Titnore Woods: Reprieve for 210 trees?/Mass Mobilisation on 7th Oct

Mark mark at tlio.org.uk
Wed Sep 27 14:58:33 BST 2006

There will be a "mass mobilisation" for all supporters of the camp and
opponents of the development on Saturday October 7th. Gather 2pm at
Durrington rail station to descend (or ascend?) en masse on Titnore Woods.
(Details of directions to Titnore are at the bottom of this email, Camp's
Tel. No. is: 0780 4245324).

However, eviction is still obviously expected at any time. Despite this,
an ENERGETIC expansion bid has been launched by the Titnore Woods campers
at Worthing, West Sussex. Urgently needed is more timber and polyprop rope
(6mm is best) and tarpaulins for tree houses etc, plus, on a more mundane
level, supplies of toilet paper and real coffee.

If eviction takes place, supporters are being asked to go as soon as
possible to the camp, congregating in Fulbeck Avenue, Durrington, if
access is barred. Then on the first Saturday after any eviction there will
be a protest against eviction and against development. Fulbeck Avenue,
Durrington. 12 noon.

Titnore Woods in West Durrington, on the edge of NW Worthing, is one of
only two ancient woodlands surviving on the Sussex coastal plain. It is
home to a rich diversity of wildlife, including protected species like
great crested newts, bats, baadgers, skylarks and corn buntings.

Titnore - Reprieve for 210 trees?

BBC reports "West Sussex and Worthing councils said government advice
meant Titnore Lane would not now have to be straightened as part of the
West Durrington scheme. It could mean about 210 out of 265 threatened
trees being reprieved". See BBC Report below.

From: info at protectourwoodland.co.uk
Sent out Wed 20th Sept

Dear Friends and Supporters.

Don't Celebrate Yet!

That's our advice on hearing the news that West Sussex County Council
(WSCC)  has, after taking note of the latest Government guidance on speed
limits, decided to agree that Titnore Lane should have a mandatory 40 mph
limit order imposed on it.

Furthermore, as we understand it, WSCC have decided that with a 40 mph
limit in place there will not be a need to straighten the bends at South
Lodge. Neither will there be a requirement to provide a roundabout south
of South Lodge to access the proposed West Durrington Urban Development.

Whilst we welcome this announcement from WSCC full details of the changes
are awaited. It could be of course that a widening scheme might be lurking
in the background.

If the bends at South Lodge were straightened, then a new section of road
would have to be built cutting through the most important part of the
Wood. In this section the lichens represent the richest assemblage in this
part of Sussex, and the trees here are larger and more mature than in the
surrounding woodland. They are also much richer in lichens than any others
in the Worthing wood complex.

*** Next fight is to stop the access road crossing the woods where the
camp is sited.

*** If eviction takes place, supporters to go as soon as possible to camp,
congregating in Fulbeck Avenue, Durrington, if access barred.

*** First Saturday after any eviction, there will be a protest against
eviction and against development. Fulbeck Avenue, Durrington. 12 noon.

*** Saturday October 7 - Mass mobilisation against Titnore development!
Meet at Durrington station at 2pm to head en masse for Titnore Woods. See
ya there!


Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK

Titnore trees saved from the chop

Ancient trees could be spared the axe as a controversial housing
development no longer requires associated road improvements, two councils
have said.

West Sussex and Worthing councils said government advice meant Titnore
Lane would not now have to be straightened as part of the West Durrington

It could mean about 210 out of 265 threatened trees being reprieved.

Tree-top protesters who set up camp in Titnore Woods said they would only
leave if all the trees were saved.

They have been making their voices heard since the end of May from tree
houses built in the ancient woodland.

About 55 trees are still threatened by an access road off Titnore Lane

The proposals for 875 new homes and associated community facilities
originally required highway improvement works in Titnore Lane, including
the straightening of a bend at South Lodge.

Now the councils will ask the developers - the Heron Group, Persimmon
Homes and Bryant Homes - to remove this aspect from their plans in the
light of new government guidance.

This would "significantly reduce the environmental impact" because more
than 200 trees beside Titnore Lane would not need to be removed.

But protesters said they would continue their campaign, described as "a
defiant act" over "a huge juggernaut of property development".

Landowner Clem Somerset won a court ruling in July for them to be evicted,
although the bailiffs have yet to move in.

What's it all about?
Well if we want to go back to the very beginning I guess it started about
1934 as new housing marched steadily westward along what is now the A259
south of the railway line.

It soon became apparent that the existing level crossing at Goring-by-Sea
was not going to cope with the increasing amount of traffic being
generated, not only by the housing but also by the goods yard that was
adjacent to the station. In those day’s most of what was produced locally
and brought in, travelled by train and only then distributed by van /

So someone had the idea to build a bridge across the railway, then it was
suggested why not improve the narrow lane up to the Littlehampton road.
>From what we’ve been told by those who lived in the area around that time,
all manner of plans were drawn up for linking Goring and the A259 with the
A24 at Findon via Titnore Lane and the Longfurlong across the Downs.

Like so many schemes there was delay after delay so by the outbreak of War
only an earth embankment that was to be the bridge over the railway was
built – and that was only on one side. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s
that the bridge and the improved road to the Littlehampton road were
finally completed. But why did they make that road a dual carriageway?

Many stories abound for the reason, but we think the most plausible one
was the perceived need for a western bypass of Worthing. Why? Because even
by the late 1960’s traffic was increasing rapidly and to build more and
bigger roads was, and still is now, seen as the way to cut congestion.
Although we haven’t seen the plans, we understand if it hadn’t been for
the determination of a lady councillor at Worthing to prevent it, that
dual carriageway would have by now gone up Titnore Lane over the A27 and
then across the Downs to the A24.

Although nearly 40 years on, that desire for a western bypass is still
wedded to those who think more roads will solve congestion. So when the
land at West Durrington was earmarked for development, Titnore Lane was
chosen as one of the feeder routes for traffic and as part of the deal the
developers would foot the bill for ensuring the Lane could cope with the
extra traffic the development generated. The battle to save Titnore Woods
from this road widening scheme to serve the proposed 875-home housing
estate and associated new Tesco hypermarket has been waging locally for
around five years. The land the protestors are occupying belongs to the
Somerset family, who stand to earn between £60 to 70 million from the sale
of their land to developers once planning permission is granted (the
crucial planning meeting to give go-ahead for the development plan has
been delayed).

Well we disagree and so does the Worthing Society, East Preston and
Kingston Preservation Society, Worthing and West Sussex Green Party’s,
Worthing Friends of the Earth, South Coast Against Roadbuilding, Titnore
Emergency Action and the many thousands of local residents who have
written letters and signed petitions.

We will not allow any widening, straightening, duelling or whatever to the
Lane, for to do so would see one of the most important woodland complex's
in southern England eventually destroyed in the name of the Worthing
western bypass.

On Tuesday 29th August, an appeal against trepass of the land was heard at
the High Court in London, but was unfortunately, and predictably lost.
The protest camp has suffered constant police arrassment. However they
have vowed to fight to the end. Woodland defenders have began their
occupation on May 28th.

It has attracted huge public support locally, with Worthing residents
disgusted at the way Worthing Borough Council has ignored overwhelming
opposition to the plan and meekly bowed down to the interests of the
landowners and the property developers.

Protesters have vowed to stay in the tree camp to the bitter end,
deploying "passive resistance" to the small army of hired thugs expected
to be sent in against them.

Anyone who can help is urged to get down to the camp in time for the
possible eviction. Exact dates are not likely to be provided in advance by
the authorities!

For more info and to take a look at the site-map and aerial views, go to:

URGENT EcoAction
Woodland defence force protecting Titnore Woods nr Worthing

People who have a spare few days encouraged to get down to the site;
camping gear, own plate, utensils and basic provision are recommended
(bring what you need and what you can afford to share). Directions of how
to get to the site as below.

Please help resist this eviction in any way you can directions are
available here
(directions also below):


The camp is in woods just north of "Somerset Lake", a fishing lake east of
Titnore Lane. Easiest access is from Fulbeck Avenue, off Titnore Way. Take
the path at the far east of Fulbeck Avenue, walk over the small wooden
footbridge and then turn left until there is a large gap in the hedgerow
on the left, walk through into the open field and follow the track to the
far side of the field, keeping the clump of trees to your left. You should
see a gazebo straight ahead of you centrally located at the front of the
stretch of woodland.

It can also be reached via the car park at Tesco's in Durrington, which is
served by no 3 and 4 buses from Worthing central railway station.
Basically head straight on from the entrance to the fields at the back end
of the supermarket car park, and walk across the open field to the other
side, then turn right long the track reaching the gap in the hedgerow
mentioned above.

Nearest railway station is Goring by Sea on the main South Coast line with
direct trains from Brighton, Portsmouth and London. There is a camp phone
- 0780 4245324. if you are coming from the station, then cross over the
footbridge over to the opposite platform,  and out of the station exit
turn right into the road and walk up until you reach a major A-road
roundabout. Titnore Lane is a minor country lane at the other end of the
roundabout (straight on). Walk down here and take a right into Titnore Way
further down, which feeds into Fulbeck Avenue.

Out of London, it is very easy to blag fare on Thameslink line (Bedford to
Brighton). Change at Haywards Heath, buy a ticket to Goring-on-Sea (the
camp is only 20 minute walk from there, cross over passenger footbridge at
station, then head to main roundabout to walk down Titnore Lane and follow
directions as written above).

Financial donations can be made at the camp (ring number above if you
can't find it!) or by sending a cheque payable to "The Porkbolter" to PO
Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ.

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