Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Easter Sunday at St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday Shool in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by Easter Egg Hunt in the church grounds.

REMINDER: Tomorrow, Saturday, from 10am the church will be made to look beautiful for this most lovely season and with so many spring flowers bursting forth, it will as always look wonderful. Gifts of flower and greenery, along with lots of help, will be much appreciated.

PARISH COUNCIL: When East Chiltington PC met recently there were several reports worth noting. Local Landscape Character Assessment: A survey sheet has been produced and the work is progressing. The PC have considered repairs to the fingerpost, Chapel Lane/Novington Lane junction. EC Parochial Church Council will contribute 50 percent of the expected cost of £760 and ESCC will be the other 50 percent. The replacement post is due to be installed shortly. Two residents representing EC PC had attended the community transport (CTLA) meeting in Newhaven and gave an update. They had found the meeting very informative. The community transport service is available to everyone who wants to use public transport when a scheduled service is not available. It is easy and free to register with them as a user. The service is booked I advance and there is a small charge. The service needs better publicising and is also looking for funding. Cllr Webber felt there may be an opportunity for the parish to run a fund raising event. Council thanked the residents who had attended the meeting and hoped they would be able to attend the follow-up meeting in June. Plans for the parish to celebrate the 90th birthday of HM the Queen: Lighting the beacon; the post is leaning and there may be some rot. This must be checked before lighting on April 21 at 7.30pm. Cllr Webber was to gather a couple of helpers and inspect the post and report back to the PC with what needs to be done. The lighting of the beacon will not tie-in with the parish party, which will be on Saturday July 9. Future agenda items will be to note that Inspector Rob Lovell will attend the annual parish meeting on May 4 at 7pm to discuss changes to local policing within the parish. The next meeting will be the annual parish meeting, not to be confused with the annual parish council meeting. The annual parish meeting will be on Wednesday May 4 at 7pm in the village hall, followed by the annual parish council meeting at 7.30pm.

BRADNESS GALLERY: There are several courses in April: Tuesday and Wednesday, April 5 and 6, two day course with Janet Bolton, Crating Fabric Pictures; Tuesday April 12, one day course with Michael Cruickshank, Landscape Painting in Watercolours; Thursday April 14, one day course with Sarah Campbell, Hand Painting a Lampshade on Fabric; Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, two day course with Michael Cruickshank, Landscape Painting in Watercolours. Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19 and 20, two day course with Emma Burnett, painting Abstracts; Saturday April 23, one day course with Nigel Philips, Growing Vegetables at Home. To book for the above courses call Michael or Emma on 01273 400606.

HAMSEY PC: A resident asked for the position of the parish council regarding proposals by Rydon Homes to build opposite the village hall in Beechwood Lane. He had seen the pre-planning advise application lodged with SDNPA. The parish council has not been officially approached by Rydon Homes who have met informally with some members of the Neighbourhood Planning team and representatives from the parish council to present the plans. Cllr Dodd gave an overview of those meetings. A resident said that as the site is outside the planning boundary, in the National Park and not in Hamsey Neighbourhood Plan, the PC should not support it. Another resident felt that there were not enough facilities in Cooksbridge to support more development yet. The community should decide were housing is needed. The council explained that the N Plan covered these points. Planning application SDNP/16/00484/FUL Curry Cottage, Offham Road, Offham (former Chalk Pit) Section 73A Retrospective Application or the change of use from A4 (drinking establishments) to A3 (restaurants and cafes) and A5 (hot food takeaways). Hamsey PC had no objection to a restaurant and takeaway providing the business also operated as a pub. Currently this use is A4 and not A3 as stated in the application. PC has no objection to the addition of A3 and A5 permits providing the A4 status is retained. The parish clerk will inform LDC. There is still no head teacher at Hamsey Primary School. Cllr McBrown offered to act as PC representative. Cllr D’Arienzo would contact the school governors to offer parish council support if needed. The Village Hall Trustees have secured funding towards a replacement to the old youth shelter but need to lay a foundation and access. They have asked if the PC will take this on with some financial assistance from the Trustees. The clerk was asked to obtain a couple of quotes and to call an extraordinary meeting of the council should a decision be needed before May. Trustees had discussed the PC offer to fund 50/50 a porta-loo for the summer months. They had felt a porta-loo to be unattractive and open to vandalism and the chairman of the Trustees has offered to gather costings for a permanent outdoor toilet built to the rear of the hall. Due to no-one coming forward to offer to organise this year’s Hamsey Festival, it has been cancelled. The Chairman, Cllr Ginn, raised the question of the height of the curbing in Beechwood Lane with ESCC who agreed that it did not meet the required standards, being far too easy for a vehicle to mount the pavement. Council agreed that ESCC should be asked to put this right at their own expense even though it may mean closing the lane. Council will ask for another meeting with ESCC regarding the continued problem of large vehicles destroying the verge as they try to access Little Mead. Inspector Rob Lovell will attend the annual parish meeting on May 19 at 7pm.

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