Save Our Villages & Countryside
Binsted, Walberton and Tortington in Peril!
Also Fontwell and Lyminster, and Arundel's Countryside!
Highways England's schemes for a gigantic Arundel Bypass 'Grey Route' through the countryside threaten a rare rural heritage. The Arundel watermeadows and western wetlands. In the western wetlands, the peace and rural setting of the quiet old villages of Tortington, Binsted and Walberton would be trashed.
Many would lose their homes. The landscape that would be severed and blighted is an oasis for wildlife, and was good enough to be eligible for inclusion in the National Park. (It was left out of the National Park only because politicians wanted to have the option to put a motorway through it - the threat we must now fight in earnest.) The area threatened by the aptly named Grey route is a survival of traditional England in today's crowded Sussex coastal plain.
Taking Binsted as example: writer Valerie Grove says of its threatened village and countryside:
"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."
Save Binsted - What could be lost here
The Grey Route comes on a raised viaduct, 70mph dual carriageway speeding within about 25 metres of Binsted's 12th-century village church, a place where the villagers have come together for approaching 1000 years. It also tears through the midst of the village, separating it almost half and half.
For a full analysis of the threat to Binsted's heritage, see https://www.binsted.org/heritage-under-threat. This heritage, and the community which it draws and who hold it together, would die. But there's fight in them yet, with encouragement from so many!
Who lives here? "We do"
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)
Take a drone tour over the village
Binsted is a marvellous assembly of diverse habitats. The houses surround the central open fields as they did in Saxon times and many important wildlife species breed in the woods and forage in the fields. Its peaceful variety and continuity would be destroyed by the Grey Route.
For information on the natural and historic environment of the area which is being studied, conserved and enhanced by local community based charity Mid Arun Valley Environmental Survey, click here:
For information on the community life and rural environment of the western part of this area around Binsted village, click here:
People from beyond Binsted come to record its beauty in photographs, eg click here
Come and visit to see for yourself - and eat a fabulous lunch in Binsted's Black Horse pub.
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 .
We sang Climate Change Carols to Highways England at Christmas
Click here to download the trifold wordsheet
For information on the landscape and wildlife impacts of offline Options, see www.aruncountryside.org