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Date: Sat, 09 Feb 2002 17:26:26 +0000

POW! (Protect Our Woodland) - Titnore Woods protest (Sussex)

Defying the Bulldozers

ANGRY local people are gearing up for a massive campaign of resistance against plans to wreck the countryside around Titnore Lane in Durrington.

A protest walk is to be held - watch this space for details - and individuals are signing "Direct Action pledges" to indicate the strength of their resolve (NB: Form printed in paper version. E-mail pledges accepted also!). Protect Our Woodland (POW!) has already set up its own web pages on the internet ( and has made important links with people fighting similar campaigns elsewhere in the country. It is reporting significant interest in the issue from outside the area, with a Newbury-style national protest camp a very real possibility if the scheme is pushed ahead.

While houses are being built over green fields all the time, the plans for Titnore Lane are particularly shocking. The 800 houses, plus new road and industrial estate, would be built over a precious area of ancient woodland that is a green oasis in the middle of our urbanised coastal metropolis.

Explained a POW! spokesman in a special press briefing: "Titnore and Goring are one of only two ancient woodland complexes surviving on the coastal plain of Sussex and the other one (Binsted Woods at Arundel) is also threatened by development, from the proposed Arundel A27 bypass. This woodland gives the lie to the notion that beech is the only real tree of the South Downs. It shows the way our downland woods would have looked 200 years ago, before the age of regimented plantations."

As usual, this desecration of our heritage is being engineered by people for whom money seems to be the one and only thing worth having. The land at Titnore, and nearby Clapham, is all owned by the Somerset family - relatives of Lord Raglan - who have dominated the area for generations and who now stand to make millions.

The "proposed urban extension" is being plotted by an unholy trio of property developers - Heron, Persimmon and Bryant Homes - who are also out to maximise profit by flogging executive houses to rich yuppies commuting to London. Said a POW! spokesman: "At best 25% of these homes will be (arguably) affordable or social. The prospect of their own home is already beyond the reach of many poorer people in Sussex towns (let alone in the posh countryside). This will only distort the housing market against the interests of those most in need." Another POW! supporter has told us that, although it is hoped the planning application could still be halted, it may be that the deal has already been stitched up between the money-men and their chums who run the planning authorities. Opponents realise full well that direct action - non-violent but effective - will in all likelihood be needed to halt the march of the bulldozers, he said. He added: "Who knows if we can win. We’re up against some very powerful forces. But you just can't sit back all your life and watch your world being destroyed by these evil b*****s. You have to draw the line somewhere and a lot of people are deciding to draw the line in Titnore Woods."

Contact POW!

email -

post - c/o PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ

POW! meeting - upstairs at The Downview pub opposite West Worthing station on Tuesday March 5, 7.45pm.

road protests 2002   |   road protests (current)   |   movement links