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This is the first published Electronic Newspaper for 
Shoreham-by-Sea and the Adur Valley & District, West Sussex, England

     15 August 2001: Volume 3  Issue 26

Local News


Ropetackle Outline Planning Application
13 August 2001
At face value it appears to be a rather depressing outcome to the Outline Planning application with the principle of high density housing endorsed in principle, and the idea of an almost exclusively residential estate instead of a mixed development. 

The Report that follows is meant to be unbiased:

Ropetackle Public Meeting

Everybody had a chance to say their three minutes worth. Although a few people got bogged down in detail (relevant to Detailed Planning rather than the general principles) overall the standard of comment without any NIMBY objections, I think the people of Shoreham should be congratulated on voicing their concerns. There was no sniping (whatever that means) and generally I think it should be regarded as a good method of allowing people to express their opinions akin to a Public Enquiry. I found it a bit
awkward as their was not enough substance to the plans and I would have
liked to ask SEEDA a few basic questions. But overall, the formal
atmosphere of the Council Chamber gave the feel like a Public Enquiry
without the expense involved. 

There was about a 100 people in the older age group. 

Concerns were expressed over:

1)  Access to the Public Hard
2)  Density of the Development
3)  Views over the River
4)  Car parking and highway awkwardness.
5)  Sustrans cycle paths.
6)  Housing estate apartments a bit too close to the existing houses
7)  Housing without jobs (my contribution). 
8)  Hard to see the extent of the development without height plans and illustrations (several people).

Apologies to anything I have left out, but I think everybody had their
chance to say what they thought. 

Ropetackle Planning Meeting

Now it was the Councillors turn to say what they thought and they did not
seem to saying what they thought from prepared scripts. 

Liz McKinney was the real star at this and she gave her opinion, a right
panning, quite unbelievable really, over the density fo the housing
developments. It was interesting to me as I am not in favour of these high
density developments without mitigation with green spaces etc., and
although it was not couched in political terms, it can only be seen as a
criticism of the Government policy of developing brownfield sites with high
density housing. I would not feel strongly enough to spout off with such a
long dialogue, but I think all the points she put across were right.

The thing that struck home to me the most was, as Liz McKinny said,  that "the whole concept was really boring."

This was important inasmuch the Councillors, and quite a lot of people, did not want to be seen as negative, NIMBYs if you want a word. They were just disappointed with the scheme.

Pat Beresford  mentioned that whatever they but there would be traffic
problems and the Highways Dept. at WSCC were generally agreeable as long as there junction plans were complied with. 

The Planning Officer: read out the list of objections without stress. These
were not too detailed but in the context of the plan I would say his
comments were fair enough.

One comment that struck a chord was the comments by one of the national amenity societies was that ;
"it was not a mixed development, but a housing development with a few
peripheral community bits attached".

If you want further details, you had better read the minutes. as housing
density was the major concern, the minutes indicated that the housing
density was well above the recommended maximum density even for inner town sites and there was no getting around this. It was really a bit outrageous and this was an opinion of lots of people (100+) in the Public Gallery. The housing density was in excess of 86 dwellings per hectare when the recommended maximum was about 50 dwellings per hectare. 

After a lot of indecision the Planning Committee passed the Outline
Planning Application, as was expected.

Discussion in the pub:  It seems that a lot of people shared the opinion
that they would have liked something better, but how can you persuade
businesses to come to Shoreham?  Somebody like SEEDA would have to do the hard work, and then they could end up in failure. I asked Phil Dibsdale (SEEDA) at the Shoreham Centre meeting and he thought such a prospect, e.g. offices, unlikely. 

I hope this is a fair commentary. I could have written it up in the morning, but I am apt to find it hard to motivate myself, so I thought I would get it down now, complete with the inevitable errors, and perhaps, most important, the wrong emphasis. 

The architect to contact for the important bit of the design of the
building facing the High Street is Jennifer Ross of Tibbaulds. It was
generally agreed that the design of the building from the High Street was
important. Some people wanted to keep the flint buildings, but I thought if
you wanted to give an architect a free hand and if she was halfway decent, it would be a bit unfair to put such limitation on the design and I said this (although I actually quite like the buildings and I could find an
uneconomic use for them). 

Other opinions expressed seem to indicate they saw Ropetackle as very
important for the future of the town. Is it going to be a dormitory town ?
(These were not my words.) Is the most we can expect ? 

What is going to happen next ?

Have the developers got the green light ?  Will the problems of the site
defeat them, despite Outline Planning ?  Will they be able to sell the
houses, or will the lack of jobs play a part ?

It will be interesting what the newspapers make of it. The Shoreham Herald was there, of course, and the Evening Argus who may have felt a bit parochial and mystified at the three hour discussion on what could possibly be the first real diatribe against high density housing in a Planning Meeting anywhere. The developers have reduced the number of dwellings from 210 to 205. They seemed to regard the passing of the Outline Plan as a victory. 

Overall, my impression was that people wanted something decent to happen to the Ropetackle site and Shoreham in general, and they were not all that keen on additional traffic problems without any real benefits. 


Andy Horton. 

Planning and Regulatory Committee (7)
        Councillor Mrs M V Blunden (Ch) Conservative Independent Alliance
        Councillor Don Phillips (V)      Conservative Independent Alliance
        Councillor Julie Searle            Conservative Independent Alliance
        Councillor Liza McKinney        Conservative Independent Alliance
        Councillor Geoff Howitt            Labour
        Councillor Jean Woolgar         Labour
        Councillor Pat Beresford         Liberal Democrat

South Downs National Park : Proposed Area

Click on the URL for the complete map

The footpaths to Lancing Ring are now open.

West Sussex County Council announce most paths are now open, unless they are inhabited or used by farm livestock, or farm animals are nearby. 

The cycle path from Old Shoreham is officially open.

Weather Forecast

Please send any comments to: Andy Horton

Wildlife Notes

15 August 2001
On the low River Adur neap tides between Ropetackle and the Toll Bridge at Old Shoreham, three Little Egrets stalked the shallows feeding in the shallow pools. One of the egrets seemed much larger than the other two through the binoculars. In what remained of the mainstream at low tide a couple of Herons and a Cormorant took advantage of the low water and the easy opportunities of feeding on small fish.

15 August 2001
I retraced the route of yesterday, hoping eventually to get photographs of the blue butterflies. It was more hazy and overcast than the day before, but despite that many varieties of butterfly were frequent: Red Admiral, Peacock, Painted Lady Butterflies, Small Whites and Holly Blue Butterflies all in numbers in excess of 20. On the towpath between Ropetackle and the Toll Bridge at Old Shoreham, Wall Browns were not seen but there was at least one Gatekeeper.
On the footpath from the Waterworks Road (southern end) to  (TQ 209 063) to Mill Hill, the usual butterflies above were accompanied by a single Speckled Wood (in the shaded bit) and a solitary Comma Butterfly in the open, the latter a light orange rather than a deep rich orange. There are lots of Stinging Nettles in this area. A Common Darter Dragonfly settled. 

By the time I reached Mill Hill, the mist had rolled in from the south-west and it turned to rain. Only Meadow Browns fluttered about and only a handful of these common butterflies. 

I returned to Mill Hill later, and found a dozen female Chalkhill Blues in the long grasses and I was able to have a close look to make sure my identification was correct. (It was then I discovered that my Olympus OM2 camera had broken down.)

14 August 2001
Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls circled feeding on flying ants below the white vapour trails crossing the white fluffy cirrus clouds in the blue sky, on the first fine, if slightly hazy day, for over a week.
Wall Brown photograph from Friends of Lancing RingA Wall Brown Butterfly fluttered strongly over my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham (TQ 224 053). 

A couple of Holly Blue Butterflies settled on the plentiful ivy in the twitten along the south side of the railway line between Victoria Road and the northern exit to Ropetackle. They had pale blue underwings with lots of spots. The route to take next is to under the railway bridge and cross the busy road into the factory estate and follow the route to the riverbank (since the route from Ropetackle north is now impassable.). It is then possible to turn north on a narrow track to meet the cycle path to Old Shoreham, Bramber and the north. 
I was surprised to see a strong flying Wall Brown Butterfly settle on the green riverbank near the factories and on the buddleia-lined gravel path to the north and handful of Red Admiral, Peacock and Painted Lady Butterflies all rose at the approach of my bicycle.
On the footpath from the Waterworks Road (southern end) to  (TQ 209 063) to Mill HillRed Admiral and Peacock Butterflies and Small Whites refused to settle. There was a possibility of a Green-veined Butterfly but this was not confirmed. 
A large brown cricket or grasshopper was also seen here. It was probably a common species, but it only had a limited jumping ability.

A dragonfly was seen up the path towards The Street, and it had a green head and brown abdomen. (A photograph was taken of this latter dragonfly and is being processed.) This is probably the Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum.

Two Bumble bees are noticeable around Shoreham, especially the Buff-tailed Bumblebee with a white tail, Bombus lucorum, but also ones without white tails which are Bombus terrestris. A large Bumble bee was trying to burrow it seems on the bit of grass on the south-east side of Mill Hill bridge. This large species could be Bombus lapidarius, but this tentative identification needs confirmation. It could be the mimicking Cuckoo Bee, Psithyrus rupestris

On Mill Hill itself, butterflies were unusually infrequent. I recorded my first Adonis Blue Butterfly (TQ 213 077) amongst the tall grasses. (I hope my identification is correct, because my camera ran out of battery power. It was not a Chalkhill Blue, but it could have been an exceptionally bright Common Blue.) The female Chalkhill Blue (TQ 213 074) that settled nicely, seem to prefer the shorter grasslands that are cropped short by rabbits. There were a handful each of the following: Meadow Browns, Red Admiral, Painted Lady. A single Peacock settled on a yellow Ragwort flower. 
Adur Butterfly Page
Common Blue Butterflies on chalk (link)
Blue Butterflies (photographs)

9 August 2001
A pair of Mute Swans on Widewater Lagoon were followed by six cygnets, not cuddly small offspring but large dark coloured first year juvenile birds. 

8 August 2001
Balearic Shearwaters, Puffinus mauretanicus, have been seen out to sea from Lancing adjacent to Widewater Lagoon. This seems to a regular migration route for this sea bird.

Lancing Nature & History - July 2001 Newsletter 

Poem or Literature

 Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 14:40:26 +0200 
From: "Cohen, Michael" <>
Subject: Zen and Cycling

A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding
their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery and had dismounted,
the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?" 

The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying the sack of
potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The
teacher praised the first student, "You are a smart boy! When you grow
old, you will not walk hunched over like I do." 

The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass
by as I roll down the path!" The teacher commended the second student,
"Your eyes are open, and you see the world." 

The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to
chant nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third
student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel." 

The fourth student replied, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with
all sentient beings." The teacher was pleased, and said to the fourth
student, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming." 

The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle." The
teacher sat at the feet of the fifth student and said, "I am your

From the May/June 1989 Utne Reader, which took this from Shawn Gosieski, New Cyclist, Fall 1988. 

    Words of the Week

    bauson  | bs()n |  n. arch. & dial. Also baw-. LME. [f. next.] 1 BADGER n.2 LME.  2 A fat or obstinate person. E18.
    Excerpted from The Oxford Interactive Encyclopedia
    Developed by The Learning Company, Inc. Copyright (c) 1997 TLC Properties Inc.

    Original Message text written by
    >Message: 3
       Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 23:27:29 +0200
    Subject: RE: Bauson

    The OED2 notes: bauson, [ME. bausen, a. OF. bausen, bauzan, see next word,
    the animal taking its name from the white mark on its face: cf.
    bauson-faced. See badger n.2 for the etymological parallel of F. blaireau
    badger, from Flem. blaer, Du. blaar white spot on the forehead. (But in
    Fr., bausen, etc., has never been applied to the badger, and its being so used
    in Eng. implies a much earlier use of the adj. than we have evidence of.)] A.
    n. A badger; see badger n.2


    Prof. dr. L.A.J.R. Houwen
    Englisches Seminar
    Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum
    Universitaetsstr. 150
    44780 Bochum
    tel. +49 234 32 28 518
    Ernest Neal, in 'The Badger', Collins New Naturalist Monograph (1948) 
    states, in a chapter entitled 'The Badger in folk lore and fable':

    "The name badger is probably derived from the French word 'becheur', a 
    digger. This seems a very likely explanation, and no name could be more 
    apt. The name, however, has not been in general use for very long in 
    most parts of the British Isles, because up to the middle of the 
    eighteenth century the names of 'brock', 'pate', 'grey'., and 'bawson' 
    were more commonly used."

    and later says:

    "Harting (The Zoologist, 1888) suggests that the name 'bawson' has the 
    same meaning as 'bawsened', which means striped with white."


    Information from "Key to the Names of British Fishes, Mammals, Amphibians
    and Reptiles" by R.D. MacLeod (Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons 1956).

    Extract, verbatim quote:

    Bauson  ~, Popular name for badger; the basic meaning is "piebald," with
    ref to the animal's black and white face; the ultimate derivation is from
    balka, fem. of Arabic ablak, piebald, and we can trace the various stages
    through which the word has passed; it looks as though the Knights Templars
    brought back the word from the Crusades, for the M.L. name of the bearer of
    their black and white standard is balcanifir, where fer comes from L. fero,
    to bear, and balcani comes from some such word as balcanum;   balcanum
    later became bausanum, which in Fr. was changed to beauceant and in this
    form used as the war cry of the Knights Templars; in M.L. we also find the
    forms and bauzanus, piebald (of horses), and bauceus (probably) badger.


    Ingenious even if it is not correct.


    Andy Horton
    Writer & Photographer

    Message: 2
       Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2001 19:19:50 -0500
       From: "Norman D. Hinton" <hinton@SPRINGNET1.COM>
    Subject: Re: Bauson

    The Middle English Dictionary lists 8 works in ME that have the term
    "bausene", meaning 'badger'. The etymology, however, is given as Old

    Since the Random House Unabridged traces the tern 'bausen(e)' back to
    Vulgar Latin, the Arabic etymology looks rather like a bad guess.

    Subject: Badger (French)

    In _Livre de Chasse_ the French word used for badger is "blariau." Yours 
    sincerely, James Mc.

    James McNelis
    English, Wilmington College
    251 Ludovic St
    Wilmington OH 45177
    brock  | brk |  n.1 [OE broc(c) f. Celt. base of Welsh, Corn. broch, Breton broc'h, Ir., Gael. broc, OIr. brocc.] 1 A badger (often qualified as stinking). OE.  2 A stinking or dirty fellow; a rotter. E17.

    Excerpted from The Oxford Interactive Encyclopedia
    Developed by The Learning Company, Inc. Copyright (c) 1997 TLC Properties Inc.

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