a better vision for the town and its surrounding villages.

At the Board meeting we will report in more detail our activities during the last year or so, and explain what we believe needs to be done during 2010. It is likely to be quite a daunting period, and one during which we will need all the support and help from our board, membership and core supporters that we can muster.

Our objectives remain the same - a sustainable alternative plan for developing East Grinstead over the next 20 years, one that meets the needs of the town and does not devastate the surrounding villages and environment.

The PRC vision (PDF)


Closure and improvements to High Grove Tip (2009 November 30 meeting)

The next meeting of the North Mid-Sussex Committee will include a presentation from the WSCC's recycling and waste contract manager regarding the closure and improvements to the High Grove Tip. In particular the presentation will focus on what local people can expect from the new recycling facility, once it opens and what measures are being put in place in the interim.

At the next meeting of the North Mid-Sussex County Local Committee, the closure and improvements of High Grove Tip will be discussed, with particular reference to the improvements at the East Grinstead Household Waste Recycling Facility. The agenda item will also include details of measures being taken to combat fly tipping during the works and what the new facility will provide. The meeting will take place Monday November 30, 7 pm, at the Glen Vue Centre, Railway Approach, East Grinstead, RH19 1BS. All are welcome.


2009 June 12 letter from Jack Hill to the editor of the East Grinstead Courier & Observer

Dear Sir

It was reported in the East Grinstead Courier and Observer on Thursday 11th June with headlines entitled ("COUNCIL SCRAP HOUSING PLAN")

In the report it was stated that the District Council had scrapped plans for 2,500 houses in East Grinstead and replaced them with just 570 houses.  But at last night’s (16 June) Better Environment meeting at Haywards Heath an entirely different prospect emerged of at least 2,570 houses being built – more than 4 times the number!  In answer to a question from Cllr Matthews the District Planning Policy Manager Edward Sheath, revealed that the 570 houses would be in addition to ‘natural growth’ of at least 2,000 houses.

What struck me particularly was that just a few minutes earlier the County planners had told the meeting that their traffic assessments had shown that 2,500 houses would create too much traffic for our roads to cope with.  If the planners rule out 2,500 houses then how can they recommend 2,570+?  Even more surprising was a comment from a WSCC officer that the 570 figure might be increased to 1100 (total 3,100+) or so if the Council could persuade people to leave their cars at home and use the bus – he seemed to suggest that this could be helped by making it harder to park! Also it was indicated that thoughts had been to introduce "Park and Ride scheme" to reduce the congestion.

 All this raises a big question which I trust our Councillors will press, if 2,500 houses have been shown to be too many why is the District Planner even considering 2,570 or 3,100?

Another question we need to be asking our Councillors, is that constantly we keep hearing nothing but Strategic Housing with never a mention of natural growth which is planned in the Small Scale Housing, Surely when the Government sets housing targets they mean total housing, why are the MSDC trying every which way to improve on the targeted figures.

The Core Strategy also mentions that junction improvements would help to alleviate many congestion points, I am reminded of the junction improvement at Felbridge leading to Imberhorne lane which was built at a large cost and has little or no effect on the traffic situation.

BE WARNED, ONCE THE IMBERHORNE BOUNDARY HAS BEEN BREACHED THERE WILL BE NO STOPPING BUILDING.

THE MAP BELOW SHOWS MOST LIKELY SITES FOR THE PROPOSED 570 HOUSES THIS IS WHAT THE COUNCIL HAVE NAMED PHASED APPROACH.




PHASE 2 WOULD TAKE THE NUMBER TO 1,100 AS THE WSCC OFFICER LET SLIP ON TUESDAY EVENING

I CALL THIS "SALAMI TACTICS" SLICE BY SLICE.

Yours etc.

Jack Hill

Chairman Gardenwood Resident Company Ltd


2009 June 14 letter from Jack Hill to the Right Honourable Nicholas Soames MP

Dear Mr Soames

I read your comments in the East Grinstead Courier 18th June with interest. Please see attachment housing requirement study.pdf section 3 and 5 this shows a surplus of 741 private houses and flats and a shortfall of affordable housing by 703.

This raises a question. I was at the Better Advisory Group meeting a couple of months ago in Haywards Heath, where it was revealed that many of the private houses cannot be purchased by the Housing Association, BECAUSE THEY ARE BELOW THE ASSOCIATIONS STANDARD OF FLOOR SPACE. This is a travesty that the Planning authorities have allowed this to happen, thus we get the point that you have many people in your Surgery looking for houses.

Please, this needs your help to look into this matter.

I agree with your comments, we need housing, but we need affordable housing for our young people not 4 and 5 bed luxury houses. If affordable housing is so important why has there been so little effort been made to ensure they are built?

I further agree with you that Infrastructure needs to accompany more housing, what has happened to the 106 account money that should be accrued with the many houses we see being built in East Grinstead?

As to your comments that you agree with Mr Jory on slashing the housing to 570 was welcome news, this is a fallacy, and I am quite surprised by this misunderstanding, as you can see from the comments below which I have copied to all the Town Councillors.

It was reported in the East Grinstead Courier and Observer on Thursday 11th June with headlines entitled ("COUNCIL SCRAP HOUSING PLAN")

In the report it was stated that the District Council had scrapped plans for 2,500 houses in East Grinstead and replaced them with just 570 houses.  But at last night’s (16 June) Better Environment meeting at Haywards Heath an entirely different prospect emerged of at least 2,570 houses being built – more than 4 times the number!  In answer to a question from Cllr Matthews the District Planning Policy Manager Edward Sheath, revealed that the 570 houses would be in addition to ‘natural growth’ of at least 2,000 houses.

What struck me particularly was that just a few minutes earlier the County planners had told the meeting that their traffic assessments had shown that 2,500 houses would create too much traffic for our roads to cope with.  If the planners rule out 2,500 houses then how can they recommend 2,570+?  Even more surprising was a comment from a WSCC officer that the 570 figure might be increased to 1100 (total 3,100+) or so if the Council could persuade people to leave their cars at home and use the bus – he seemed to suggest that this could be helped by making it harder to park! (which will please the traders in town) Also it was indicated that thoughts had been to introduce "Park and Ride scheme" to reduce the congestion.

All this raises a big question which I trust our Councillors will press, if 2,500 houses have been shown to be too many why is the District Planner even considering 2,570 or 3,100?

Another question we need to be asking our Councillors, is that constantly we keep hearing nothing but Strategic Housing with never a mention of natural growth which is planned in the Small Scale Housing, Surely when the Government sets housing targets they mean total housing, why are the MSDC trying every which way to improve on the targeted figures. Does the Council want their cake and eat it, as they have admitted that buildings so far have lowered the target to 9,800 houses.

The Core Strategy also mentions that junction improvements would help to alleviate many congestion points, I am reminded of the junction improvement at Felbridge leading to Imberhorne lane which was built at a large cost and has little or no effect on the traffic situation.

BE WARNED, ONCE THE IMBERHORNE BOUNDARY HAS BEEN BREACHED THERE WILL BE NO STOPPING BUILDING.

THE MAP BELOW SHOWS MOST LIKELY SITES FOR THE PROPOSED 570 HOUSES THIS IS WHAT THE COUNCIL HAVE NAMED PHASED APPROACH.

PHASE 2 WOULD TAKE THE NUMBER TO 1,100 AS THE WSCC OFFICER LET SLIP ON TUESDAY EVENING

I CALL THIS "SALAMI TACTICS" SLICE BY SLICE.

I would appreciate for my residents which will be placed in our website and the Imberhorne Residents (As we are the most likely residents to be disrupted) your comments on the questions below.

1 Why have we got to the stage of private housing being a surplus and affordable housing a "Shortfall" and how can we change this. The Government talks nothing else but Affordable while the councils develop private? The Council Planners admit to wanting 40% but admit the developers are not interested and make every effort not to reach these targets.

2 What has happened to the 106 money? Why is this not being used to build affordable houses?

3 why If 2500 Strategic Houses is to much because of the transport problems we face in East Grinstead, That 2000 Small House sites planned already and the 570 house making 2570 is OK and do not present a transport problem?

4 Why is employment expected to increase in East Grinstead when we have lost Rentokil, Caffyns, Woolworths, Sidlow, Currys, Fourboys, Focus etc? This has amounted to approx 16% from 2001.

5 Do the Government's total figures of 17,000 houses by 2026 not include natural growth which all the towns in Mid Sussex have plans for?

Regards

Jack Hill

Chairman Gardenwood Resident Company Ltd


Questions to be asked of Nicholas Soames MP

MSDC have quoted only 570 new houses but never speak of the further 2,237 houses within East Grinstead, i.e. only about strategic housing and never total housing why? Surely this is misleading the public?

You refer to necessary provision of infrastructure – do you agree the current infrastructure (roads, railway, leisure services, health care, water etc) is at full capacity, what have you in mind and how many houses do you envision this would 'allow'?  

Of course nobody is arguing for zero housing but clearly 4,700 was always too many.  What sort of number do you consider is appropriate based on the current infrastructure.?

How would you expect the traffic problems to be resolved?  

MSDC have always stated that the developers would fund the infrastructure for the 2,500 houses, but who will fund the infrastructure for the planned 2,570 to 2,810 houses within East Grinstead? Even the Highways Agency are at a loss to comprehend the real number of houses planned.

We have lost Woolworths, Caffyns, Sidlow, Fourbouys, Focus, Rentokil, and many more over the last year; how does the council propose to increase the employment to fit the houses…or are we discussing East Crawley?

Misleading Council employment statistics and projections. New jobs are in Crawley/Gatwick, not East Grinstead.

Why have we got to the stage of private housing being a surplus and affordable housing a "Shortfall" and how can we remedy this. The Government talks nothing else but Affordable while the councils develop private? The Council Planners are wanting 40% Affordable but admit the developers are not interested and make every effort not to reach these targets. The Council’s own project, Town Centre revitalisation is I hear not going to achieve even 20% of affordable houses.

What has happened to the 106 money? From houses already built which from 1997 to 2007 is around 900 houses. Why is this not being used to build affordable houses?

I attended a BEAG meeting several months ago and was horrified to find that Housing Association cannot purchase many private sector houses as they have been built below the size standard of the association. This is scandalous, and what steps can be taken to stop this practice?

Once the Imberhorne boundary is breached here, further building will be unstoppable. Crawley will become a vast urban sprawl stretching to East Grinstead with huge loss of green belt.


County council elections on 4 June 2009

Link to voting recommendations from East Grinstead Post Referendum Campaign


GWR newsletter, 5 May 2009

Once again I am extremely disappointed that we have 21 residents failing to pay the annual maintenance charges. This amounts to £840 loss of revenue until court action is taken and we will have to take those people to court to reclaim the costs. Late payment of fees has amounted to a further £215 (this has now been collected). I would remind those who have forgotten to make the payments that according to my information the basic charge for administration of small claims court claim, is rising from £35 to a staggering £100. This means refusal to pay maintenance charges will cost the offender £140 so, apart from costing the directors a lot of time and effort, it is costing all shareholders a possible future rise in maintenance costs. The more we spend chasing default payments, the less we can spend on the estate. We have striven for some years now to keep the costs of this maintenance charge as low as possible but all this chasing payments is going to raise the costs in the long run. 

PLEASE REMEMBER, AS A SHAREHOLDER OF THIS ESTATE, YOU ARE BY LAW REQUIRED TO MAKE THESE MAINTENANCE PAYMENTS. ANY COURT ACTIONS TO RECOVER THESE CHARGES WILL RESULT IN A CCJ WHICH WILL CAUSE YOU ALL SORTS OF CREDIT PROBLEMS.

The majority of residents do pay without the need for any chasing, many saving themselves and the company money by paying by standing order. I would like to thank those who do pay promptly, by what ever means. It does keep costs down and enables your directors to concentrate their time on running the estate

If you are a tenant, please let us have the contact address of the owner so that we can avoid troubling you with maintenance claims. Our email is gwres@hotmail.co.uk

'If you are planning to rent out your house, please be aware that you will still be liable for the annual amenity charge as the owner of the property. Please let us know of your new contact address so that we can arrange to collect the annual charge from you.  Alternatively, please arrange a standing order payment so that there is no interruption of payment for your property. The tenant is not responsible for the maintenance charge and is not entitled to attend or vote at AGMs.'

Councillor Brunson, the councillor for Imberhorne ward which is our ward, is the leader of the Town Council Environment group, She has raised an issue that we may all like to participate in. This is a set number of environmental activities that, if adhered to, will:

a) help cut carbon dioxide footprints

b) help cut your household costs.


Amenity Report
by John Shead, Estate Maintenance Director

Due to problems with our previous gardening contract, the overall condition of the estate fell well below the standard we would hope to maintain. That was back in the spring of 2008. We now have a new contractor and we feel the estate is looking better than ever. Our garden contractor is now East Grinstead Lawns Ltd (EGL). You may have seen their blue van around the estate. We have been pleased with the work they have done and have had some positive feedback from residents. They are happy to quote for private jobs on the estate and can be contacted on 01342 302 844 or 07881 848 596.

The directors are grateful to all who have phoned congratulating, Zak, the new gardener from East Grinstead Lawns. 

All grass areas are being cut once or twice a month depending on growth. During the winter months, our contractor concentrates his efforts on leaf clearance from grassed areas, pruning, cutting back undergrowth and generally tidying up around the estate. This winter we put some extra resource into the area between the viaduct and Kipling Way. Undergrowth has been cut back on the west side, extending the narrow grass area up to the viaduct. On the west side of Gardenwood Road, we had a go at tidying up the Dell area. Much rubbish and dead wood was removed but there is still more to be done. There are a lot of dead trees in this area. The objective is to make it a pleasant natural woodland area complemented by the small stream.

We would like to remind residents that they should not dispose of any rubbish, garden or otherwise, anywhere on the estate areas. Our contractor does pick up any rubbish he comes across whilst cutting the grassed areas but bulk rubbish involves extra cost to the estate. We recently had three supermarket trolleys filled with rubbish dumped at the top of the path beside the viaduct. Occasionally Sainsbury trolleys are left on the estate. If you inform Sainsbury's customer service staff, they will arrange collection. 

On a brighter note, I would like to thank the many residents who take the trouble to dispose of litter sometimes left in the roads and walkways.

We have had a good show of daffodils this year with no late snow to flatten them. As well as the daffodils, we have planted a couple of areas in the Dell with bluebells but they have yet to develop into a significant show.

There are always plenty of jobs to do around the estate and it is a balance between what we would like to achieve and what we can afford. The cost of tree maintenance has increased as the estate has matured. Pruning the small trees has always been done by our gardener but the largest trees often require a specialist contractor with the associated extra costs.

If you have any comments or would like to contact the company about estate issues you can of course do so in writing via our office but if it is more convenient then you are welcome to use our email address above. As the Estate becomes more mature we will see that tree maintenance costs are rising considerably which is some concern in the future. 

J.S.


Proposed large building programme

Housing plans for Imberhorne area have been abandoned. This is only a temporary move due to the present financial situation. Unfortunately, behind the scene Mid Sussex District Council is still trying to push through the housing when we get the financial situation recovers and this will be without any relief road because no developer wants to pay for anything other than housing. We in the PRC who have been fighting the MSDC on your behalf are watching developments as they unfold. Remember the council have a directive from the Government to provide planning for building of 15,000 + houses in Mid Sussex, and that’s the crunch, they are not interested in the building just that the plans are there when the time is right.

At the AGM in 2006, all members attending voted unanimously to join the Post Referendum Campaign. I am now looking for someone to help in the PRC. I have been heavily involved with the group but, with other duties, I am getting overloaded and want to pass on some of my involvement with the PRC to someone else on the estate.

After the AGM I will be introducing a member of the Post Referendum Campaign to elaborate what where we are (PRC), what is happening with the Strategic Housing programme, what action is proposed for the forthcoming elections and what is happening at Mid Sussex District Council.

Councillor Heidi Brunsdon will also give a short talk on the new environmental plans.

The Annual AGM will be held at 8 pm Tuesday 9th June 2009 at the Methodist church hall on the corner of Lingfield Road.

PLEASE TRY AND COME TO HEAR WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR AREA.

Jack Hill, Chairman

 

PRC addendum: Major house building, East Grinstead, 5 May 2009

The proposed major house building that we having been fighting to stop, has not as a lot of you believe, gone away.

Although there has been an announcement in the papers that appeared to say that the house building programme has been called off, that is not the case. The District Council Leadership want us to think they have given up their mass housebuilding plans but they have been meeting secretly with GOSE and the developers to try and get the rules changed. The MSDC have been very busy scrapping East Grinstead AREA ACTION PLAN (which would have to go before an Inspector at an Examination in Public for approval) but they now propose to use a TOWNWIDE PLAN that would not go before an Inspector but could be signed off by District Councillors. To do this the Council Leadership will need to include an outline of the scheme in their CORE STRATEGY. By doing this they hope to avoid the detail being scrutinised by an Inspector or for him to consider the Council abandoning its promises to provide traffic relief – to below 2004 levels.

Let me tell you that the MSDC do not expect the houses to be built immediately but do hope to use the credit crunch to distract objectors so they can get permission to build them once the upsurge in buildings happen. They are counting on your believing that they have dropped their scheme so that you would only find out that behind your back everything has been approved, after the event. The District Council Leadership all come from villages in the south of the District or Copthorne. Their priority is to ensure that East Grinstead, Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath take 90% of the houses although the three towns only make up 60% of the District, with their own villages taking just 10%. There are better alternatives for mass housebuilding on the edge of Crawley, such as Crabbet Park, but the Leadership are trying to prevent them being compared with their favourite site on Imberhorne and Hill Place Farms. On 6th June there are County Council elections. The County Council is the Highways Authority and so its view on any proposals promoted by MSDC will be critical. The Mid Sussex Council Leadership may be happy to drop the promises that development must improve, not worsen traffic conditions, but the County Council currently oppose this and would have to sort out thee traffic chaos that the District would create. So, it is very important that East Grinstead elects County Councillors who will stand up for the needs of the town and vote against any scheme that would bring 8,000 extra cars to our roads and would more than double car commuting between East Grinstead and Crawley.

We, the PRC are writing to the candidates for the next election on June 6th asking them for their commitment to fight the excessive house building.

East Grinstead will take a certain amount of house building as natural growth but the 5,000+ houses proposed by the District Council Leadership would be disastrous. Our new County Councillor will need to be very active in making sure that the District Council planners do not try to fiddle the traffic numbers as they did with the Area Action Plan traffic studies.

It wasn’t only when the PRC’s transport consultant was able to review the traffic studies that he revealed that the traffic studies published by MSDC only tested 2,560 additional houses not the 4,500-5,500 which the District is actually planning. Regrettably our own Imberdown County Council offered us no help to get our transport consultant access to these figures.

If the District Council get away with their scheme you can expect transport chaos and shortages of all important facilities:

 

With the proposed 5,500 new houses we can expect at least another 8,000 cars in East Grinstead

Major increase in congestion on the A22 & A264 as majority of new jobs will be at Crawley-Gatwick.

An increase in traffic rat runs through our roads – the ‘phased approach’ will encourage short cuts through Gardenwood and Imberhorne estates

Imberhorne Lane will become a nightmare as builders Lorries, Normal transport and School runs will choke the road off and leave tailbacks causing rat runs through other roads in East Grinstead for next 12 years or more. This will be worsened by the re-development of the Imberhorne Lane dump

The proposed amalgamation of the two Imberhorne schools will make traffic even worse as the half of the pupils currently dropped off at Windmill Lane will be driven to Imberhorne Lane – London Road will be chock-a-block so parents will cut through

Traffic delays on the A264 will mean that it will take longer to get to A&E/ acute emergency hospital services – this could cost lives

The proposed fast track bus service will be a farce as the roads are so narrow that no bus lane can be installed so the bus will be as rapid as the gridlock of cars. The Council’s transport consultants think that fewer than 3% of journeys will be by bus - 97% will be by car. It is not a serious proposal.

The town parking which is at its capacity now, will be impossible

Parking for shops will become impossible.

We have only two major shopping outlets, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Although they have large car parking facilities they are rapidly coming to a stagnation condition. You will soon have to queue to park! or make a journey to Crawley adding to the commuting and carbon footprints

Access to medical Services will become more difficult and take longer

Medical facilities will become difficult to arrange due to increase in population. Medical centres are already at capacity and although they are looking for new sites this is a long way off. There is no funding for them.

Dental facilities the same.

Power cuts, water & sewage problems will increase

Sewage works are at present, according to the Environmental Agency, below standard and cannot support the new development.

Landfill sites are running out in the Southeast and we will have to pay extortionate fees for other areas to dispose of the ever increasing rubbish that the new houses will bring

Power generation is almost at its capacity now and without new generating capacity we will be suffering many brown outs and black outs

Water supply we hear that Southern Water has dropped plans for a new reservoir. With the proposed 5,500 new houses we will see more hose pipe bans and water pressure will be lowered.

ALL THESE FACTORS COULD HAVE A HUGE BEARING ON YOUR HOUSE VALUE ENVIRONMENT

"SAVE YOURSELF NEARLY £200 AND DO YOUR BIT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT" SAYS YOUR LOCAL COUNCILLOR MRS HEIDI BRUNSDON

Last month our local District and Town Councillor, and chairman of the town’s environment group, Mrs Heidi Brunsdon gave a presentation of the Greening Campaign.

What is this I hear you say? It’s a fantastic scheme where households are encouraged to take a branded information card, which gives them a list of ways to say energy in the home and at work.

The idea is that you undertake to put into action a set number of these ideas and display the card in a front window. The next is to evaluate its success which is done by a combination of public surveys and card counts. From this information the annual C02 cut for the community can be estimated.

Heidi tells me that the campaign is great fun, and has been rolled out in over 100 towns and villages across the South of England – it has given each of these communities a way to work together to tackle climate change, make a positive change and save money into the bargain!

Local Gardenwood resident Clare O’Sullivan explained "Climate change worries many residents like myself, and we thought it was time that we acted together to make some small changes that will add up to a big difference. That why here in Gardenwood and over on the Imberhorne Estate we were delighted when Heidi brought the Greening Campaign to our attention."

I understand a small committee has been put together and has starting to "beaver away" at putting together a spectacular press launch for sometime this summer. However, like most things they need help and volunteers, if you would like to get involved with this project and could spare some time or have any great ideas they would be delighted to hear from you.

But whatever your feelings on climate change and the environment I urge anyone interested in this fantastic money and energy saving idea to contact Cllr Mrs Brunsdon on: 01342 327200 or heidibrunsdon@eglibdems.org.uk and she will put you in touch with the committee.

 

 

Mid Sussex District Council press release, 16 December 2008

Economic slowdown and falling housing market hit plans for East Grinstead strategic development

Mid Sussex District Council has been informed by the developers' consortium that the planned strategic development of 2,500 homes and a relief road in East Grinstead is no longer financially viable.

The economic downturn is having a major effect on housing development across the country and Mid Sussex is no different. The developers' consortium was required to deliver a full relief road, education contributions, affordable housing, an integrated transport system and other infrastructure improvements alongside the strategic allocation of 2,500 homes in East Grinstead. It has always been envisaged that the developers would wholly fund the relief road and infrastructure costs from house sales but things have now changed. They have written to the Council to advise that in the current economic climate, the full strategic development is not economically viable.

The news means it may no longer be possible to deliver the full strategic development in East Grinstead. There are other funding sources available for the relief road but the likelihood of securing funding is considered to be limited. An alternative approach may be required and the District Council will now reassess the options for development in East Grinstead during the progression of the Core Strategy in 2009.

"This news will come as little surprise. It reflects what we are seeing elsewhere, as the economy heads for a recession which could be prolonged, said Cllr Gordon Marples, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council.

"With the existing plans for the full strategic development no longer financially viable, we must give careful consideration to all our options if we are to find the best way forward for East Grinstead. We will work together with our key partners at the Town and County Councils and the developers' consortium, as well as stakeholder groups and neighbouring authorities to progress an alternative approach to development if one is required.

"Most importantly, we will seek to ensure that any proposal for future development in the town delivers, in a timely fashion, the infrastructure needed to create a sustainable and prosperous future for the residents of East Grinstead. This will include essential road and junction improvements to help address the present serious traffic problems in and around the town."

ENDS

For more information please contact Martin Faulconbridge on 01444 477478 or martinf@midsussex.gov.uk

Contact: Martin Faulconbridge
E-mail: martinf@midsussex.gov.uk
MSDC ref: PR961/IM/MFJB
Direct line: 01444 477478
Out of hours: 07702 034236


15 May 2008

Dear Resident

The accounts are now finalised and are registered with Company house as from 13/5/08 you can view or print from PDF by clicking Accounts

I wish to apologise for the state of the estate. Our current gardener has tendered his resignation but promised to maintain the estate until someone took over. 

For your information we raised a new contract that went out to tender which closed 7 May 2008. We will be evaluating the submissions tonight, 15 May before deciding which contractor to employ. We will ask the new contractor to start as soon as possible and do a double cut to bring the estate up to its usual standard.

I hope you will bear with us while we get the new contractor mobilised. 

Jack Hill,
Chairman, Gardenwood Resident Company Limited


December 2007

Sussex Police Winter 2007 Newsletter (Gardenwood, Imberhorne, Baldwins and Charlwoods) (PDF)


17 November 2007

BLUEBELL RAILWAY PLD - NEW EAST GRINSTEAD STATION

If you are the owner of a property backing onto the railway, you may have received a letter from MSDC regarding a planning application for amendments to the planning permission for the new East Grinstead Railway Station for the Bluebell Railway PLC. This is to be built close to many Gardenwood properties. Many of you may not have received any notice from MSDC of the original application which was submitted on the 24/5/07 and is now approved. Other Gardenwood properties are close to the trackbed and may be affected by steam railway traffic to and from the new station.

The MSDC letter refers to the removal of Condition 11 of the original Planning Permission. Planning Permission for the station was granted by MSDC but with 12 conditions attached. Condition 11 restricts the station operating times to 8am - 10pm Monday to Saturday and 9am - 7pm on Sundays. This is the condition that the Bluebell Railway Co want removed. The condition was imposed by MSDC in the interests of local residents and to comply with the Mid Sussex Local Plan. If this condition is removed, the Bluebell Railway Co could if they wish run trains into the station 24/7.

If you wish to comment on the removal of this condition then you need to get your comments back to MSDC by the 30th of November at the latest. This can be done in writing or by using the MSDC web site. A copy of the letter from MSDC which gives details on how you can do this is attached.

One of the other conditions contained in the Planning Permission concerns the use of a public address system but it seems that we cannot comment on this or any other matter relating to original Planning application.

The new station will be built alongside Firbank Way at the end of Platform 2 of the existing Railtrack station, close to the entrance to Sainsbury's Car Park. It is of a traditional design, similar to the original East Grinstead Station. For more detai please visit the MSDC web site and go to the planning and environmental area; follow links to the Public Access area. Planning Ref GR/07/1444/FUL shows details including maps, plans and photos.

This letter is issued by the Company to GW residents living close to the railway. Its aim is to keep you informed of developments that may affect your property and environment.


To all shareholders of G.W. Resident Company Limited

7 November 2007

Dear Shareholder,

Notification of availability of proposed updated Articles of Association of G.W. Resident Company Limited on this website

This letter is to notify you that the proposed updated Articles of Association of G.W. Resident Co., Ltd. are available on this, the website of Garden Wood Residents, by clicking on the following.

1. New Articles of Association for Garden Wood Residents

2. Proxy Form Articles

3. COMPANIES (TABLES A TO F) REGULATIONS 1985 AS AMENDED BY SI 2007/2541 and SI 2007/2826

All are are PDFs for easy viewing or printing.

These documents are the subject of the General Meeting of shareholders which will be held on 5 December 2007 at which there will be a vote on a special proposal resolution to adopt these updated Articles of Association. You have received separate notification of this meeting.

A copy of the proposed updated Articles of Association is also available at the company's registered office:

Allen, Ticehurst & Bird
The Studio
43-45 Cantelupe Road
East Grinstead
RH19 3BL

Copies will also be available at the General Meeting.

Yours faithfully,

Jenny Maber
Company Secretary
G.W. Resident Company Limited


PUBLIC MEETING ON THURSDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2007

The Association of Imberhorne Residents will be holding a public meeting Imberhorne Upper School, Imberhorne Lane, 7.45 pm Thursday 13th September 13. Local residents, especially from Garden Wood, are welcome to attend.

Guest speakers:

Judith Hewitt, Head of Planning, Mid Sussex District Council
Ian Moody, Deputy Head of Planning, Mid Sussex District Council

Come and hear what MSDC has got planned for green fields near you.


12 July 2007

NEW LOCAL POLICE SUPPORT OFFICER APPOINTED

Your Imberhorne Local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) is John Chisholm.

John, who replaces Helen Eyre, can be contacted by telephoning 0845 60 70 999 and leaving a message on voicemail number 25604

Or email: john.chisholm@sussex.pnn.police.uk

Or visit the Sussex Police website www.sussex.police.uk

IN AN EMERGENCY DIAL 999


1 May 2007

CALL FOR ASSISTANCE IN RUNNING GARDENWOD RESIDENT COMPANY

Dear Gardenwood Resident

During the annual general meeting on May 1, I had to break the bad news that costs will have to rise due to:

A. Our company secretary retiring. Nobody has come forward to replace her so I will have to go on the open market and employ.

B. Our finance director has had to retire due to his increasing business workload. This was done on a voluntary basis and this means I will have to employ an accountant to comply with company law.

This brought up several suggestions such as:

1. Split the secretary's job into smaller parts.

2. Ask for a group of voluntary helpers to do the occasional mail deliveries within the estate, ideally one person per 30 to 40 houses. This means I am looking for approximately 10 people to assist me. The mail-drops would be no more than four times a year unless important quick communications were needed to residents. I have already someone who has volunteered to carry out the duties of a minute taker for the quarterly and AGM meetings. In this way we can reduce the costs if we can get enough volunteers. CAN YOU HELP?

3. Ask for volunteer to assist with the accounts and monitor the day to day accounting. CAN YOU HELP?

4. Ask the residents of nearly 400 houses for a volunteer accountant who could spare some of his or her spare time to compile the company accounts each year. CAN YOU HELP?

This will help me in my battle to keep cost to their present levels as long as I can I NEED YOUR HELP. My own position as current chairman of Gardenwood Resident Company Limited is voluntary and unpaid but I cannot operate without the assistance of other volunteers.

If you CAN HELP please call me on 325330 and leave a message (I will call back) or email hiljack@gmail.com

Jack Hill


Mid Sussex District Council press release, 22 March 2007

EAST GRINSTEAD'S RELIEF ROAD: WORTH WAY OPTION

Mid Sussex District Council has undertaken further assessment of the various proposals for the provision of a relief road for East Grinstead. 

The various relief road options detailed in the draft Plan present different challenges, not least because of their location but also in terms of engineering and costs. 

Recently, the District Council, in conjunction with the Highways Authority, West Sussex County Council, appointed engineering consultants to provide an independent assessment of costs for the preferred relief road options and this has now been delivered. 

It shows that, whilst feasible from an engineering standpoint, the associated costs for the Worth Way link are estimated to be up to £157 million. This figure includes site investigation, design and construction costs etc as well as a significant contingency provision. The estimate excludes land purchase and claims, ecological mitigation costs and planning fees etc.

This estimate represents approximately £60,000 per dwelling and makes the Worth Way option unviable and therefore undeliverable solely through developer contributions. 

The cross-party Joint Members' Advisory Group for East Grinstead (JMAG), which includes County, District and Town Council officers and councillors, recently received the independent estimate and is unanimously of the view that the Worth Way option should no longer be included as a relief road option.

The Council is acutely aware of the level of strong feeling and concern generated by the Worth Way option and residents living nearby are being notified in writing of the officers' recommendation to Council.

The Worth Way option was included in the draft Area Action Plan as an alternative to a relief route through the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was an option which had been suggested at one of the "stakeholder" workshops, held to inform work on the Area Action Plan. It was also a route which was shown to provide a level of traffic relief for the town and which could be delivered in engineering terms. 

Under current planning legislation, it is the Council's responsibility to show that all reasonable options have been considered and consequently that any decisions and recommendations can be considered "sound" by the Inspector appointed to examine the Area Action Plan.

Under the current planning system the Worth Way option will have to be included in the Sustainability Appraisal Report that will accompany the Area Action Plan when it is submitted to Government (as will other road and development options which have been considered and discarded). Alternative options will be considered at the public examination into the Area Action Plan; these may include alternatives promoted by individuals and organisations.

The estimates received indicate that an outer relief road route is viable and could be delivered through developer funding. This information and further traffic detail regarding the outer routes will be considered by Council in due course.

Judith Hewitt, Head of Planning Policy and a member of JMAG, commented:

"Throughout the consultation process so far, we have repeatedly given assurances that we would listen to the concerns of the many people who responded during the consultation process and the Worth Way option is, arguably, the most contentious. 

"The statutory responsibilities placed upon us did, however, mean that we could not merely relegate this option without proper justification and now, having independent information which clearly illustrates that the option would not be deliverable on cost grounds, we owe it to residents in and around Worth Way to bring any uncertainty about the future of their area to an end.

"The District Council's planning officers will be recommending to Council that the Worth Way option should no longer be considered as a preferred relief road option, given the revised cost estimate. This would mean that when the Council considers options for development at East Grinstead to submit to Government this autumn, the Worth Way route would not be included in the Area Action Plan. 

"Further information on the traffic implications of the relief road routes will inform the decisions to be taken in the summer and later in the autumn."


For more information contact Martin Burrekoven-Kalve on 01444 477240 or martinbk@midsussex.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

1. A report on the costings information and the remaining topic papers will be considered by the Council's Better Environment Advisory Group on 3rd April. The meeting to be held at the Council's offices at 7pm is open to the public (the papers being considered will appear on our web site on 27th March). However, the Better Environment Advisory Group is not a decision making body and a recommendation to remove Worth Way as a relief road option in the East Grinstead Area Action Plan will need to be considered and ratified by full Council on Wednesday April 18th.

2. For further information, please contact Ian Moody (Senior Planning Officer), on 01444 477010 or email ianm@midsussex.gov.uk


18 February 2007

VACANCY FOR COMPANY SECRETARY

Our Company Secretary retires in June leaving a vacancy for this important position.
The post carries a remuneration of approximately £100 per month  to cover time expended carrying out the duties listed below. Expenses for administrative activities will also be paid.

The anticipated work will require about 17 hrs per month for items 2, 7,8 and 11, 13 hours per quarter for items 1 and 6, and 122 hrs per year for items 3, 4, 5, 9,10,12 and 13.Tthis activity is usually around April and May. Item 4 is carried out in July

1. Taking minutes at the AGM and the quarterly meetings of directors.

2. Handling all mail received from the head office and replying to correspondence.

3. Administering non-payment of maintenance fees.

4. Delivering all annual maintenance invoices and any chase up mail to late payers.

5. Arranging court cases and attending court for non payment.

6. Maintaining record of estate residents.

7. Liaison with the estate's solicitor, Alan Ticehurst,  on occasions that need legal advice.

8. Keeping the account ledger and liaison with Company Accountant.

9. Delivery of annual newsletter to all residents.

10. Arranging payment for estate maintenance charges.

11. Ensuring that shareholder certificates are issued to new residents.

12. Arranging the AGM and printing of accounts for attendees.

13. Printing invoices and purchasing administrative items

Estimated total per year: 378 hours

If interested, please call Jack Hill on 01342 325 330 or email gwres@hotmail.co.uk  or hiljack@gmail.commailto:hiljack@gmail.com.


East Grinstead Action Plan Briefs for Mid Sussex District Councillors

Brief 8 Monday 26 February 2007
Council Leadership Abandons County Structure Plan!


5 February 2007

2500 HOMES SCHEME - A SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE

1. A sustainable alternative is needed to the scheme to build a new town on the outskirts of East Grinstead, according to the Post Referendum Campaign residents' group. In the fifth of its regular TOPIC BRIEFS on development in the town (copy attached) the PRC sets out the standards that such a sustainable alternative must meet.

2. The PRC says any acceptable development plan for East Grinstead must embrace all the planning principles that the Council Leadership's scheme rejects. It must : -

· make more use of Previously Developed Land, which is required to be given priority under Government policy;

· provide homes close to where the jobs are, which again is Government policy;

· minimise commuting, though the Council Leadership's scheme maximises it by providing housebuilding many miles from the intended jobs at Crawley;

· enhance the historic town, which cannot be done through suburban expansion by 47%;

· allow environmentally acceptable forms of traffic relief. The impact of 7,000 new cars in the town cannot be offset by the proposed "relief" road;

· be delivered more quickly. The Council Leadership's timetable for their East Grinstead scheme keeps slipping and it will slip further when the struggle for compulsory purchase orders begins.

Commenting on the fifth TOPIC BRIEF, Tony Lane of the PRC said:

"It seems obvious that planning should discourage commuting. The case for that is getting stronger all the time. Yet the Haywards Heath Leadership are set on a scheme to maximise commuting. They are trying to turn East Grinstead into a commuter satellite of Crawley. In doing so they are turning their backs on the planning principles prompted by both law and common sense.

"We have to suppose they are doing this for political reasons. A sustainable alternative is needed, in order to restore planning principles to their proper place."


29 January 2007

2500 HOMES SCHEME IS UNAFFORDABLE
RESIDENTS CLAIM "RELIEF" ROAD COSTS HAVE SPIRALLED

1. The scheme to build a new town on the outskirts of East Grinstead will have to be abandoned as unaffordable, according to the Post Referendum Campaign residents' group.

2. In the fourth of its regular TOPIC BRIEFs on development in the town the PRC says the 2500 houses project carries a double financial burden. First it must bear the costs of its associated community infrastructure (schools, health, libraries &c), as all major residential developments must do. Second however it must also bear the costs of the proposed "relief" road to the south of East Grinstead. Both these costs are escalating, and they now add up to more than the developers say they can pay.

3. So far, the PRC says the Council Leadership has published no costings. Using data from other sources, the PRC calculates that the community infrastructure costs generated by 2500 houses would be about £110 million, excluding transport costs. Against that, the developers announced last summer that they will provide a maximum of £109 million. So at a pinch their contribution might just cover the cost of infrastructure. But according to the PRC, the cost of the proposed "relief" road comes on top of the cost of the infrastructure, and there's no money left over for it!

4. To make matters worse, the forecasts cost of the "relief" road just keeps on growing. From the original £23m, it reached £58m last summer, and some independent forecasts now exceed £100m.

5. So the community infrastructure looks barely affordable, the "relief" road clearly not. Therefore these houses are affordable only if relocated where they are no longer burdened by crippling road-building costs. The Council Leadership recently announced its own costing exercise, and provided these are trustworthy there may soon be more precise numbers to go on. These long-delayed costings will make interesting reading. Meanwhile, the PRC's cost analysis, albeit based on scanty data, underlines the importance of PRC's TOPIC BRIEFS. District Councillors have so far been asked to vote through vast development schemes with no cost data at all. They are now being better informed as the Election approaches. This will put them in a position to form their own independent views. And having done so they can decide what pledges they need to make to their electors, in order to secure re-election on 3 May.

Commenting on the fourth TOPIC BRIEF, Tony Lane of the PRC said :

"These 2,500 houses CAN be built, and the necessary infrastructure CAN be provided. But NOT at East Grinstead, and NOT with a "relief" road thrown in. If the houses are built closer to Crawley, which is where the job opportunities are, there will be no need for a "relief" road, and the project will become affordable.

"The Council Leadership has always wanted the houses at East Grinstead for political reasons. They offered a "relief" road as bait, but traffic forecasts show it brings no relief. We now see it is not just futile but unaffordable. The housebuilding will have to be relocated."


2007 January 23

Early daffodils photographed today on Garden Wood. J.H.


2006 October 19

LIGHTING UPDATE



I have been asked by residents about connection of the new lighting on the estate by the power company  EDF. Although not a GWR responsibility, I thought wise to chase it up. My contact at West Sussex County Council says he is also concerned about EDF's delay in completing this work. He will be chasing them and hopes to have them starting the work in the near future. I have asked that priority be given to connecting the new lamp posts along the path to the station. Image above shows one of the many newly-installed lights in need of connection.

John Shead,
Garden Wood Residents Amenity Director


2006 September 15

DRAINAGE, LIGHTING AND WEED-SPRAYING

West Sussex County Council Highways Department arrived in Keats Place this week and proceeded to dig up part of the green. There have been drainage problems in Keats Place and I understood that they were trying to clear roots from a blocked roadside drain. A tree surgeon working on behalf of WSCC arrived and promptly cut down the large maple without the consent of Garden Wood Residents. WSCC now say that they cannot clear the drains and will have to lay new pipes across the green. GWR is now in discussion with WSCC.

In case you wondered, the big hole in the ground at the lower end of Kipling Way was due to a collapsed storm drain. Southern Water had to excavate down to about 9 metres, replacing the large pipe that serves Kipling Way and surrounding roads. GWR discussed the work with Southern Water and they will be making good any damage to surrounding land.

A busy summer on Garden Wood. As well as the drain repairs, we have had WSCC replacing all the street lighting. The new lamps provide improved footway illumination with less light pollution. In the main they did a good job with one exception. A contractor dumped spoil from the path at the top of Kipling Way over the fence onto the railway. This covered much of the Sainsbury litter but was still an eyesore. A quick phone call, an apology and the spoil was removed.

As well as replacing the existing lamp-posts, WSCC have added additional lighting along the twittens leading to the station. This work has been promised for several years and will increase safety and security in the coming dark winter months. We now await the electricity company and the ceremonial switch-on
.

The weeds along the roadside gutters were in some places getting on for a metre high!. It is amazing how the grass and plants die back in the drought and the weeds flourish. GWR has no responsibility for the roads and footpaths but a call to the town council and their two-man team, fresh back from a weed killing course, sprang into action. After the spraying it took a couple of weeks for the mild weedkiller to take effect but the roadsides are now mostly clear. Thank you EGTC.

John Shead,
Garden Wood Residents Amenity Director


2006 July 22


PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILDREN OFF THE VIADUCT

The following communication has been received from Nigel Longdon. I doubt that the youngsters involved are from Gardenwood but please remind your children not to regard the viaduct as a playground.

Jack Hill

Dear Mr Hill, 

I am a volunteer on the Bluebell Railway and am currently working with a small team re-pointing Hill Place viaduct. You may have seen in last week's edition of the East Grinstead Observer that youths have been trespassing on the viaduct that crosses Gardenwood Road. The police were informed and this week Police Community Support Offier CSO Helen Eyre visited the site. We are also adding some improvements in the vicinity of the security gates on the viaduct.

Whilst there is no evidence that the youths come from the Gardenwood area I wonder if you would be willing to add a short entry on your web site asking parents to remind their children of the dangers of playing on the viaduct. I am sure that those that have been there have walked along the parapet wall. It's a long drop!. With the school summer holidays almost upon us and children "at a loose end" I would like to avoid any unfortunate accidents. 

Chris White (Bluebell Infrastructure Director) is aware that I am contacting you.

Kind regards,

Nigel Longdon
Co-ordinator Extension Team Volunteers, Bluebell Railway


2006 July 4

NEW ROADS: THE DAMAGE DONE AND THE LESSONS UNLEARNT

Traffic on new roads is growing much faster than UK government forecast, according to a new study commissioned by the Council for the Protection of Rural England and the Countryside Agency.

Researchers studied three controversial major schemes of recent years – the A27 Polegate Bypass near Eastbourne, East Sussex, the A34 Newbury bypass in Berkshire and the M65 Blackburn southern bypass in Lancashire.

They found traffic on these roads had now reached or exceeded the levels forecast for the year 2010. And extra traffic – over and above the gradual increase happening everywhere – had flowed onto local roads as a result of the schemes, undermining the claim that the bypasses would reduce congestion.

Their study is one of the first to look at what actually happens once roads have been built. For all three schemes, there was above average traffic growth, increased development pressures on undeveloped land nearby and significant damage to landscapes.

These issues are not being picked up by the Highways Agency's own post-construction analysis for new road schemes. The study concludes that the UK government is failing to learn the lessons which could lead to better transport policies and decisions.

The researchers looked at what was claimed for the road schemes at the planning and justification stage and what actually happened once they were built – in terms of traffic flows, landscape and noise impacts and new development nearby.

At Newbury and Polegate the new bypasses did reduce town centre traffic. But the reductions were not as much as originally forecast, whilst traffic has increased on the bypassed roads and on the new bypasses.

Town centre shops in Polegate suffering from losses in trade have been campaigning for signs to be installed on the bypass directing traffic back into town!

Yet the study concludes, from Highways Agency traffic data, that the effect of the new Polegate bypass has been to generate 27 per cent additional traffic in the area one year after it opened.

Newbury has also seen rapid traffic growth, with most of the freed-up space on the old, by-passed road being taken by new traffic attracted by new development.

The researchers found the three schemes caused serious and permanent damage to rural landscapes, including an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The money spent on evaluating road schemes is only 0.1 per cent of the money spent on building them, and many of the evaluations carried out have yet to be published.

source:: http://www.cpre.org.uk/news-releases/news-rel-2006/29-06.htm


To mark the occasion of World Environment Day, the Worth Way Action Group together with the PRC invited the residents of East Grinstead, Turners Hill, Crawley Down, Forest Row and Felbridge to join them on a walk along the Worth Way to Gulledge Farmhouse in protest against the devastating environmental damage proposed in Mid Sussex County Council's relief road plans. The Do Your Bit walk took place on Sunday June 25 at 10.30am. Each group processed to Gulledge Farmhouse (one of the many beautiful landscapes that MSDC plans to build around with concrete and tarmac) from various strategic points around the area. Photo above shows PRC chairman Tim Bull addressing the gathering. 

The event was very well supported with approximately 1,200 participants and also received television coverage on BBC South East news. Additional information can be seen on The Worth Way Action Group's website (www.worthway.org.uk).


Two copies of a form prepared by the East Grinstead Post Referendum Campaign have been distributed to each household on Gardenwood June 11/12. The form is intended to encourage a high public response to the Mid Sussex District Council. A similar form can also be downloaded from this website as a PDF or in Microsoft Word format. The more individual replies the council receives, the greater the impact:

Formal Objection & Response to the draft East Grinstead Area Action Place (PDF version)

Formal Objection & Response to the draft East Grinstead Area Action Place (Microsoft Word version)


I would like to give a big thank-you to the many Gardenwood residents who have donated to the Post Referendum Campaign which is co-ordinating opposition to the proposed massive urban development. If you have not yet made a donation, your help would be very greatly appreciated regardless. As you can imagine, a QC and the transport adviser do not come cheaply. We also have to meet many smaller expenses, including printing, which all add up. Please send any donations to:

Alan Whyte, 
East Grinstead PRC Treasurer, 
Rockfield House, Coombe Hill,
East Grinstead RH19 4LZ

Please make cheques payable to: PRC Number 2 Account

Jack Hill,
Chairman, Gardenwood Resident Company Limited


2006 May 30

Email correspondence with Judith Hewitt, Mid Sussex District Council

Good Morning Judith,

I am the Gardenwood Residents Company Chairman. One of my residents has approached me for a confirmation of the plans as shown in the documents sent to us, and those on display in the library. At a point called Austen Close just off Gardenwood road, the plans show a GREEN arrow which is designated as a pedestrian/cycle path. BUT the road leading to and from it are DOTTED RED indicating a distribution road. Please see the attached plan.

My resident confirmed that he was verbally told that it was in fact a vehicle entry to Austen Close from one of the staff at the library. But as this is verbal and I was not in attendance would you please confirm is it a vehicle entry or pedestrian.
Further to the document on the Planned Worth Way option (you also mentioned this in the document sent to all Worth Way residents), it mentions the Worth Way road would be a single carriage way of 7.3 meters This is the same as Gardenwood Road at this time. Internationally a "Single Carriage Way" means traffic flows in each direction. Now we see the document reveals the true width envisaged as 18.7 meters which is 5 meters wider than Gardenwood Road bridge supports.

1 Do you intend to make this a dual carriage way if so how do you reconcile the traffic coming back into a single lane highway on Beeching Way and London Road?

2 Do you intend removing the Gardenwood Road Bridge?

Could you please enlighten me on what it is to be, as we the residents, are supposed to make comment on these plans without the real facts in front of us.

Regards,
Jack Hill

Dear Mr Hill,

Thank you for your email.

I confirm that the access to Austen Close is intended to be for pedestrians and cyclists only. The text in the Area Action Plan is correct. The green arrow on the master plans correctly indicates pedestrian and cycle access. The confusion has arisen from the shading of the route from Austen Close into the new development. I will confirm this to Chris Searle (from Austen Close) who has spoken to me.
 
I apologise for this confusion. We will write to residents of Austen Close, shortly, to clarify the situation.
The possible Worth Way stretch of the relief road will carry traffic in either direction, with one lane in each direction. Through the tunnel there will need to be emergency access. This will not be a dual carriageway but a single carriageway road as stated. The Gardenwood Road bridge would need to be replaced.

If you would like to send me your address I will post a copy of diagram of the Worth Way option showing a long section and a number of cross sections. Officers use the plan at the exhibitions to explain the situation but you may find it useful to have one to show any of your members.

Kind regards, Judith Hewitt


2006 May 26

To all Gardenwood residents

As you probably know, the campaign against the East Grinstead area housing development and Worth Way is going on now, with representation by the East Grinstead Post Referendum Campaign (PRC) at nearly all the library sessions held by Mid Sussex District Council.

The PRC is producing a form which  East Grinstead residents may prefer to use for their reply to the council. It is constructed it in such a way as to look similar to the District Council document. To help, it includes the replies we think will satisfy your reasons for your vote. There will also be space for you to enter your own objections if you choose. You can also attach additional letters.. 

WE WILL DISTRIBUTE AS MANY OF THE FORMS AS WE CAN. PLEASE IF POSSIBLE ENSURE THAT ALL ADULTS IN YOUR HOME OVER 18 YEARS OF AGE COMPLETE THE FORMS, THE MORE VOTES, THE STRONGER THE REPLY TO THE DISTRICT COUNCIL.

When completed, please put the forms into the collection box at East Grinstead library. Remember they must be completed by the July 3 as after that we will have no say in what happens. If your house faces Gardenwood Road, please put the PRC's yellow "SAY NO" poster in your window. This will help the cause.

The form is currently at the printers and will be distributed soon. For those with computers I would like to suggest that you use the connections 

A map showing anticpated traffic increases can be seen on the Worth Way action Group Website at http://www.worthway.org.uk /hotspots.php

The PRC website is also an extremely useful reference: www.eghouses.org

These links will bring you up to date on the actions being taken 

Jack Hill, Chairman, Gardenwood Resident Co. Ltd.


2006 May 17

Gardenwood Resident Company Extraordinary General Meeting, 2006 May 11

An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Gardenwood Resident Company Limited was held at the Methodist church, Lingfield Road, on Thursday May 11, attended by over 100 residents of Gardenwood Estate. Following a presentation by Tony Lane, Joint Chairman of the Post Referendum Campaign, Gardenwood residents voted unanimously in favour of the company backing the PRC (www.eghouses.org).

Jack Hill, Chairman of the Gardenwood Resident Company comments:

"The residents of Gardenwood Estate are very deeply concerned by the proposal to expand East Grinstead on a massive scale, building on a large section of the already narrow Strategic Gap between the town and Crawley Down. The scale of proposed development of houses in East Grinstead defies belief, totalling 4,400 houses over the next 20 years. The District Council Leadership's Scheme equates to building no less than ELEVEN new estates the same size as Gardenwood."

"Gardenwood Estate was built in the late 1960s on the western side of East Grinstead, on the southern edge of the Worth Way public footpath and National cycle track. The estate's residents are responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of the local environment. We have made it a policy to blend our estate as much as possible with the surrounding countryside."

"The proposed new development of up to 4,000 houses would bring an additional 6,000 cars into the area, if the District Council Leadership's Scheme were to go ahead. This would severely overload local roads which are already highly congested in the morning and evening rush hours. It was also further aggravate the problem of motor vehicles being parked on the estate by commuters using East Grinstead railway station."

"The ludicrous proposal of routing a tunnel for motor vehicles along the Worth Way towards the railway station would make the situation significantly worse. Traffic noise from the two ends of the tunnel would be audible along much of the estate's northern boundary is directly adjacent with the Worth Way. The railway station car park currently on the Worth Way would be severely reduced or would disappear altogether, causing even more aggravation for residents and railway commuters alike."

"Much of the charm and value of Gardenwood properties derives from the estate's rural outlook. If the proposed house-building were to proceed, the estate would be sandwiched in a very large urban sprawl which in turn would diminish the value of Gardenwood property."

I have attended the first PRC meeting since the AGM and was impressed by the progress the campaign has made. The PRC team has managed to get professional advice and a high level advocate to present the protest on your behalf. Of course this does not come cheaply. Funds have been generously donated by interested parties. 

There are three things that you can do to assist:

First, by completing and forwarding the voting form that will be delivered to you in the next few weeks. This form will cover the key items raised by the District Council. ALL YOUR VOTES ARE IMPORTANT TO THIS CAMPAIGN 

Second, to support the PRC by a donation as you see fit. THIS IS A VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION and all responses will be gratefully received. (See below.)

You are probably aware that we are fast approaching a critical part of the planning process.

To ensure that we can make maximum impact we are launching an appeal for donations.

Please would you help towards the costs by sending a contribution of at least £10 per adult in your household to:

Alan Whyte
East Grinstead PRC Treasurer
Rockfield House
Coombe Hill 
East Grinstead, RH19 4LZ

Cheques to be made payable to: PRC Number 2 Account.

Thank you very much for your support. We will be in contact soon with details of events and you'll see our leaflets etc to help keep everyone informed. 

Third, volunteers to help if required, to deliver information to the Gardenwood Estate residents so that I can keep you all involved in what is happening on your behalf. The Committee members give their time purely voluntarily.

Jack Hill, Chairman, Gardenwood Resident Co Ltd

Volunteers please contact Jack Hill on 325 330. Thank you.