September updates

Sadly we’ve had to come to the inevitable decision to cancel our remaining two members’ meetings for 2020 scheduled for October and November, as we simply cannot comply with the various necessary Covid-19 conditions, and still run meaningful meetings in a confined space such as the Village Hall. We still hope that we’ll be able to resume these in early 2021, but recognise that we’re all missing the get-togethers. Having said that, we’re organising a number of outside socially distanced walks thanks to Tricia and Clive, and details of the latest of these are later in this message.

On the North Goring Gap campaign, the Action Group, of which are members, have produced 5000 leaflets which you should have seen, which thanks to our volunteers have been delivered to most houses in Ferring, as well as by the other groups across Goring and parts of Worthing. We now need to convert as many of these as possible into objections submitted to Worthing Borough Council by the closing date of 30 September. If you haven’t done so yet, please do so and nag your friends and neighbours to do likewise. It is really important that we hold the line on this one, and hopefully prevent what would be a very damaging development. We are also holding small pop up weekly demos at the site at rush hour times using our banners and placards to raise awareness to the wider travelling public, but again due to the legal restrictions on gatherings and numbers, we cannot invite everybody to take part, which is a real shame.

Finally we have a couple of practical work events coming up and we’d be grateful for any help on these, while still keeping the numbers manageable. Firstly, the annual raking of the south end of the Sea Lane grass verge will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 15 September (one day later than originally planned), meeting at the bottom of Sea Lane. If possible, please bring your own grass rake or similar, and gloves. We’ll be joined as last year by members of the Good Gym, and this work should improve the conditions for the wild flowers such as the Salsify to thrive. Secondly, on the following Saturday (19th) we’ll be holding the final beach clean of the year as part of the Great British Beach Clean, meeting at the east end of the Bluebird Cafe car park at 11am. Equipment is provided but again gloves are suggested. Throughout the summer, we have had a rota of volunteers cleaning the beach daily, and we’re very grateful for all their help.

David Bettiss – Chairman, FCG

Plus also see below our 2 upcoming walks:

1.Visit to Anchor Bottom on Tuesday, 8th September, meeting at 10am. Directions: turn off the A27 onto the A283 towards Steyning. Just past the old Shoreham cement works, there is a row of old workers cottages. You can park in front of them or in the car park just a short way further north on the left. Meet at the footpath entrance at the north end of the cottages. Anchor Bottom is a steep valley so be prepared for a bit of a climb and a walking pole is useful. Target species are Autumn Gentian, Autumn Lady’s-tresses, Ravens and Adonis butterflies. Camera and binoculars useful. If a sunny day, you might like to bring a picnic. Social distancing will be observed.

2. Highdown on Tuesday, 15th September, meeting at 10am in the top car park. This will be a general natural history stroll up to the top of the hill particularly looking at autumn fruits and climbing plants. Afterwards, we can have a snack at the Highdown café. Camera and binoculars advised. Social distancing observed. CANCELLED – SORRY.

Fighting for the Gap

The Goring Gap, north and south, is important to our self-identity as Ferring, still a village –  bounded by this gap, the East Preston-Kingston Gap, the Angmering-Worthing Gap and the sea. It was a great pity that building along Goring Way in the 1950s filled in a section of the Goring Gap and joined us to the streets of Worthing. But what remains is very important  – the Ilex Avenue, the southern gap below it  – picturesque farmland running down to the sea; and the northern gap between Ferring Lane and Goring Street, not quite so attractive but valuable agricultural land always under cultivation, and the Rife running through it, a pleasant open space and ‘green gap’.

We now have to defend this northern gap against a developer – Persimmon Homes Ltd , who have applied to Worthing Borough Council for planning permission for 475 houses and flats. It is an ‘outline’ application so that many of the featured displayed in their application are not commitments but ‘illustrations’.  When Persimmon unveiled their proposals last October they received 588 responses and in their application they only refer to one of these as a favourable response.. The serial number is AWDM/1264/20 and here is the link to the Worthing  BC web site:

We invite readers who share our commitment to open green spaces to send your objections to Worthing BC, You can do this on-line from that web site, by e mail to or by post to   Gary Peck, Case Officer, Planning Services, Worthing Borough Council, Portland House, 44 Richmond Road, Worthing BN11 1HS

We believe that:

  • The break in the built-up area between Ferring and Goring helps both areas maintain their individuality
  • The landscape is attractive in its own right and as part of the foreground to Highdown
  • The open space is a ‘green lung’ for Ferring and Goring
  • The loss of prime agricultural land is completely unnecessary
  • The impossible traffic congestion arising in the main road and both roundabouts and back into Ferring would be intolerable
  • This development would add to the strain on other infrastructure: drainage, water supply and sewerage, schools and medical services



Houses in Gardens

We have a long-running campaign against houses being built in residents’ gardens.  Even worse, they threaten to destroy the open character of Ferring, they reduce wildlife habitat and natural drainage, and add to the number of cars in the village when congestion and parking problems have already reached record levels. ‘Backland’ development is even worse because the long narrow  driveways create additional road safety hazards – for pedestrians and other vehicles.

Our objections, and those of our Parish Council do frequently persuade Arun DC to refuse such planning applications. Unfortunately the Planning Inspectors often uphold appeals against the Council’s refusal. The most recent case is that of ‘Elm Lodge’ on the corner of Tamarisk Way and Sea Lane, an application  twice refused by Arun DC, once dismissed on appeal but finally allowed at the end of June.

Please join us in objecting to applications like these.