30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, February 20, 1981.

THE SLUMP which hit the property market in Horsham during 1980 has continued into the first month of the New Year.

In the first County Times/Provincial Building Society house price survey, figures show a decline in the value of detached, semi-detached and terraced homes.

However, the indications are that purpose-built flats are rising in value and the prediction among Horsham estate agents is that values at all levels should rise during the next three months.

This forecast is strengthened by the one per cent reduction in mortgage interest rates which took place at the beginning of 1981, and the general hopes that interest rates will continue to fall during the year.

The survey reveals that in the three months period ending January 31, the average price of a detached house in the Horsham area had fallen by 2.25 per cent, the average price being £47,297.

Semi-detached homes were down 1.87 per cent to an average of £29,290 and terraced houses down by a smaller margin of 0.25 per cent to average £23,813.

Purpose-built flats showed an upward trend of 1.15 per cent, to £22,198, but there were insufficient returns on converted flats to offer a fair figure.

However, most of the six estate agents taking part in the survey are expecting the slump of the past year to be reversed during the months of February, March and April.

They say that, on average, detached homes should grow in value by 2.25 per cent, semi-detached by 2.75 per cent and terraced houses could be in for something of a boom time with 4.42 per cent value increases.

THREE giant machines have been roaming along the country lanes around Coolham and Warninglid, as part of a massive survey operation by a prospecting company.

The French company, Compagnie Generale de Geophysique, based at Brighton Power Station, are carrying out the work for Carless Exploration Ltd, who have been awarded a government licence to search for oil and gas deposits in the area.

But at this stage, there is no chance of the company starting to dig up the countryside in search of oil. The surveys that have been going on are merely preliminaries to try and map out the geological structure below the surface, with a possible view to drilling if the investigations show anything promising.

The information about what lies underneath is obtained by sending vibrations down about 10,000 feet into the ground which then reflect back off the strata. The reflections are picked up by special microphones called geophones, which are plotted at regular intervals along the yards of orange cable which lead to the recording trucks.

The vibrations are generated from pads mounted below massive trucks which move at a snail’s pace along the road. All three trucks have to start up at the same time and shake in synchronisation, which they do for a burst of 27 seconds before moving a little way along the road.

Back at the recording truck, the reflections are listened to during the shaking, and for another three seconds after it has stopped.

If the surveys show the right sort of structure for oil or gas, more detailed work will be carried out later.

SULLINGTON’S planned new village hall, still on the drawing board, has come in for a special praise.

With grant support in mind, architect Neil Holland had sent his sketch plans to the Sussex Rural Community Council for its information.

The SRCC in turn passed the drawings on to the advisory panel of architects of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Chairman Peter Bazire told the parish council that back had come the flattering comment that ‘it is a pleasure to see a well-planned scheme rather than something resembling an electricity sub-station’.

The architects had also described the design as an ‘imaginative and excellent scheme’.