• Historic landscape around Arundel & Tortington

    • Bypass would impact on Ancient Monument


      This letter from Dr Catherine Watts, owner of Tortington Priory, sent to the Minister of Transport and copied via ArundelSCATE, explains the cultural heritage impact either offline bypass route would have in this part of Arundel's countryside: 

      Dear Department of Transport

      I am writing to draw your attention to the fact that the land between Priory Lane and the proposed legs of the new Arundel by-pass is a scheduled monument (number 28897) in its entirety as designated by English Heritage in 2011. I have not seen any mention of this in the discussions about where the new by-pass could be sited. The full name of the scheduled monument is Tortington Augustinian Priory and ponds, including part of the priory precinct. The monument dates from the 12th century and includes a Grade Two star (Grade 2*) listed building among many other historic features. This land lies directly to the north of one of the proposed sites for the by-pass at Arundel and south of Priory Lane as mentioned above.

      Directly to the south of the field across which the by-pass may be sited is Tortington Parish Church which also dates from the 12th century and also has many historic features including an early-Norman chancel arch. It would appear that a possible route for the by-pass is through the middle of this historic landscape which idea, in any other country, would be nothing short of scandalous. The pollution from the proposed by-pass will have a seriously negative impact on the ancient monuments as well as on the native wildlife, both of which have been maintained, and the latter encouraged, through grants awarded by Natural England and English Heritage (ie public money) in recent years.

      I would also like to add that I travel between Arundel and Brighton along the A27 at least six times per week at various times of the day. In comparison to the traffic on this road at Worthing and, at times at Lancing too, the problem in Arundel is insignificant. Current research indicates that when existing roads are widened, or when new roads are built, the traffic volume simply increases accordingly and, two years later, there is no difference to what was there in the first place.

      I would strongly urge you to re-consider the plans to drive a concrete by-pass over the historic landscape around Arundel and Tortington and leave the children of today to enjoy an unspoilt and historic landscape in this location tomorrow.
      I look forward to your response in due course,

      Dr Catherine Watts

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