Conflict caused by Felpham Relief Road name change

Both the district and county council are said to want to call the road Charles Purley Way, while Felpham councillors want it called Dominica Smith Way
Both the district and county council are said to want to call the road Charles Purley Way, while Felpham councillors want it called Dominica Smith Way
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A row has broken out over what the new relief road should be named.

Both Arun District Council (ADC) and West Sussex County Council (WSCC) reportedly want to call it Charles Purley Way, after the founder of LEC Refrigeration.

Council representatives opening the relief road in early March

Council representatives opening the relief road in early March

Felpham councillors, though want it named after a woman from the village who was key in getting it built.

Paul English, district councillor for Felpham, told a parish council meeting on Tuesday: “I did send an email to Arun District Council stating that it was discussed by Felpham Parish Council that the road should be named after Dominica Smith, who’s one of the main Felpham instigators to get the road done, over some 30 years.

“She was a parish councillor, she was chairman of this council, and she was an independent West Sussex county councillor for Felpham.

“She is very much Felpham orientated, so we believe the Felpham part of the road should be named after her.

The relief road has cut congestion in Felpham dramatically, parish council chairman David Edwards said.

The relief road has cut congestion in Felpham dramatically, parish council chairman David Edwards said.

“I feel this has been roughroaded over by West Sussex County Council, who want the road named Charles Purley Way, rather than Dominica Smith Way.

“I don’t think that’s right, in the sense that he’s not a Felpham person, he never campaigned for the road.”

Cllr English urged Felpham residents to write letters to both ADC and WSCC objecting to the name Charles Purley Way, which he said was ‘ridiculous’.

Parish council chairman David Edwards, who is also a district councillor for Felpham, said: “I was a little surprised. Charles Purley clearly is a celebrity in his own right for Bognor Regis, but not for Felpham. He lived in Middleton, not in Felpham.”

He added: “The road had been talked about for a long time but it never really got off the ground until she got involved, and she fought and fought to keep it on the table. If she hadn’t, I’m not sure we’d have it now.”

The Bognor Regis Northern Relief Road, which links Shripney to Felpham, opened in March and has already made a ‘dramatic difference’ in reducing traffic in Felpham, Cllr Edwards said in his 2015/16 chairman’s report.

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