30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, September 18, 1981.

GARAGES in Southwater are facing a serious threat from the new village bypass on which work is now well under way.

At the moment, there are three garages operating in the village, serving local people and through traffic on the A24.

The new bypass has been designed to take the high numbers of cars and lorries that thunder through Southwater every day away from the village.

This is something that everybody welcomes. But as the traffic disappears, so could the customers, and garage owners are now facing up to the prospect of dramatic changes in trading patterns.

Testers Garage, at the Cripplegate Lane end of the village, has been there since 1940 and there has been a garage at the Jackie Wilson site since before that.

A more recent addition, is the Wilson Purves garage at the Horsham end of Southwater which has been trading for less than two years.

Wilson Purves also deal with used cars, but rumours are afoot that they are planning to move out of Southwater.

When asked to confirm this, one of the directors refused to comment, but said that he did not think the bypass would affect trade.

“I think that it could actually increase petrol sales, as at the moment the traffic on the road is so heavy that people are afraid to pull in, in case they can’t pull out again,” he believed.

Testers admit they are “apprehensive” about what the bypass will do to them, but Mrs Enid Lander, wife of the owner, and daughter of the late Mr Tester who started the firm, says that they have no alternative but to carry on as they are.

FEARS of aggravating Steyning’s flooding problems prompted members of a Horsham planning committee to reject the views of the Southern Water Authority.

Distrust overflowed during a debate concerning a planning application for two chalet style houses, two semi-detached houses and five double garages, on land next to Doves Place near Tanyard Lane, Steyning.

The council’s planning officers had said the development should be given full permission. But the area plans two sub-committee rejected their advice.

Miss Millicent Honeywood said Steyning Parish Council strongly objected to the proposal. “The people of Stonecroft are violently opposed to the development.” The residents of Stonecroft, a row of semi-detached houses, have been victims of serious flooding in the past.

Mrs Marjorie Ward called for an embargo on building in the village until investigations into flooding had been thoroughly carried out. “This is going to cause a lot more flooding in an already difficult site,” she said.

DESPITE the major problems of airline operators, Gatwick Airport is still growing at such a rate there is a danger of “overflow” if a second terminal is not allowed soon.

That is the view of the authority running the West Sussex airport and of many bosses of companies based there.

Mr Tony Cocklin, press and public relations manager for British Caledonian, said that if the current growth rate of passengers handled each year at Gatwick continued, it would reach its present 16 million capacity by 1986.

If a decision to go ahead with a second terminal were announced tomorrow, the building probably would not be completed until 1987. “So in the mid-eighties Gatwick could be a real bottleneck,” he said.