Save Our Villlages!
Highways England's schemes for a gigantic Arundel Bypass through the countryside threaten a rare rural heritage. The landscape that would be severed is an oasis for wildlife. It's a survival of traditional England in today's crowded Sussex coastal plain. Writer Valerie Grove says of the threatened village and countryside of Binsted:
"Binsted is a wonderful, mystical place, a little gem held in the past, vitally important in the life story of Laurie Lee, most of whose poems were inspired here.
"Here is an extraordinary example of a parish unblemished by the modern world, with woodlands and wildflower meadows, and the exquisite little Norman church whose timeless quietness and beauty must surely be left undisturbed in the 21st century."
From west to east, village community lives and wildlife habitats of Walberton, Binsted and Tortington would be wrecked by these schemes. The longest routes, Amber, Magenta and Grey, are the most damaging to the Villages.
Crimson and Grey look like non-starters. Highways England staff have said they will not pick Crimson because it would not get planning permission. They have also said Grey would not get through because it is the longest and most expensive.
Cyan and Beige are the only ones within budget - but Highways England have changed the routes using this alignment from 40mph to 70mph, making them unacceptable to Arundel residents as proposed.
Amber is similar to Highways England's former Preferred Route, Option 5A. So we know they are attracted to it - but also that they got in trouble with the National Park for favouring it as the most ecologically damaging option.
Magenta seems to be their new wish-route, as they can claim it is a little bit further to the edge of the National Park. But it is still almost as ecologically damaging as 5A/Amber, eg because it severs woodland roosts from the wetlands. The National Park access severance is as bad and the impact on Binsted Village is far worse. Several houses demolished, others blighted, the village cut in two, its church and arts festival and other community event spaces destroyed or blighted - it would be the death of a village that is more than 1000 years old. All of that is too high a price to pay for a few minutes' extra speed, especially when there is an Alternative way to make traffic flow.
Save Binsted - What could be lost
This 4-minute film reveals the beautiful landscape and vibrant community of Binsted Village, which Highways England have sought to hide and bury under Amber (Option 5A) or Magenta of the Arundel Bypass scheme.
Click this link, or click on the picture below:
(click bottom right of the video for full screen)
Who lives here? "We do"
Take a drone tour over the village
Why this historic village landscape should not
be wrecked by an Arundel bypass:
1. It would ruin a beautiful area of the South Downs National Park where Binsted Woods (250 acres, ancient, broadleaved, huge, wonderful and mysterious) meet many good footpaths leading from coastal villages and towns; such as Binsted Park (see video above).
2. It would severely impact the very rich wildlife of Binsted Woods by destroying woodland and cutting off the Woods from their connecting mosaic of hedgerow and wetland habitats.
3. It would destroy the peace, tranquillity and beauty of this area and the unity of its historic cultural heritage.
4. It would be cut through a much-loved wooded and farming landscape where the village of Binsted, with 10 listed buildings and a 12th century church, lies partly within Binsted Woods and partly in lovely rolling countryside.
5. It would destroy the village of Binsted as a special place by demolishing 4 of its 38 houses and severing and blighting others.
6. It would cause the present good recreation and learning activities in the area to cease, such as the Binsted Arts Festival, the Binsted Strawberry Fair (an event that has raised £100,000 over 30 years for charities and the fabric of the church), Ratpack Archers crossbow club courses within the woods, and the Forest Knights countryside experience business within the woods.
7. It would put an end to the present wildlife surveys and education/volunteering activities provided by the Mid Arun Valley Environmental Survey group (Arun Countryside Trust CIO).
8. It would destroy a much-needed ‘green lung’ near the crowded Sussex Coastal Plain which is rapidly changing with more and more housing development so will need it more than ever.
9. It is the wrong solution to Arundel’s traffic problems which need a holistic approach with improved public transport and better facilities for non-motorised users.
10. It is money thrown away at great environmental cost, as reports have shown that new roads soon become congested.
11. It would attract more traffic to this section of the A27 which would cause even greater traffic jams at Chichester to the west and Worthing to the east. Chichester recently lost its bypass improvement scheme due to lack of agreement and Worthing has a scheme simply to improve junctions and add traffic lights.
12. It is being promoted by Highways England with a biased consultation full of errors, which nowhere makes clear the damage to Binsted Village or Binsted Woods.
For more info see:So what Options were Highways England considering for a new Arundel Bypass?
All offline routes would cause severe harm to the Arun Valley wet meadows and to Tortington village. Click here: Arundel impact.
For information on the wide-ranging community impacts of the Binsted Options, see www.binsted.org .
For information on the landscape and wildlife impacts of offline Options, see www.aruncountryside.org