The Dell and Southbrook Road Playground

By January 20, 2018 February 9th, 2018 All Newsletters, Around the Parish, Draft Newsletter, Parish Council

THE DELL – We have been given an award by the Big Lottery to finance outdoor fitness equipment placed in The Dell recreation ground off Mill Road, West Ashling.

There are six pieces of equipment available to help towards an all-round workout. So do come and try it and have fun. Parking is in School Dell, alongside.

SOUTHBROOK ROAD – There is also a playground for the under 12s situated in Southbrook Road, West Ashling beside the Village Hall, so all members of the family are catered for within the parish.

Many thanks, enjoy  your holiday



  • Jane Mottershead says:

    A total waste of money!

  • Ros Brandon says:

    Absolute waste of lottery funding and an appalling decision by Funtington Parish Council to accept this equipment without establishing a need for it.
    If residents had been consulted, this near useless eyesore would not have been inflicted upon us. Be aware that if you do decide “to have a go” FPC have stated that they will place hidden cameras aimed at the exercise equipment.

  • Claire Abbey says:

    Totally inappropriate siting of the equipment, an absolute eyesore to the lovely village green. If we have to keep the equipment a more appropriate site needs be found and the equipment moved. Agree, a total waste of lottery money.

  • Ann Cook says:

    I agree what a complete waste of money, the Dell is not a suitable location for these hideous pieces of equipment, nor indeed, a football pitch, which incidentally is under water again today!

  • Barbara Latham says:

    Dear Councillors. Firstly. Thank you. Thank you for giving up your time on our behalf. And many skills inherit. Sting in tail, though. Listening and being less autocratic may easily be replaced by democratic and listening. Of course we are not talking about the VERY many things you have done so well on our behalf. BUT. Your very casual approach,. Not even grown up thinking, over the Dell. Beggars belief that your lack of considering NEEDS of village over knee-jerk accepting freebies. However defacing to the village. Yes. Your lack of thought, lack of any palpable strategy for well-being of village is quite staggering. The future of the Dell needs us all to work together, ; we have a hugely talented community. We need to really think about our precious and only community green space, not for a minute forgetting our wildlife friends. So let us start again. You have clearly not only not listened but aggressively countered a very upset and very distressed Community. So we all need to get together, not apart.

  • Barbara Roskell says:

    It seems to me that the parish council is putting the cart before the horse all the time. Grabbing at things that appear to be good value without thinking of the ongoing costs and even if they will be used or in the right place. The pavilion was put there without any “team” to use it and cannot be used even if there was because it has no facilities. This now means extra cost to put these in, still without any “teams”. This seems to me like throwing good money after bad.
    As for the exercise equipment the same argument applies. No requirement,bad planning and an eyesore. Please PFC, I know you mean well but you must take a deep breath and think about what you are doing.

  • V Parker says:

    The Dell is many things to the many people who use it, dog walkers, picnickers, blackberry pickers, footballers and youngsters trying to fly the kite they received as a present. It brings a great deal of pleasure to those that assemble there for whatever reason, the youngsters in the cubs and guides erecting shear legs under the patient scout master’s supervision; the shrill cry of children and the laughter of families is a joy to behold. The visitors who return with their family to show them where they went to school all those years ago and are so pleased because it is as they remember and not developed as are so many picturesque pieces of land. “We used to play football here and look, that is where the air raid shelter was.” Ramblers stop and sit on the grass to enjoy the peaceful solitude and eat their sandwiches. One rambler told me he had watched spitfires from that very spot, roaring out to do battle and some return beaten up but still flying. Wildlife are there to be spotted by those patient enough to catch sight of it, only last night a small group of deer was to be seen, watched over by two antlered stags, grazing quietly at the edge of the woods.
    Improvements have been made over the years, the planting of trees when it was decided The Dell was too small for a full size pitch. Sensibly an area large enough for a smaller pitch was measured out for mini football. The roadside fence was erected to halt the intrusion of unauthorised motor vehicles. Mistakes include the use of an unnamed weed killer around the perimeter, no warning notices were posted, it set back the growth of the blackberry bushes, which had encroached but a little and called a halt to the many hours for bramble picking and jam making enjoyed by so many, locals and visitors alike, who could safely pick to their hearts content without the danger of being hit buy a car. There was still scant pickings last blackberry season. There has also been some costly faux pas, The Pavilion! What was the intention of building that at great cost? At least it was painted so that it blended in with the dying brambles. However the discussions concerning amenities for the unused pavilion are worrying as a fully operating ‘campsite’ would require cleaning and supervision, include The Dell. It would also attract the use by those without proper authority. Now we have been presented with six awful, so called adult toys to play with. What thoughts were in the minds of those Parish Councillors when they sanctioned such eyesores. Luckily not all of the Parish Councillors were of the same opinion and some agreed that the equipment is an unexpected colour and the placing intrusive.
    Leave The Dell alone. It belongs to all of us not just those that have the authority to plant eyesores. Ask the parishioners what they want!

  • Andy Du Port says:

    The statement by the Parish Council – which also appears in The Village Magazine – that ‘… there is a large car park available above the Dell …’ is simply not true! The small area of muddy scrub land is protected by a gate which is almost impossible to open (it was actually impossible to open before the chains and padlocks were removed), and is not fit for car parking. It would be helpful if the Parish Council could either reinstate the area as a fit-for-purpose car park or accept that this statement is misleading and remove it. If there is no requirement for it, there would be no need to allocate any funds.
    Although I live in Funtington, I do agree with all the comments above about the fitness equipment. I understand that it was not ‘demand led’ and that the PC accepted the funding without actively establishing any need. It is indeed an eyesore.

  • Ros Brandon says:

    FPC minutes of December meeting are not displayed on West Ashling noticeboard as “too long.”
    Much of the content is about the important concerns voiced by the residents of West Ashling regarding The Dell and surrounding area.
    The complete minutes are displayed on the Funtington notice board opposite the Fox and Hounds.
    They are also on the website.
    The next meeting is at the village hall on Wednesday 7th February at 630pm

  • Lauren Sole says:

    I have really enjoyed using the new Gym equipment at the dell ! It is perfect for a quick muscle workout after a jog around the local area!

    Come summer I will be using the equipment a lot more! Also saves lots of £££’s as I now don’t need to use the gym!

  • Nick Dunnett says:

    I have been questioning the mispent money on the Pavilion and indeed the behaviour of Mr Keech for several years.
    Now, the PC having gone a step too far by installing these quite horrific exercise machines, have the residents become outraged. Very qualified people agree that they provide little physical benefit and the visual impact in this wonderful little area has been hideously damaged.
    From the very start some years ago when the PC wanted to remove the three Copses, they adopted an obnoxious and hostile attitude to the residents and have continued to ignore their views.
    The Public now insist these machines are removed. A suitable area would be on the grass adjacent to the playground next to the Village Hall.

  • Beryl Cathie says:

    I have traced my family back to the 1500s as living in the Ashling/Bosham area. My father and his siblings attended the school in the early 1900s My cousin (on my mother’s side) attended in the 40s, myself in the 50s. The dell was used as a playing field. All the local children played games there, these included rounders, football, cricket and cowboys and Indians. Much fun was had by all. Children from Ratham, Funtington, and Hambrook came as the Dell was the gathering place. The blackberry picking was enjoyed by many. Our mothers would make jam, pies and puddings. We had an excellent village football team which was well supported and all they required were goalposts and a ball They did, however enjoy an orange at half time. There was no need for changing facilities as they lived a few minutes away from the pitch. I moved from the village when I married but still have family living at School Dell and have visited often. In my youth the grass was not cut, it was kept down by the number of people making use of the area. Butterflies and wild flowers were to be found with the longer grass at the edges. Was it really necessary to erect a pavilion for a non existent football team? Surely, once real interest had been shown to form a village team, that would have been the time to think of providing something. We are not looking for manicured grounds, a more natural look would encourage all wildlife and a welcome return of blackberries. As for the gym equipment, it is an eye-sore and spoils what has always been a natural area. it looks totally out of place.

    • Ros Brandon says:

      I do hope that the Parish Councillors can now show some humility and admit that their decisions for the Dell have been wrong and misguided – however well intentioned.
      By so doing they would be able to earn some respect from those who they have opted to represent.

  • Nick Dunnett says:

    Writing this from the sunny shores of Florida, visiting my son, is not the ideal way to send time away, but I feel compelled because of the importance of this escalating situation with the Parish Council. While there has been increased support from local residents it’s ever more important to stand in arms to ensure our voice is fully heard.
    I am thankful to those keeping me informed but I remain concerned that the PC is still not listening to their residents whose interests they are supposed to serve.
    The PC seems to continue to push initiatives that appear to be in the interests of the few, and not the majority. In the interest of what is right for the community and it’s residents I appeal to you all to become involved, make your voice known, attend the meetings, sign partitions and in particular put a stop to the madness in the Dell sending more good money after bad —- YOUR TAX MONEY! Do it before it is too late and we regret the action that we could have prevented.

  • R Golds says:

    I for one think it is a great asset to the community. I know a lot of locals who were really pleased to see the equipment go in and are grateful for the lottery funding which is encouraging exercise in a space which is meant for the entire community.
    There will always be positive and negative opinions on these matters but please be mindful that that goes both ways and you cannot generalise ‘the residents’ as those with the same opinion as yours.
    I have lived here all my life, and for me personally, I have never felt that the Dell was a space that was welcoming. Having the equipment there has certainly changed that for me and I have visited it more in the last few months than I have in 30 odd years! So thank you to the Parish Council for providing this equipment.

  • Jane Messenger says:

    A waste of money. I have yet to see anyone using this ugly equipment. I don’t recall any public consultation.

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