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March 2020: the Coronavirus Lockdown

In the year of our Lord 2020, it came to pass that a great pestilence befell the village of Pease Pottage.

Villagers awoke on Tuesday 24 March to find that the coronavirus lockdown had begun and that the roar of rush-hour traffic through Pease Pottage had vanished. Confused-looking people scratched their heads, unable to tell which day of the week it was, or even which decade or millennium. Weekdays were now as quiet as Sundays, and Sundays were now as quiet as the village had been before the M23 was opened in the 1970s.

Residents could breathe exhaust-fume-free air, and could hear the birds chirping in the few remaining trees. Pedestrians no longer had to wait five minutes if they wanted to cross Horsham Road. Parents and children could venture out in public for their daily permitted exercise without the risk of getting mangled by non-stop traffic. Cyclists could use the roads without having to defer to motorists. The car-bound non-resident commuters benefitted too, with many of them realising at last that their jobs were of limited social value.

Even the weather was nice. It was wonderful, apart from all the people dying.

Thakeham Homes Estate, 2018 Onwards

Work began late in 2018 to clear the land formerly occupied by the Pease Pottage Car Boot Sale for a new estate of around 600 houses. Construction of the first batch of houses began early in 2019. See the picture gallery for photos.

The road system around the service station was greatly expanded to cope with the extra traffic generated by 600 houses in an area with inadequate public transport. A plan of the roadworks with a timetable is available as a PDF download.

The roadworks were expected to be finished before the end of 2019, but were still incomplete when the coronavirus lockdown (see above) came into effect. The bridge near the Black Swan pub was neglected for weeks at a time, and the footpath along the bridge resembled a lumpy-tarmac’ed, deep-puddled, traffic-cone-infested obstacle course for months. The delays were at least partly due to the fact that the contractor, Breheny Civil Engineering, only seemed to employ about three people. Once it was eventually finished, though, the footpath was very nice.

Village Hall / Community Centre

Construction of the long-awaited village hall on Finches Field took place throughout 2018. It was opened in June 2019.

June 2018: Fire at Cottesmore Golf Club

The main building at Cottesmore Golf Club caught fire on Monday 11 June 2018. No injuries were reported, and the club was open for business soon afterwards, although the clubhouse remained out of action. For details and photographs, see the West Sussex County Times and the Crawley News .

April 2018: 43 houses

Denton Homes have applied for permission to build offices and 43 houses on the site of the old Met Office building, currently inhabited by Lighthouse Systems . See https://pa.midsussex.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=P6NTNMKT0CP00&activeTab=summary for details. Any comments should be submitted by 19 July 2018.

November 2015: 600 more houses

An application was made to build approximately 600 dwellings and several other buildings on the site of the Pease Pottage Car Boot Sale. For details, go to https://pa.midsussex.gov.uk/online-applications/ and search for application DM/15/4711.

Update: Planning permission was granted, and work began late in 2018. It is expected to continue for several years.

December 2013: 52 houses at Buchan Hill

Horsham District Council refused a planning application for 52 houses next to the Buchan Hill reservoir at the western end of Horsham Road, by the Grouse Road crossroads. The company behind the application, Rural Eco Ltd, appealed against the refusal in January 2014, offering to reduce the number of houses to 50.

The proposal is highly impractical: there is currently no access for pedestrians from the proposed site, except by walking along the edge of Horsham Road, which is not possible during the rush hours. Inhabitants of the new houses would be obliged to add 50 or more cars to those already clogging up the severely congested road through the village.

Comments about the planning application may be made by 28 January 2014 to Horsham District Council, using the reference DC/13/2446:

Rural Eco Ltd do not appear to have invested in a website. They seem to be based in East Grinstead: http://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/ltd/rural-eco .

September 2013: 95 Houses on the Driving Range

In September 2013, the owners of the Fairway Golf Driving Range, which has been closed since around 2011, optimistically applied for planning permission to build “95 residential dwellings” on the site. See planning application 13/01994/OUT at the Mid Sussex District Council website . The application is in the name of Riverdale Developments, presumably this company based in Morden.

Update: construction began in late 2015.

February 2013: Pease Pottage Residents’ Association

The Pease Pottage Residents’ Association held its first Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 6 February at the Black Swan.

July 2012: Slaugham Archives Website

Barry Ray launched his Slaugham Archives website, which contains a large number of old photographs of Pease Pottage and the surrounding villages.

2012: Proposed Housing Developments

Redrow Homes (motto: “Our Pride – Your Joy”) have applied to Mid Sussex District Council for permission to build 51 houses on land adjacent to Black Swan Close in Pease Pottage. The proposed development is in addition to the seven houses being constructed on adjacent land by Hillreed Homes.

The proposed new housing estate would back onto Barn Close and the children’s playground on Horsham Road, and would extend westward as far as Cottesmore Golf Club.

Redrow applied in 2011 to build 68 houses and flats on this land. Their application was refused. They will presumably keep on applying until they succeed.

Some grounds for objections might be:

November 2011: More Houses on Old Brighton Road

Thakeham Homes are proposing to build an unspecified number of houses and shops on land near Woodhurst hospital. There is also a proposal to build half a dozen houses on the land formerly occupied by the Grapes pub.

January 2010: Winter Wonderland

It snowed. For a few days, the traffic disappeared and villagers ventured out of their houses. Some people even started talking to each other. But things soon returned to normal. There are photographs of Pease Pottage covered in snow on the Gallery page.

2008: Closing Time

The Grapes shut its doors for the last time.

5 October 1837: Royal Visit

Queen Victoria passed through Pease Pottage on her way to Brighton, as reported by Henry Burstow in his Reminiscences of Horsham (1911), p. 41 :

We trudged on alone, through Roffey, hoping for a friendly waggoner to give us a lift, but none came along. At length we got to Peas Pottage, where we saw a large archway made of evergreens, with “VICTORIA REGINA” worked on it in various coloured dahlias; we were mightily impressed.