CORRECTION: Having written well in advance about he church being decorated for Christmas, unfortunately the date was incorrectly printed. It should have read Saturday, December 22, and not Saturday December 2.
CHURCH SERVICE: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, Offham, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee in the hall.
NEIGHBOURHOOD ALERT: Some time ago I was persuaded to register with In The Know Surrey and Sussex so that I received Neighbourhood Alert to find out what is happening in our area, such as crime updates and crime prevention advice and news. As I don’t like emailing, my son very kindly gets it all up on the computer for me, along with any important messages for our area. Unfortunately someone who is also registered has got in touch and I received a message that a new user has applied to join the Ditchling Road scheme, which they refer to as mine. I must point out that although I started N Watch for this area in 1982, over the years there have been many changes, ie changes in the police force, many people getting older and not wanting to get involved and sadly some of the coordinators have passed on or left the district. I should also point out to the new user that when it started it covered the whole of the parish; Coosbridge, Offham,, Hamsey and St John Without. There has never been a separate scheme for Ditchling Road. Even though N Watch is a shadow of what it used to be, the coordinators that are still left keep in touch and by doing this we are in fact still keeping an eye open in our areas. If the person who is keen to join a scheme please get in touch with me, I can point him or her in the right direction. Those days have gone when we use to all get out local news leaflet and local village bobbies. It was the Plumpton one that helped me get set up in 1982.
PARISH COUNCIL: Hamsey PC met on November 8. A request for a grant of £550 towards mowing at Hamsey churchyard was agreed by all. Grant funding from HPC to show £450 as general grant s.137 and £550 as grant s.214 in future. Council considered the budget and precept requirements for 2019/20. It was noted that both LDC and ESCC have cut back hard on what they can supply, leaving parish councils to cover the shortfall. Mowing verges in Cooksbridge was one example of funds now having to come from the parish. Council agreed the precept needs to cover these extras.
PLANNING MATTERS: LW/18/0633 The Orchard, North End Lane, Hamsey. Construction of a detached three bedroom house. No objection but some concerns raised. SDNP/18/05195/HOUS Mill Laine Farm, The Street, Offham. Alterations and extension to former farmhouse with loft conversion Members of planning team will carry out a site visit. SDNP/18/04909/FUL Offham Farm, The Street, Offham. Construction of one livestock building barn for housing cattle and SDNP/18/04908/FUL Offham Farm, The Street, Offham. Construction of one livestock building barn for housing sheep. Cllr Harmer explained that the barns are recycled units from another farm. They will have chalk floors and a concrete front piece. Planning consent is needed due to the nearby listed building. The barns will be partly sunk and no higher than existing barns on site. They may be visible from the road but probably not from the neighbours. Members of the planning team would carry out a site visit. To note any decisions by LDC or SDNP: SDNP/18/03124/HOUS Bretts Cottages, Whitfield Lane, Hamsey. Alterations to brick outbuilding (attached to main house) to crate a conservatory. Granted. LW/18/0577 21 Malthouse Way, Cooksbridge. Proposed porch extension. Refused. Council discussed the landscaping for the Chatfield site. The trees are not yet planted and look very immature and poorly. Cllr Baughan will follow this up.
VILLAGE HALL: Cllr McBrown reported that the kitchen had now been refitted and was more suitable and easier to keep clean. This was funded through the CIL grant. Tow new hall trustees had been appointed. Rea Hamilton from Hamsey School and Tamsyn D’Arienzo. Delia Minoprio had stepped down as a trustee and taken a paid role as secretary, data protection officer and website administrator to the trustees. There will be one more double swing installed but probably not until the new year now. There was a tree planting morning involving children from Hamsey School which took place on November 20. The trees were supplied free of charge by the Woodland Trust and will help to landscape the new car park.
OTHER ITEMS: The ESCC emergency planning officer has offered to run a workshop for parish councillors. Date to be arranged. A report from Cllr Baughan has been circulated. A deadline has passed for Cllr Sheppard and ESCC to respond regarding repairs to a footway between Cooksbridge and Offham Garage. Cllr Baughan has asked Maria Caulfield to apply pressure for these repairs. Council noted that a resident had also contacted ESCC regarding this and hoped more people would complain as this all adds weight to the council’s request. Speedwatch needs more volunteers to come forward. Anyone interested in helping reduce speed through Cooksbridge should contact the PC Chairman.
I SPOKE TOO SOON: When I said that hopefully the huge lorry issues had been solved as the following Monday I had a huge one trying to get in here, but finding it difficult he then decided to back out onto the B2116 yet again. Then last Wednesday, yet another huge vehicle had made an attempt to get in and had opened both of our main gates and left marks where they had been. It is getting dangerous. A very worried man came in here and asked me if Barleys Cottage was part of this farm. I won’t tell you what I felt like saying to him, but he told me he was driving along just past Picketts bend towards here and had to brake sharply when he was confronted by a large lorry unloading in the middle of the road. I sympathised with him but assured him it was nothing to do with Courthouse Farm.