Cooksbridge, Offham and Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, at St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion; 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall; 10.30am parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

PARISH COUNCIL: At the annual Hamsey Parish meeting, Cllr Ian Ginn took the chair. The chairman reported on the year’s activities and business of the council. He reported that the footway from Cooksbridge to the village hall was completed. The Station partnership had had a little success regarding service improvements but there was more work to be done. There is still a need for improvements to the Station Bus Stop and he was trying to get action on that. Cllr Mike Dodd thanked the Neighbourhood Plan team for three years of hard work and said that at last the plan was ready to go to LDC. There will then be a consultation period and the plan will go to an external inspection and to referendum. It is recommended the plan be re-visited every five years.

PLANING APPLICATION: Cllr St Pierre said that she supported the planning application at Hamsey Brickworks even though the parish council and residents had objected to the number of houses and lack of any infrastructure to join the settlement to Cooksbridge. She supported the plans because residents did not want a waste site or dump there. She felt that developers would be supportive of a path to Cooksbridge but this is not a requirement of the application. She spoke about the care of youngsters and isolation of the elderly. A resident felt that the number of houses proposed was far too many and resident’s views had not been taken into account. The path should link the site to Cooksbridge and was concerned that there was no access from the site into any countryside or open spaces, even the woodland will be fenced off with no access for residents. Cllr St Pierre said consultation showed residents would be likely to want access north to Chailey for the Doctors surgery. A resident said there was already parking problems at Hamsey School and this development will make the situation worse.

ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Following the Annual Parish meeting Hamsey parish Council held their Annual PC meeting. Cllr Ginn in the chair welcomed new councillors and asked for nominations to take the chair for 2015/16. Cllr Ginn was proposed and seconded and Cllr Dodd was proposed and seconded for vice-chair. A resident asked why access to a privately owned field behind the recreation ground had been wired off. The footpath that only goes round the edge of the field was still accessible. The PC will ask ESCC to check the route. A resident asked if it was possible to install another dog mess bin beside the new footway in Beechwood Lane. The chairman had photographed vehicles destroying the verge in chandlers Mead, Little Mead. It has been reinstated but is constantly destroyed by large vehicles turning. Some posts have been put in but it is felt that the road junction needs widening. It was proposed and seconded that a grant of £500 for churchyard maintenance be given to Offham Church. It was proposed and seconded that a grant of £150 be given to the Monday Afternoon Club.

PLANNING: Council noted the reply from Norman Baker regarding the PC objections to the number of dwellings proposed at the former Hamsey Brickworks. Cllr Ginn was to meet with Ed Sheath, LDC, to discuss his request that parish councils be allowed to comment and vote at committee on applications within their own parish. Cllr Dodd felt the PC should continue to object and felt that PC should contact the new MP, Maria Caulfield.

VILLAGE HALL: Some issues are still outstanding with the new pavement and final cost not yet known. SDNPA have seeded the bare earth with wild flower mixture.

CLLR ROLES: Planning Committee will be Cllr Ginn, Cllr D’Arienzo, Cllr Harman. Other Cllrs may be called upon when needed. The planning committee will only deal with applications between council meetings. Cllr Ginn will continue to represent the PC at the Lewes District Association meetings. Cllr Dodd felt that with the possible increase in size of the parish and with eight residents coming forward for the election, perhaps the PC should look at increasing the number of councillors to eight. Barcombe has 11. The next meeting of the parish council is Thursday, July 16.

EAST CHILTINGTON: Members of the EC PC have attended a meeting with Gillian Marsden, had of Director of Business Strategy and Development (planning Policy). Very recently preliminary details of LDCs plans for 49 sites that are central to its property strategy have been released. These can be viewed at lewes.gov.uk/new homes. At the meeting it was reported that LDCs plan included the building of a quantity of housing on the Hollycroft Field. At first this was presented as social (rented council) housing, but later Ms Marsden said that it might possibly involve some shared ownership properties. The precise number of houses to be build has not yet been decided. However, as the total number of units for social housing to be built across the district is 165 and Hollycroft is seen as an important site, the guess is that the number is not going to be small. The PC say that this decision is contrary to all correspondence received concerning a willingness to consult over the principle of new housing, including carrying out a housing needs survey. It is also contrary to residents voting in favour of the site becoming a village green, to which LDC objected. LDC has agreed to consult again, with a number of public meetings prior to the submission of planning applications. They are not willing to complete a housing survey for East Chiltington. You can email newhomes@lewes.gov.uk or call 01273 471600.

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