Cooksbridge, Offham and Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, 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.

HOLLYCROFT: Plans are now underway to carry out a local Landscape Character Assessment of East Chiltington. The assessment will collate information about the parish landscape including its geology, historical features and importantly, the PCs response to it as local residents. It is part survey and part oral history project and a fantastic opportunity for parish residents and the PC to learn more about where they live and to contribute their stories and memories of living in a unique part of the South Downs. A core group has formed to steer the LLCA but it is really a community project and the PC need as many voices on the assessment as possible. Watch the website for further information about particular events which will be held. If you would like to be involved in any way, contact Steve Toomey toomey99@gmail.com

CPRE: The following response has been received from CPRE regarding Lewes District Council’s Development Plans. CPRE make the following comments on the list of council-owned sites being promoted as potential residential development sites, and on the manner of their selection: CPRE applauds the decision to evaluate the potential of council-owned sites to deliver additional affordable housing within the district and concur with the judgement that there is indeed a need for additional affordable housing, broadly defined. Their view is that an essential first step should have been to review the current roles of the council-owned sites with users and other stakeholders, in particular town and parish councils, to identify which council-owned sites are indeed surplus to current requirements and so are available for consideration for other uses. The failure to undertake any such assessment with stakeholders has led to the project becoming quite unnecessarily controversial. This omission has been extremely counter-productive and has put the whole project in jeopardy. The omission has been compounded by appallingly ineffective communication with stakeholders during the public consultation. Several dozen EC residents were given to believe that the first consultation event at Peacehaven was their only opportunity to comment on the proposals for their village. They made the effort to turn up at an overcrowded venue miles away from their homes, which forced many people to stand for the duration of the meeting and then told that the Peacehaven event was to discuss Peacehaven sites only and that they had wasted their time. The LDC website states that the first round of consultations has been completed, but no consultation events have been held in some of the communities with listed sites. CPRE say that the first step that any sensible developer would take and the first step that the great majority of aspirant developers do take, is to evaluate the potential of their proposed sites against national and local planning policy. Certain policies appear simply to be being ignored and according to CPRE the senior council officer leading the project appeared to confirm at the East Chiltington consultation event that she had no intention of paying them any regard.

I probably should not say so but I do support the concerns of the residents of EC as from 1987 until 1995 I was the District Cllr for EC and for various reasons I spent a lot of time visiting Hollycroft where I used to meet the residents and the children who told me how they wanted to play football on the playing field and with that in mind I managed to persuade Terry Powell, who at that time was our leisure services officer, to get me a net for the goal post which some kind person had constructed. It was always referred to as the Hollycroft playing field where the children could play in safety.

RAGWORT: Have you pulled. Ragwort growing within 50.9m of a horse should be pulled out immediately as, despite the insect life it supports, the deadly yellow weed is poisonous to horses as it can cause a slow death from liver failure. The British Horse Society is asking people to share pictures of themselves pulling up ragwort, wearing gloves for skin protection or bagging it up for disposal. For advice visit www.bhs.orguk/ragwort.

SUSSEX CALLING: The Sussex Wildlife Trust is seeking 12 striking photographic images to grace its 2016 calendar, which has the theme My Wild Sussex. There is a first prize of £100, contestants can enter up to five pictures, all in landscape format, which should be at least 1MB in size and the closing date is September 30. Photographs should be uploaded onto https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk

NATIONAL PARKS: A Youth Cabinet has been formed for people aged 16 to 25 years to get involved with running their local national park, the first one was launched for Northumberland.

FRACKING PROTESTERS: The Government is to speed up development by giving councils only 16 weeks to process shale-gas planning applications and may intervene if plans are blocked.

ARTWAVE: As part of Lewes Artwave, Tom and Anita Walker will be holding Open House and Gardens at Ferndale, Cooksbridge tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm.

TALK: A Wanderer in Doubt is the title of Tom Walker’s talk in Ditchling Village Hall on Friday, September 18, from 7pm to 9pm. Tickets available at Ditchling Post Office or from Tom Walker 01273 472595 email tom@tommwalker.co.uk. Tickets cost £7 with proceeds going to the Monday Club.

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