Crawley Observer – Gypsy/Traveller Site Plans

Anger over plans for new gypsy and traveller sites
12th September 2017 – Crawley Observer


By Sarah Page
phone 01403 751200

Angry residents are putting forward scores of objections over plans to site two gypsy and traveller sites on land on the edge of Crawley.

Mid Sussex District Council is proposing to change the use of the land at Lower Hollow Copse, Copthorne Road, Copthorne, to site 16 permanent traveller pitches.

It is proposed to build the pitches on two sites – one housing 12 pitches and another housing four pitches, along with access roads, a manager’s office, amenity blocks, drainage works, parking and landscaping.

But a flood of protests against the proposals have been submitted to the district council by people living in the village, as well as in neighbouring Crawley Down and in Crawley.

Many say there is already a new residential development nearby and that there is insufficient school places, shops, doctors’ surgeries and other infrastructure in place to cope with further expansion.

There are also fears the development would lead to increased traffic leading to further congestion in the area.

In a letter to the council, one protester, from Bowers Place, Crawley Down, says: “We have two huge gypsy traveller sites already – we do not need more.”

Another woman, who lives at Abergavenny Gardens, Copthorne, states: “I object. Why would we want traveller pitches put on that beautiful piece of land so it can get ruined. Copthorne is a small village and it’s built up enough already. We already have one site.”

A woman from Rustlewood, Crawley, says: “I believe that this will have a severely negative impact on the area, purely because the fields are used by many dog owners and the general public for walks.

“The Old Hollow is a country lane and by this proposal going ahead will cause the country aspect of the environment to diminish significantly.” She said she feared many habitats would be destroyed around Copthorne Road.

A man living at Old Hollow itself added: “The proposal will unduly urbanise the site to the detriment of the rural character of the area by being wholly out of keeping with the surrounding land uses.

“The proposal will also adversely affect trees within the site that help contribute to the rural character of the area.”

No date has yet been set for the planning application to be considered.

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PH(N)RA AGM Information

A Message from Kevan McCarthy – Chairman Pound Hill North Resident Association

At the PH(N)RA, Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on the 12th September, I presented the extended version of my Chairman’s report.

  1. PH(N)RA Recruitment
  2. As part of our succession planning we are looking for new members to join the committee, previously we have advertised on the website and have sent out emails to our mailing list.

    I have recently created another advertisement to go in a future Crawley Borough Council e-newsletter to Pound Hill residents. Last week this was forwarded to Pav Randhawa, who is the CBC Community Development Officer.

  3. Gatwick Airport
  4. In July 2011, the recommendation from the Davis commission was that Heathrow would be the best option for expansion, however they also hedged-their-bets by saying that Gatwick was still a viable option.

    In summary:

    • Heathrow was the only option that satisfied the desired financial returns.
    • Heathrow was deemed as more accessible, with access from all directions, whereas Gatwick has limited access from North and South only.

    In October 2016 the Government gave its support for a new runway at Heathrow Airport. The decision is to be subject to a ‘full and fair’ consultation before it is finalised in winter 2017.

    We will continue to monitor feedback from this consultation. However, in my opinion, Gatwick would require considerable investment in surrounding infrastructure for it to ever become a viable option.

  5. PH(N)RA Promotion
  6. PH(N)RA have been involved in a number of activities to help raise the profile of the association

    • Victorian Picnic
    • PH(N)RA were in attendance at the Victorian Picnic on Sunday 16th July. We provided Hook-a-Duck and Hoopla which proved to be very popular with both the children and their parents!

      The Victorian picnic is going from strength-to-strength, and we look forward to seeing you all there next year.

    • Town Wide Forum
    • We have continued to attend the Town Wide Forum meetings introduced by CBC. These meeting allow the various associations from across the town to share ideas and best practice. Some of the items discussed, included fund raising, grant application and solutions to common neighbourhood issues.

      We have met with Bob Lanzer (WSCC Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Highways) to discuss parking problems. For the next meeting Peter Lamb (Leader of CBC) is planning to attend.

    • Neighbourhood Watch
    • PH(N)RA were in attendance at the AGM of the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation on the 20th October

    • Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCCG)
    • We had a meeting with Dr Amit Bhargava from CCCG who was until recently it’s Chief Clinical Officer. Whilst it was difficult to see how we could support the CCCG, PH(N)RA agreed to post their promotional material on our website and we reported back what we believed to be some Crawley specific health issues.

  7. Speeding
  8. The number of people using the estate as a rat-run appears to be largely unchanged, and there still appears to be an small number of people who pay no regard to the speed limits.

    This is evident on roads such as Bycroft Way, St. Mary’s Drive, Chaucer Road, Grattons Drive, Pembroke Road, Somerville Drive and St. Catherines Road. The recent accident on St. Catherines indicating that the current speed calming measures along that stretch of road are somewhat ineffective.

    To determine the impact of the new housing at Forge Wood, and changes to existing road junctions, I think we need to monitor the traffic flow through the estate.

    Report it
    Report anti-social driving and speeding to the police via the Operation Crackdown website portal website

  9. Parking
  10. There are still a number of problem areas near Three Bridges that suffer from commuter parking, and I recently found out that flats at Three Bridges (Trafalgar Gardens) have paid parking that some residents avoid, by parking on St Mary’s Drive.

    There are some issues with holidaymaker and other ‘long term’ parking, at roadsides and/or in Laybys. Unfortunately unless the vehicle is dangerously parked, causes problems for the emergency services or is untaxed, there appears to be little that we can do about it.

    The position on parking by the current administration, is that WSCC is the highways agency so parking is their problem. Whereas I believe that the lack of parking provision with new developments is exasperating the problem, and just blaming WSCC is ‘throwing in the towel’ rather than doing something about it.

    I accept this is a very difficult problem due to the number of vehicles on the road, continued town expansion and increasing house prices (keeping children in their family home for longer).

    Report it
    Report parking issues to Dan Holloway via email email please use this email to report impassable or dangerous parking, in particular if you feel that such parking would hinder the emergency services.

  11. Worth Park Gardens
  12. Last year PH(N)RA donated a bench to Worth Park Gardens, this was initially located in the courtyard at Ridleys court. I am now pleased to announce that the bench has been relocated to a ‘more prominent’ position adjacent to the Monkey Puzzle tree that we also donated.

    PH(N)RA have also offered some money towards planters at Worth Park, either four small ones at the entrance to Ridleys court, or to contribute towards the fixing of an original planter donated from the Fred Dench estate.

    A number of artwork installations have been introduced to Worth Park Gardens in the last year, including the Timeline Totem and three Wooden Cows.

    • The ‘Timeline Totem’ was completed in November 2016, after being carved from a storm-damaged tree by West Sussex chainsaw sculptor Simon Groves in just seven days.
    • The ‘Wooden Cows’ were completed in April 2017, and in keeping with the history of the park, they are located close to the ha-ha. They also ‘explain’ the purpose of the ha-ha, a walled ditch intended to be invisible from the house, used to keep cattle from straying into the formal gardens.

    Recently we have had a “wildlife disaster” at Worth Park Lake. Where due to a low water level, more than 50 ducks and geese died as a result of algae poisoning. Whilst the situation has recovered as the water level has increased – CBC are looking at options to prevent this happening again in the future.

  13. Forge Wood Estate / North East Sector
  14. The development at Forge Wood is continuing, however this has not been without its setbacks. More of the land has been deemed as unsuitable for housing due to issues with drainage and because the development must contain 1900 houses, there is no other choice but to squeeze the houses closer together. (To increase the dwellings per hectare)

    Some road junction changes are already under way – such as the junction of Crawley Avenue (A2011) and Balcombe Road (B2036), were two way traffic flow is being introduced to allow Forge Wood traffic to get onto the M23 without needing to travel down to Hazelwick roundabout (this effectively stops people, from needing to performing a ‘U’ turn).

    The Forge Wood Primary School has opened for the new academic year in its new buildings, previously the school was a pre-fabricated modular build. The staff and students were really looking forward to the new facilities that greeted them after the summer break.

  15. Website Statistics
  16. For the last twelve months

    Visits 48,930 Total – 139 people per day
    Posts / Articles Published 62
    Emails sent 4
    Service interruptions None

  17. Ward Councillors
  18. The three ward Councillors for Pound Hill North are

    1. Richard Burrett on phone 01293 522338. Richard is also a County Councillor at West Sussex County Council (WSCC)
    2. Tina Belben on phone 01293 438625. Staring her second year as Ward Councillor for this area.
    3. Kevan McCarthy on phone 07879 841570, Starting my third year as Ward Councillor and as PH(N)RA Chairman.

  19. Crawley Borough Council (CBC)
  20. We have a new chief executive at CBC Natalie Brahma-Pearl who has recently taken over from Lee Harris.

    On the 7th August 2017 Natalie met up with the local councillors for a tour of Pound Hill North. giving Tina, Richard and myself the opportunity to showcase the ward and highlight any local problems.

  21. Acknowledgements
  22. Thank you to both, Jane Stanford who manages the Peterhouse Parade noticeboard and Chris Beech who manages the Wakehams Green noticeboard.

    Thank you to Jim Swift, who does our printing and provides the AV equipment for the A.G.M.

    During the year the Committee met six times and all meetings were well attended. Thank you to everyone on the Committee for their ongoing support and efforts.

    We would like to take the opportunity to pass on our condolences to Sally Blake (former Mayor and Pound Hill North Councillor) whose husband Keith recently passed away. Keith himself was a former Mayor and ward Councillor for Gossops Green and more recently, he was actively opposed to expansion at Gatwick Airport.

  23. Latest News
    1. Road junction improvements at Three Bridges are currently under way, details are here on our Website, this link includes plans for each of the seven junctions
    2. There is a proposal for a Travellers site near Copthorne Road (A2220) and Land At Lower Hollow Copse Copthorne Road Copthorne West Sussex
    3. Planning – Application Summary

      DM/17/3519 | Proposed change of use of land to residential to form two Sites. Site A – proposed laying out of 12 permanent pitches for the gypsy and traveller community. Erection of a site manager’s office and amenity blocks and laying out of internal roads, parking, and associated drainage works and landscaping. Repositioning of vehicular access to Hollow Copse and close off the existing. Site B – proposed laying out of 4 permanent pitches for the gypsy and traveller community; associated access roads, drainage works and landscaping. Modifications to the existing vehicular access to Copthorne Road. | Land At Lower Hollow Copse Copthorne Road Copthorne West Sussex.


      Although I am not sure of the exact cut-off date to lodge objections. If you have any objections it is advised that you submit them as a matter of urgency.

    Regards Kevan McCarthy
    Chairman PH(N)RA

Worth Park Drone Footage

Fantastic Worth Park Drone footage

Worth Park filmed using a Dji Phantom 3 Professional on 21/07/17 by YouTube user Tuffjam351.

Find more information about Worth Park here

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Worth Park – A Unique Victorian Garden and Landscape

Whats on at Worth Park

A message from Edwina Livesey

Worth Park Garden – Whats On – 3rd September 2017

Dear Resident,

If you love wildlife there are two events you won’t want to miss coming up this month, starting with Bats Night at Worth Park on Monday 4th September. Come along to a fascinating talk by expert Jenny Clarke from Sussex Bat Rescue, who will be bringing along some of the bats she cares for so we can see them up close. Then join expert Kevin Lerwill from Sussex Wildlife Trust for a night walk around the park looking out for different species of bat. Talk 6.00pm at Ridleys Court, booking essential, free but a donation to Sussex Bat Rescue would be appreciated. Walk 7.30pm, no booking needed, free, meet at the park entrance.

Then at the end of the month – Ok actually on Sunday 1st October, we have our ever popular annual Fungi Foray led by Mr Fungi himself, Nick Aplin, chair of Sussex Fungi Group. After the walk, come along to Milton Mount Community Centre for a coffee and chat. Bring any fungi you have for expert identification and even have a look at fungi through a microscope! Free, no need to book. 10 – 1.30pm, meet outside Ridleys Court. Microscopy from approx. 12-1.30pm. Why not bring a picnic lunch?

Fancy getting a bit fitter but not sure where to start? Enjoy gardening or think you might like to give it a go? Then come along to the Worth Park Workout. Let our qualified fitness instructor help you through some gentle exercises in the historic surroundings of Worth Park, then help our Head Gardener tidy up our woodland area and plant bulbs for next spring. Tuesdays 10.30-12 19th September – 24th October. Free but booking essential – contact Jackie Thatcher on phone 01293 585352 or email email

Interested in art ? Come along to Ridleys Court and have a look at Worth Park Past, an exhibition of paintings created by Crawley Art Society inspired by old photographs and maps of Worth Park. Trail sheets for families to follow around the park and an exhibition of historic archives will also be on display. Open Monday to Friday from September 10.30am-2.30pm.

Our final popular Worth Park Wanders for this year will explore Worth Park in one of its most beautiful seasons. Our 14th September walk will focus on Pulham and Son, the master Victorian stonesmiths who designed and created Worth Park. For a longer, faster health walk taking in the beauties of Grattons Park and beyond, come along on the 28th September. All walks start at Ridleys Court at 10.30, finishing back there with well-earned coffee and biscuits. Free, no booking needed.

I am away on leave and/or out of the office from 15th September until the 4th October so if you have any urgent enquiries please get in touch with our Head Gardener Sam Worsey on email The next History Group meeting will be on Tuesday September 5th from 2 – 4pm when we will be looking at the display cabinets and making a start on organising the archive properly – my apologies for the short notice which is due to this unexpected decision to go on holiday! However I hope you’ll be able to make some of these September events and look forward to seeing you soon at Worth Park.

Best wishes

Thank you as always for your support for Worth Park.

Edwina Livesey

phone 01293 438027
phone 07826 917846
Participation Officer – Worth Park
Crawley Borough Council
Town Hall, The Boulevard
Crawley, RH10 1UZ

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Worth Park – A Unique Victorian Garden and Landscape