Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Operation Blitz. I am pleased to say there were no reports of disturbances or anti social behaviour in Heathfield and the surrounding villages but other areas suffered as you will see by the Blitz report below.

Update on last weekend’s Operation Blitz activity. On Friday, police periodically patrolled Fernley Park, Sand Ridge and New Road in the Ridgewood area of Uckfield. There were a few interactions, but no issues or reports of nuisance behaviour.  At around 6:30pm there was a report of a possible fight in Hailsham High Street. When the team arrived they stopped a group of youths, a few of which were causing a bit of a nuisance – riding their bikes on the pavement and going the wrong way up the one-way street. Details were taken and they were sent on their way after some words of advice. Later in the evening, we received a call about youths drinking outside St. Henry’s Catholic School in Crowborough. Everything was in order when we arrived and there was no evidence that anyone had been drinking. Goldsmith’s Leisure Centre, Wolfe Recreation Ground and the Community Centre were also patrolled whilst police were in the area. The final call attended was to youths shoplifting from Tesco in Uckfield. After a negative search for the offenders, officers remained in the town on foot patrol. They had six calls to the Blitz phone on Saturday. Early on in the evening they attended Old Common Way in Uckfield after receiving a report of kids congregating. They also received complaints about a noisy party at The Diplocks, Hailsham; underage drinking on the school grounds a Beacon Academy in Crowborough; youths shouting and screaming in New Road, Uckfield and two females arguing and squaring up to each other in Jeffrey’s Walk, Uckfield. Police responded to all the calls and everything was in order once they’d arrived.

Heathfield was voted one of the top five towns in the UK to see house prices rise. Obviously our crime record has been taken into account when these surveys are carried out. Well done Heathfield!

PHISHING: Phishing is fraudulently sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to trick individuals into revealing personal information, such as passwords and financial information. Phishing can also be carried out over text messages (smishing) and phone calls (vishing). Don’t click on the links in unsolicited emails and texts. Don’t open the attachments in unsolicited emails. Don’t reveal personal or financial information as a result of unsolicited emails, texts or calls.

WEALDEN ALERTS: Pest Control. Wealden carry out a range of rodent and insect infestation treatments for Wealden residents. Please see Pest Control Charges page for details of charges. You can use Wealden’s online forms to request a Pest Control service or telephone on: 01323 443557. Once you have reported your infestation, a Pest Control Officer will contact you to make an appointment to visit. They can also provide advice on pest control matters and investigate and deal with complaints about infestations. Should you have any concerns about your treatment or require technical advice, please ring 01323 443557. Wealden do not provide a service for removing bees, however local beekeepers are often willing to collect a swarm. For advice on swarms or to find a local beekeeper please visit British Beekeepers’ Association (external link) Report a Pest Infestation on Your Property. Rats Advice. Information on preventing rats and advice on what to do if you have them at your home. Brown Tail Moths. Information on how you can prevent suffering from the painful rash that the moth’s caterpillars can cause. Insect Nuisance. Advice on what to do if you are experiencing problems with insects. A list of the pest control charges contact Rother and Wealden Environmental Health Service.

WEALDEN PAYMENT APP: Wealden have a new free payment app available for iPhone and Android users. You can use the new App to pay: Council Tax, Business Rates, Sundry Debtor Invoices, Benefits Overpayments, Council House and Garage Rents, Debt Recovery payments for Council Tax and Business Rates. You can also see your payment history on the App. You can download the Apple App (external link) or the Android App (external link) or search for Wealden Council on the App Store or on Google Play. Other services can be paid for via webportal, MyWealden. The Wealden Council App is available on iPhone and Android devices. It does not support any other mobile platforms. You can download it for free from the App Store or on Google Play. Check if your device is compatible on the App Store or on Google Play. The Wealden Council App is a free service, but please remember that the app needs an internet connection and your network operator may charge you for data depending on your mobile phone package. Alternatively, you can connect to WiFi to avoid data charges. The payment transaction takes place securely and all data is encrypted. Your card details are not stored on the App or by the council for your security.

CROSS IN HAND: Isenhurst Junction. No reported accidents last week.

RUGBY: Heathfield and Waldren Rugby Club announcement. The club is pleased to announce a half million pound development of the Club facilities. This is being driven by the success of all sections with thriving mini and junior sections, a men’s team punching above its weight and the new women’s team winning their league. The most noticeable and most successful section this winter has been the Ladies team which won their RFU development league and will step up a level next season. They are a great bunch of people who not only play decent rugby but take part in other activities and socialise together, generally having a rejuvenating impact on the whole club. The men’s team is now the highest ranked club in East Sussex (excluding Brighton) which is a remarkable achievement given the rural location and the small population on which the club is based. Most other clubs at this level are located in larger towns or south London. The club turns out three teams most Saturdays and welcomes new players of all standards and ages, the third team has a strong social rugby ethos. The mini and junior sections are a very noticeable part of the club, especially on Sunday mornings when the clubhouse bulges at the seams to contain hundreds of people. All of the age groups from Under 6 up to 17 and 18 year old Colts have lots of participants with coaches and managers who have completed the relevant RFU courses on coaching, safeguarding and first aid. Since the Ladies team also play on Sundays the changing facilities have been overwhelmed by the demand and this has driven the new developments. Planning permission is being sought for the extension of the clubhouse which will double the number of changing rooms, all of which will meet RFU criteria with inclusive showers and toilets. The social areas of the clubhouse will also be extended. It is hoped to commence work this summer and to complete before Christmas. Then in 2019 it is intended to convert the present muddy training area into a hybrid surface that will withstand adverse weather throughout the winter. Sufficient funding is in place for this year’s developments and fund raising for the balance is underway. Head Coach David Cook is keen to recruit players for both the men and women’s squads. Players who want to play at the best level available locally should consider joining this ambitious and developing club.

The Ladies have an Open Day on Sunday, May 13. The men’s squad will start pre-season training in early July with sessions every Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm.

ROTARY CLUB: April 21 Heffle Cuckoo Fair. The club gave its traditional support for the Heffle Fair on a day in which the weather contributed greatly to the success of the day. Often the weather is poor and although brave souls always make it, rain can diminish the attendance. The Cuckoo lady (our own Pam Fuller) released the Cuckoos (pigeons) in the traditional manner and the afternoon took its usual course with procession, bands and stands, cakes and food and a great deal of good humour. Overall £4,500 was raised for Demelza House Childrens Hospice.

MAYFIELD: Mayfacs Outings. The next planned outing is a trip to the Bluebell Railway for a Steam and Cream on Tuesday, June 5. Please contact Shirley Holland on 07908 516875 or Alex Firrell on 07389 050605 to book your place. Book now to avoid disappointment. Pop into the Old Library on a Monday or Tuesday to see Shirley or Alex and give them your ideas or jot your ideas down on the list in The Shopping Basket, Station Road, Mayfield or telephone Shirley or Alex, phone numbers above.

MIDDLE HOUSE LUNCHES: The Middle House lunches are held in the Middle House, High Street, Mayfield. They were originally started and organised by Age Concern, Mayfield and are a popular, subsidised monthly lunch club. The Middle House provides a two course lunch plus tea or coffee and they can accommodate up to around 40 people. Please contact volunteer co-ordinator Mrs Ruth Daniells on 01435 865711 about 10 days before the date of the next lunch. She will take your name and telephone number. Attendees currently pay £6.50 collected, preferably in cash by Ruth at the meal. Special diets are catered for, Anyone over 60 years can attend. The third Tuesday in the month, 12.30pm for a 1pm lunch. Next lunch May 15.

COFFEE, TEA, CHAT AND CAKE: This group is designed to encourage interaction between the demographic groups in both close knit communities. It provides an opportunity for people to chat, tell stories, share experiences, have a game of cards or dominoes maybe and is a good opportunity to suggest new MAYFACS activities. It also provides an opportunity for Mayfield residents to attend something in the lovely Five Ashes Village Hall and link up with other villagers and friends in a relaxing and welcoming environment. Yes, in case you are wondering, there are men who come along. If you are a parent, grandparent, carer or nanny, come and relax for half an hour with a brew and sumptuous cake before you pick up the children. We would be glad to see you and you would be most welcome. Next meetings May 9 and 23, cost £2.

ST DUNSTAN’S: Godparents Sunday May 6 at 10.15am Family Eucharist followed by cake and refreshments in the West End.

HORAM: Wesson’s Café Planning Application WD/2017/1969/MAJ A full application for: Demolition of an existing cafe, workshop and two self contained flats and construction of 11 flats, access, parking, landscaping and associated infrastructure. The full planning permission was refused, for the following reasons: Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, and indivisible from good planning. The proposed replacement building represents a material increase in size, bulk and massing on the site, which lies within the development boundary for Horam. The proposed building would create cramped relationships with the west boundary and appear too large and out of scale with the surrounding domestic and smaller scale commercial/community buildings. Linked to the large massing of the building on the site and its increased height to the rear part of the site it is concluded that the building is poorly articulated, lacking relief and cohesiveness in the design to assist in assimilating the massing of the elevations, notably to the east and west sides, into surroundings. The proposal would be harmful to the character of the area. In this regard, the proposal is considered to fail to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness and is contrary to saved policy EN27(1) , WCS14 of the Core Strategy Local Plan, together with paragraphs 14, 17, 59, 60 and 64 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

The application site lies in a central village location in Horam High Street where there are examples of significant demand for parking on street and within the Hillside Drive car park. The application proposal would provide 14 unallocated parking spaces for 11 x 2 bedroom flats. Having regard to the limited employment and service provisions near to the site, it is considered that the site will be largely car dependent and the occupiers of the development will be likely to require additional parking spaces to those defined on the plans within the application site.

Accordingly, the development is likely to further intensify demand for on and off street parking in the locality with increased incidences of casual parking, inconvenience and disruption to the flow and safety of traffic and other road users, including pedestrians, within the village. The inadequate parking provision within village centre location would therefore have potential highway and pedestrian safety implications within the vicinity of the site and not be regarded as sustainable development . There would be consequent conflict with saved policy TR3 of the Wealden Local Plan 1998, and SPO12 and WCS14 of the Core Strategy Local Plan 2013. Members of the Public. The following members of the public spoke against the application: Michael Cousins – Chairman of Horam Parish Council.

BLACKBOYS: Blackboys Inn Dates for your Diary. Steam Engine Rally Sunday June 9. Classic Car Show Sunday June 24. Open Mic Nights May 8 and 22.