Update! January 2010
You can still help this campaign! These plans go to Committee for a decison on January 28th 2010.
Please visit the website at the link above for more details. You can also check out the inspiring ways some people have been raising awareness – and crucial funds – to save Worthing’s ancient woodlands and others via our new Creative WoodWatching webpages.
125 hectares of Greenfield’s comprising grade 2 farmland, the last remaining block of Ancient Woodland on the coastal plain, an SNCI. Together with hedgerows and an historic ancient Droveway, these are all under threat of being lost for an urban extension to Durrington, near Worthing in West Sussex.
Due to a lack of publicity local residents were unable to object to a change of use made in 1998, however as soon as a planning application was submitted in 2002, ‘Protect Our Woodland’ was formed and a website created.
To gain publicity for the cause a walk of the area was organised with local press and TV invited. This attracted over 200 people and the police – who had to divert traffic away from the Lane for the walkers. This event gained the attention of the national media, which in turn resulted in a film crew from Tonight With Trevor McDonald coming down to film twice for 2 separate editions of that programme.
As support grew – but with Worthing council ignoring a 3 thousand-signature petition that was handed in by the area’s MEP – a breakaway group suggested a more forceful approach was needed. So early on Sunday May 28 2006, Titnore Emergency Action set up camp in the Woods and immediately built tree houses. Despite a High Court eviction order and the threat of Bailiffs the camp and the group are still there today… and most important of all the main development has not been approved, yet!
However Tesco have now been granted permission to build an ‘Extra’ Superstore on one of the fields. Although this will not directly affect the Woodland it will generate a lot more traffic along the Lane and for that reason a Report into the traffic implications was submitted to the council by the Titnore Wood Consortium, an umbrella for a number of environmental groups and civic societies of which ‘Protect Our Woodland’ is a member.
With government policy to build so many new houses and associated utility buildings, clearly we are battling against the tide with this. The only way to halt our countryside and cherished landscapes from being bulldozed is to stand together and tell government STOP. One way is to demand a Public Inquiry for such developments and we are doing this. Please see: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/TitnoreWoods/ and add your name to ours.