Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey news
Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey news

REMINDER: Tonight, Friday, is the Fleur de Paris duo concert in Offham Church Hall at 7.30pm. The concerts are very much in demand all over the country and abroad. If you have not booked your ticket and want to go, it is always worth ringing Judith on 01273 474356 to see if there are any seats left. Tickets cost £11 to include light refreshments and a glass of wine.

JUMBLE SALE: The Community Jumble Sale is tomorrow, Saturday in the village hall, Beechwood Lane at 2pm. Jumble can be taken to the hall on Friday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm, or on Saturday morning between 10am and noon. All profits go towards community events. Information from Anita Walker on 01273 472595.

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Mothering Sunday Family Service (flowers for mums) followed by coffee in the hall.

PARISH COUNCIL: At the latest Hamsey PC meeting council noted the current financial situation and noted that a grant of £7,000 had been received from the trustees of the village hall towards the cost of the public convenience. Council considered funds available toward play equipment at the recreation ground. Cllr McBrown explained that the play equipment was beyond repair and a group of hall trustees, councillors, parents and Hamsey School had put together a bid for funding. Trustees of the hall offered £9,00 and Cllr McBrown proposed that the parish council match that amount. It was seconded by the chairman, Cllr Ginn, and approved by all.

PLANNING MATTERS: The meeting was adjourned to hear comments from retired planning officer, Jim Redwood, who is now a Cooksbridge resident regarding application LW/16/0935. He said the Hamsey Neighbourhood Plan required new buildings to be of excellent design and this one is not. There were still concerns regarding the siting of the electric substation. Amendments for this application are for converting two of the houses into four flats but this provides no more bedrooms throughout the site. This is a poor design and the site is too tight to squeeze in 27 houses. Lewes District Council should take the Hamsey N Plan seriously. Regarding LW/16/0030 and 0117 he said this is a policy issue since the site is a mineral/waste site, not residential. Housing was allowed to support business use, which allowed less affordable housing to be provided. An appraisal from the developer states that business use is not viable but as this is not a housing site, development here would be against LDC policy and as LDC has sufficient land available for house, this should be refused.

REQUEST: Following a request from a resident, council had asked ESCC to clean Whitfield Lane. This has been done, but not very well. Cllr Harmer said the hedge at Yeomans overhung the lane to an extent which forced vehicles off the road. The clerk will contact the owners asking for the hedge to be cut back. The PC has requested reports on any tree clearing in Offham. IT was reported that just two people had come forward offering to produce a new sign for the parish logo.

RAIL AND BUS ISSUES: There has been no response on the 2018 timetable changes, but one success is that the 10.47pm train from Victoria will now stop at Cooksbridge. Cllr Baughan had a copy of the London-Brighton rail study which includes the Lewes-Uckfield link and concludes investment must be in the existing line and the Lewes-Uckfield link will not be considered for re-opening for 30 to 40 years, unless private investment comes forward. The Station Partnership still needs new members from the parish or neighbouring parishes. Cll Baughan has contacted Network Rail regarding the Sunday crossing closures. Traffic diverted down Beechwood and Hamsey Lanes has ruined the verges and was dangerous. Chairman, Cllr Ginn, reported that Compass have donated £75 towards the new Cooksbridge bus shelter and BBM have offered £150 for which the PC are most grateful.

TELEPHONE BOX: Hartley Quinn Wilson have agreed to fit shelving in the telephone box in Cooksbridge for a book swap. Cllr D’Arienzo said volunteers are needed to thoroughly clean the box. She will get a quote for four signs for the top of the box and the clerk will also get a quote.

MOVING NEWTS: Rural landowners have welcomed the national roll out of a reformed licensing process that will make it easier to develop housing and conserve great rested newts at the same time. Across England, Natural England will conserve habitats for great crested newts as part of the white paper announced in February, saving developers time and money by removing the need for expensive surveys and individual licences currently required to relocate newts before any building takes place.

ETHICAL CAVIAR: Following the plans for a fish farm in East Chiltington, which was strongly opposed and refused, I was interested to read about a family in Leeds who won a first Ethical Caviar licence. The report says that a British company has become the first in the world to receive a licence to ethically remove fish eggs for caviar. KC Caviar Ltd will allow its sturgeon to ‘retire to lakes in Hungary and Bulgaria instead of killing the fish when they take the eggs.’ As part of its no kill promise, the firm will use ultrasound to ensure that eggs are only taken when the fish, which can grow up to 7ft, is ready. Usually a sturgeon is kept for around six to seven years before being stripped of its eggs and then killed. The farm uses insulated poly-tunnels with stream water running through the holding tanks. It is the only company in the world to use the ultrasound method and have been granted a licence for two years so far. It sounds a much more humane way than having to kill the fish after they have been stripped of their eggs.

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