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FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, January 16, 1981.

THE STEADY increase in the value of a home has gone into a dramatic decline, according to a survey by a leading building society.

The economic recession making many home-buyers fearful of increasing their commitments is blamed by Abbey National which reveals that house prices increased by 5.4 per cent last year – compared with 30 per cent in 1979.

But the Sussex County Building Society, following a survey of its own, is predicting an upturn in the rate of price increases this year – a prediction that is echoed by Abbey National.

Sussex County says the average price of a home in the South East increased by nine per cent to £29,014 in the last quarter of 1980.

However, as prices in the two previous quarters fell, the overall increase for the South East for the year was four per cent.

The highest increase was in semi-detached houses, by 15.5 per cent, followed by detached at 10.8 per cent, while terraced houses fell by five per cent.

THE VILLAGE of Billingshurst, already badly affected by heavy lorries, is to oppose any Government plans to increase maximum vehicle load restrictions.

At the parish council meeting, John Richards put forward a motion that the council should oppose any plans to increase the permitted weight of lorries, and urge the Government not to accept the relevant recommendations of the Armitage Report.

This was a Government sponsored committee which looked at the use of lorries on Britain’s roads. Its findings published recently recommended increasing the maximum load from 32 to 42 tons.

Mr Richards said: “Billingshurst is particularly concerned with heavy lorries. We all know the noise, damage and danger they cause. It is a national problem.

“We all know the danger from our own experiences. The recommendation is that the maximum weight should go up from 32 to 42 tons. I am suggesting that this is an intolerable weight of lorry for the roads we have at the moment.”

THE CURRENT Year of the Disabled is being used by Steyning Parish Council as one more good reason why the High Street should not lose its pedestrian crossings, as forecast recently by West Sussex County Council.

The parish council has already sent objections and neighbouring Upper Beeding organised a petition when it heard that the crossing might be axed once the bypass is completed.

At this week’s meeting in Steyning, however, Alan Rogerson reminded the council that a few years ago Mick Blackie had suggested adapting one of the two crossings in the High Street for disabled people, particularly those in wheelchairs.

Clerk, Jack Ash, said he had written to the county council last year, which agreed to look into the matter but thought it unlikely to be able to do anything at present because of the lack of funds.