Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

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SAVAGE DOG ATTACK: I was so sorry to read about a dog attack on Hugh Passmore’s sheep in West Sussex. Although the incident was reported to the police, they have not found the culprit. The sheep was left with terrible wounds and had to be put down. James Osman, who is the NFU Sussex County Adviser, said: Most dog owners and walkers are considerate, but we are very concerned at the rising number of attacks on livestock by dogs that we hear about from farmers. Even if dogs don’t physically attack livestock, chasing them can cause pregnant cows and sheep to abort or lead to panicked stock getting tangled up in fences. Figures from Sussex Police show that there were 121 recorded cases of livestock worrying in 2014, but this is often only a small proportion of the actual number of attacks. James Osman added: Livestock worrying is a crime and the law allows farmers to shoot dogs that are worrying livestock and owners could be prosecuted. We ask anyone who sees livestock being chased by dogs to contact the farmer or police immediately. Having had a dog or dogs worrying sheep here in the last few years, my heart goes out to the farmer as it is not a pleasant sight to find your livestock have been attacked and mauled. There are still some dog owners that use the bridleway here that just loose them off of the lead, even though we usually have sheep in our fields both sides of the bridleway and there are signs asking people to keep their dogs on a lead.

STRANGE PLANT: a strange plant has appeared near where I feed the birds on the lawn. It has huge leaves and for over a month has been flowering. The flowers are white and trumpet shaped. I have now discovered once the blooms die there are green bristly cone shaped things where the flowers were.

PARISH COUNCIL: At the recent Hamsey Parish Council meeting Cllr Baughan was asked to take the chair in the absence of the chairman and vice chairman. PC wants to increase the number of councillors from seven to eight. The chairman, Cllr Ian Ginn, had contacted Lewes District Council who will look at the request, but not before October 2016. The chairman will also be contacting and meeting ESCC Highways on site about the clearance of the pavement between Cooksbridge and Lewes to show the problem with vegetation etc. Plans submitted include LW/15/0587: Land at Cosy Dene, Cooksbridge road, Cooksbridge. Construction of a detached dwelling. LW/15/0659 Sunnyside, Resting Oak Hill, Cooksbridge. Removal of bay window and porch to south east (front) elevation and construction of porch and lean-to and double fronted bay windows and replacement sash windows to first floor. There were no members of the Parish Council Planning committee at the meeting and the clerk had received no report. The clerk was asked to get a one week extension for comments on LW/15/0587 so that the PC had time to respond. Another application had been received too late to be an agenda item and could not be discussed. Council agreed application SDNP/15/03962, together with LW/15/0857 and LW/15/0659 will be delegated under standing orders. Council discussed concerns that single dwellings granted permission in the parish could not count towards the numbers required (30). There are limits on where, within the planning boundary, any development of six properties could go and it was felt individual plots fitted better.

Decisions taken by LDC or SDNP. Construction of a detached three bedroom house at The Orchard, North End Lane has been granted. Construction of a detached garage at Flint Cottage, Ditchling Road, St John Without was also granted. As was the construction of up to 25 dwellings at Chatfields Yard, Cooksbridge.

A reply from LDC had been received following the parish council’s concerns that Hamsey School cannot suitably accommodate children from the 48 houses agreed in Beverbridge, 24 agreed opposite the school and 36 planned for East Chiltington. The reply offered a meeting with the officer delivering the new homes scheme. Gillian Marsden, Cllr Baughan and the Chair suspended the meeting to ask LDC Cllr Linington her advice. Cllr Baughan reconvened the meeting and council considered it might be useful to invite the head of Hamsey School to attend any meeting regarding capacity and suitability of the classrooms etc. Parking problems at the school had not improved and in fact were a whole lot worse. It had been reported that some parents were parking in Covers yard despite staff telling them that this dangerous practice had to stop. Cllr McBrown would be asking the head teacher at the school to highlight this in the school newsletter and Cllr Suttie will raise the issue through the magazine.

In July there was one incident of criminal damage reported which occurred on a farm in Cooksbridge where pheasants were let loose and their sheds damaged. There was one incident of harassment reported in August. This was in connection to an ongoing neighbour dispute in Cooksbridge and is being managed by the Lewes N Hood Policing Team.

LITTER PICK: There will be a parish litter pick on Saturday, October 10. Cllr Baughan will produce a simple poster with the details.

The next parish council meeting is on Thursday, November 19.