Planning Meeting – 14 October 2020

There will be a special planning committee meeting on Wednesday 14 October at 7 pm to discuss and agree a response to the Bethwines Farm application 20/02303/FUL

This application is for 35 starter homes (1-3 bedrooms) on the field adjacent to Blackboy Lane and accessing Bethwines Close.

Members of the public are welcome to attend this meeting via Zoom Meeting ID: 966 2053 2077

Gillian Keegan – Fishbourne news October 2020

Your MP – Gillian Keegan has recently visited Cornelius House in Fishbourne and attended a meeting about a potential cycle route on the A259 between Chichester and Emsworth. Here is what she had to say:

A couple of weeks ago I visited Cornelius House care home in Fishbourne to see how they were getting on and I’m pleased to report they are doing a brilliant job keeping their staff and residents safe under difficult circumstances. Every precaution is being put in place with staff tested weekly, and residents monthly, as well as being kept at a distance with their food now being brought to their rooms by staff in full PPE. Where residents require hospital treatment, they have minimal contact in hospital and are kept in total isolation and regularly tested on their return for a period of time.

On a separate note, I recently held a roundtable event to discuss the proposals to update the cycle route along the A259, known locally as the ‘Chemroute’. The event was attended by myself, local residents and councillors, as well as representatives from the Department of Transport, and Highways England who are the body tasked with taking this project forward. It is clear that the existing cycle route needs significant improvement to encourage more people to use it and make cycling locally safer. Moving forward the current plans are being revised in light of new guidance issued by the Government, and it is reassuring that there will be early engagement with local authorities and the wider community before this project is taken any further. I will keep you updated as progress is made.

Starting school in September 2021

The application process for children due to start school in September 2021 will begin on Monday 5 October 2020.

The key points are:

• Apply online at
• Applications can be made and will be considered as on time, between 5 October 2020 and 15 January 2021
• Special rules apply for house movers until 12 February 2021
• Further information for parents is available on WSCC website now
• Staff are available to support on 03330 142 903

Applications made after the closing date cannot be considered until all on-time applications have been processed. This may mean it is not possible to offer a child a place at a local school.

If you have any questions regarding the process please do not hesitate to contact Natalie Bailey Senior Admissions Officer.

Download the information leaflet here>>>

New Councillors needed!

Fishbourne Parish Council has two vacancies at the moment. Do you have an interest in local affairs and the spare time to join the council and make a difference.

Read our ‘Becoming a Parish Councillor’ page to find out more about the role or ring our Chairman Geoff Hand on 01243 781692 or Lucy Wright the Clerk on 01243 788563 for a chat.

Fishbourne Volunteer Squad completes 100th job!

The Fishbourne Volunteer Squad, set up when the lockdown came into force to help vulnerable residents of the village, has this week completed a hundred jobs. Anyone in the village who’s isolating at home can call a dedicated number to ask for help, with each job being taken by one of more than seventy volunteers.
The Chair of the FVS, Julie Barwell, said: “The success of the scheme shows what a great community spirit there is in Fishbourne. The volunteer support has been amazing; we have a dedicated crew manning the phone and jobs are typically allocated to a volunteer within minutes. Users are advised who will be completing their request and when to expect them to arrive. To have completed a hundred jobs in just a few weeks is a significant achievement”.
The Chief Organiser for FVS, Jak Dyer said: “Most of the jobs we’ve completed have been shopping for people who can’t leave their homes, and collecting prescriptions. But we also provide someone to chat to if people are feeling lonely, and we’ve even reunited a lost elderly cat with its owner”.
The Fishbourne Volunteer Squad is supported by the Parish Council, the Church, Fishbourne CE Primary School, the Friends of the school, and the Fishbourne Companions who are all represented on the organising committee. It has been awarded a grant from the Sussex Charities Foundation. Anyone in Fishbourne wanting help can phone 07377 231074 any time between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week. All volunteers practise social distancing at all times.

Your NHS needs you!

The NHS is “rallying the troops” for the war on coronavirus, with volunteers being called up to help vulnerable people stay safe and well at home.

The nation is looking for up to 250,000 volunteers to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.

Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at to become NHS Volunteer Responders, and can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:

  • delivering medicines from pharmacies;
  • driving patients to appointments;
  • bringing them home from hospital;
  • or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

NHS Volunteer Responders is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.

GPs, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, NHS 111 advisers and social care staff will all be able to request help for their at-risk patients via a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), who will match people who need help with volunteers who live near to them. Some charities will also be able to refer people to the service.

Message from the Church

A Message from Moira. Parish Priest of Fishbourne and Apuldram.

As the world faces the biggest upheaval most of us have ever encountered, and many are feeling very anxious, I write to let you know how I and your parish church will function over the next few weeks.
Most of you will have heard that all church services are now canceled until further notice. This is only to protect the most vulnerable in our community.
However, this does not mean that we simply cease to be. We are among you.
The church building will be open every day, for everyone whatever their faith, offering a place of quiet and peace, or an opportunity to say a little prayer. I hope to create a prayer board, which will be placed in front of the Altar, where people can write and leave a little prayer if they wish.
The weekly news sheet will be produced each week for as long as possible, and can be read on the websites and on the church notice boards. As will other items of news and updates from me.
As your parish priest please do be assured that you will be prayed for every day, and although I have to be isolated due to a compromised immune system, I can be contacted by phone or email.
Phone: 01243 920346. Email:

I am sorry that I cannot physically be available to you. But please do not hesitate to call me, even if you just need a chat. I am compiling a list of folk who have offered to help in practical ways so will be able to put them in touch with you if you need shopping or medicines collected, or perhaps your dog walked.

Likewise, The Rev. David Hider my colleague and friend is also available for you on 01243 377635.
We may not be able to change the situation we and the whole world are faced with, but we can listen to your concerns and pray for you if you wish. It does not matter if you are a member of the church or not, we are here for you all.
I have been enormously encouraged by the amazing amount of good works that are already taking place around our community, so thank you all for your wonderful ideas on how to care for others, we certainly need each other like never before.

Finally, a little note about those special services that we offer at important times of life.
The advice to the church is that if weddings, baptisms or funerals are held, only a very few people, if any will be permitted to attend.
And so my advice to you is to postpone your wedding or baptism, in fact all those who have one of these booked in the near future have already done so.
However, funerals cannot really be postponed. These will be even more difficult and painful than they already are as family and friends are denied the opportunity to really celebrate a loved one’s life. Please do think about planning a wonderful memorial service for later in the year, and do use your church for this, again it does not matter one iota if you are a church goer or not.

Please do check the church websites, do keep in touch, and overall, be assured that the corona virus is NOT a punishment from God.
Be safe, know that you are not alone, and May God Bless you all, love and prayers from Moira

Finally, although there is such a lot of great community spirit developing, there are a few people out there who will try to take advantage. In the next few months, we will see the very best of humanity, but sadly also the very worst.
So here is a little bit of advice to keep you safe.
If anyone offers to do your shopping, they should not expect you to give them any money until they return with your shopping and receipt.
Please do not let strangers enter your home.
And if someone offers to walk your dog, ask them for proof of identity.
Be careful about scam emails or other notes that may be put through your door.
Overall, keep safe, the elderly among you already possess a deep inner strength, you have been through some tough times in life already. We can all learn from you.

District Council works with local community to help protect wildlife

Chichester District Council has joined forces with local organisations at a working party in Fishbourne this week to help protect one of the district’s rare chalk streams.


The stream runs along the eastern side of Fishbourne Roman Palace, and is one of only 200 chalk streams on the planet, providing a unique habitat for the district’s wildlife. A chalk stream is a river that provides pure water from underground chalk aquifers and springs, making them ideal for lots of animals to breed and thrive.


On Wednesday, the Council’s Strategic Leadership Team worked alongside volunteers from The Chichester and District Archaeology Society, and staff from Fishbourne Roman Palace — which is owned by the Sussex Archaeological Society — to enhance the stream.


As part of this work, silt was removed from the base of the stream and used to establish a foundation for vegetation along the east bank. Manual clearing of ivy and nettles from both banks was also carried out to allow a greater variety of plant species to become established.


As well as being a site of archaeological interest, adjacent to a Scheduled Monument, this area has been identified as a Biodiversity Opportunity Area – which recognises the potential it holds to improve biodiversity – and is one of a group of proposed wildlife corridors in the Chichester District Local Plan. The stream also supports a small population of water voles, which are a protected species.


“Chalk streams are vital for local wildlife,” says Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for Environment and Chichester Contract Services. “All chalk rivers are fed from groundwater aquifers, which mean they have clean, clear water at relatively stable temperatures. These unique conditions along with the chalk bedrock support an unusual diversity of wildlife, including important fish populations and insect species.


“We are currently working on a Strategic Wildlife Corridors project, which aims to deliver a range of actions to safeguard the district’s wildlife, allowing species to move and their populations to thrive.


“The project also aims to help the district’s wildlife become more resilient to environmental change; engage local people with their district’s wildlife; and build on the knowledge and expertise of the council’s Community Wildlife Officer role. It also links with a policy in the developing Local Plan Review, which aims to direct development outside of these areas in order to help protect and maintain these corridors.”


Melanie Marsh, Property Manager for Fishbourne Roman Palace, says, “We are delighted to be involved in this project, working alongside Chichester District Council and Chichester and District Archaeological Society, to protect the many species which call this unique stream home.”

Local Plan timetable to be reviewed following Government advice

A new timetable for Chichester’s Local Plan is to be introduced, following advice from Government officials.

Government advisors have reassured Chichester District Council that the best course of action is to make sure that all of the necessary evidence is in place to show that the plan strategy is a sound one, even if this means extending the time taken.

“While we were told that we could not be treated as an exception, the support we have received from Government officials has been immensely helpful,” says Eileen Lintill, Leader of Chichester District Council.

“By taking more time now and making sure that we work with our residents, businesses and partners to identify the best options, we should be able to access a quicker examination process and more importantly, deliver the right approach for the Chichester Local Plan area. This will provide communities with the certainty that they need moving forward.
“It is imperative that we get this right because we are facing some very complex issues. When we met with the Minister for Local Government and Homelessness, Luke Hall, we also discussed the need to develop a nutrient neutral policy for the Chichester Harbour catchment area; the need for improvements and funding for the A27 bypass; and the increased need to take account of growing environmental issues. Assurance was given that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government was already working with DEFRA; Natural England; the Environment Agency; and, local authorities in the Solent area, to help find a strategic solution to improve water quality in Chichester Harbour and along the Solent.

“The A27 is also a key dependency for the Local Plan, and Gillian Keegan, MP for Chichester, has secured a further meeting with Highways England, where we will be discussing improvements and funding for the A27. This meeting is due to take place in April.

“It’s vital that we keep residents, businesses and partners informed of our progress and involved in this important piece of work, which is why we wanted to update people on our latest position. Since we last consulted with our residents, businesses and partners, we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to carry out further investigative work, as well as making the Government aware of our complex situation.

“We all know that our district is an incredibly special place and we want to keep it that way. Over the coming months we will be updating you on our progress and will be consulting with people again, before the draft plan is submitted. Until then, we will continue to scrutinise planning applications to make sure that they meet the appropriate standards.”

Following the advice we have received, the timetable for the Chichester Local Plan is being updated and this will be made available as soon as it is ready. People can find out about the latest information by visiting or by signing up to regular updates by emailing their name and email address to

Bethwines Farm Objection

At its Planning Committee Meeting on 12 February 2020 Fishbourne Parish Council resolved to submit this objection in to the District Council in connection with the Entry Level Exception Site application for Bethwines Farm:


Download: Bethwines Farm standing water 2020 (507 KB)
Download: Flood Photos Blackboy Lane (326 KB)