The word ‘joy’ has seldom caused so much anger.
A group of residents in Chichester are said to be in ‘uproar’ over a new road being named Joy Lane.
They are furious with Chichester city councillors for their choice of name, and at Wednesday night’s meeting, one of those, John Lesley, said: “This lane backs onto a number of properties in Orchard Street.
“There are nine properties which back onto it...of the eight properties that are occupied, eight people are in various stages of uproar about this decision.
“They don’t live on this road, but they use it for access to the back of their properties.
“I think what has caught us all out is, in the initial paperwork we saw, this road was going to be named Orchard Lane, and there are a lot of Orchards around.”
The new lane provides access to a new development and Mr Lesley said residents were caught by surprise when the Joy Lane sign went up on Monday morning.
A 15 minute discussion followed, where councillors explained the name choice made reference to renowned former Chichester High School teacher Mr Joy.
City councillor Jane Kilby said the decision was taken at a meeting in September after much consideration.
She said: “Can I assure you the planning and conservation committee takes street naming very seriously and if possible to have a local connection.
“Orchard Lane was discounted due to the plethora of Orchard-named roads in the near proximity. You have Orchard Avenue, Orchard Street, Orchard Gardens.”
Other names discounted included Park View and Field View, she said.
Cllr Kilby said: “Joy Lane was chosen in reflection of Mr Joy senior, who is a well-known local artist and teacher at the Boys High School who was involved in local charities.
“The committee commented how future residents of this development would like to live in such a road Joy Lane because it has hope and vision.”
Cllr Clare Apel said: “As one of the ward councillors for the west I do know there has been disquiet amongst a number of the residents regarding the planning application and subsequently to name it, and it has caused a significant amount of unhappiness.
“Unfortunately I hadn’t realised it was on the planning and conservation committee agenda when it came up.
“The only thing I can say is it is not very popular amongst a number of residents.”
Cllr Richard Plowman said the committee had spent a ‘long time discussing it’ and other options like Brewery Lane were discounted because ‘it’s probably undesirable to live somewhere called Brewery Lane’.
He said: “There was a meeting and the opportunity for people to come forward at that time and there was nothing.
“I think the process has been done, the meeting was September and now it’s only just come out in December so I think it’s too late as far as changing it.”
Mr Lesley said residents had assumed the original Orchard Lane would remain and had not known about the meeting.
Cllr Peter Budge said: “As I believe with a change of name for a road, if the residents of the road themselves request a change and pay the fee, it can be reconsidered.”
Clerk Rodney Duggua responded that a six-month wait was required before a challenge could be made against a council decision.
Mayor Peter Evans then put it to a vote, with 12 in favour of keeping the name, and two against, meaning Joy Lane will remain the name.