TAKE A WALK: If you fancy some heathy exercise there is an opportunity to join up with the Footpath Society tomorrow (Saturday) when members will gather at the Windmill pub car park, Fittleworth (TQ193 205) at 10.30am prior to setting off on a four mile, flattish walk that passes the monastery at Parminster and offer the opportunity of a pub lunch although this will not be obligatory. If you need to know more simply ring 01273 891218.

LEVEL CROSSING: On Sunday the Parish Council Planning Committee met to consider the Listed Building Planning Application submitted by Network Rail to replace the existing crossing gates with barriers. The question posed was whether or not the proposal would offer sufficient benefits to warrant the loss of this example of our heritage. The committee was unanimous in saying that it saw no such advantages and, in fact, saw that disadvantages would be incurred. The advice to Lewes District Council was thus that the Parish Council opposed the proposal. If LDC takes heed of this result then it is anticipated that Network Rail will lodge an appeal, although the Parish Council has pointed out that Network Rail owes it to society to preserve such a rare example of the Victorian railway system that its predecessors created. The level crossing provides a gateway to the South Downs National Park and there are many who believe that this is a valuable part of our heritage. Not only that, but the Planning Committee foresaw that safety would be prejudiced if the proposal was approved. Network Rail has indicated that if it cannot implement its proposal then the crossing will be allowed decline so that it is inoperable and thus the road will be closed. The road was there centuries before the Railway Company was allowed to cross it and such a threat, in my personal view, is immoral and verging on criminal. I do not advocate preserving a building or other feature just because it is old, but our level crossing is probably the last remaining example of such a station complex in the whole of Sussex. Economics is what doubtless drives Network Rail with such ruthlessness that seemingly our heritage has no place in its plans.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: The Steering Group has met again and strives to implement its plans to shape the future of the village’s development whilst complying with the imposition of housing development within Plumpton Green. The process is complex and at every twist and turn revisions have to be made to ensure that every single procedure is complied with. Plumpton has been complimented on the thoroughness of its procedure to date, but at every stage it finds new hurdles to cross. It is as frustrating for the Parish Council and Steering Group as well as residents that progress is hindered, but there will be a meeting in September at which the preferred sites for development will be announced and it is hoped that the recommendations will meet with the approval of a significant majority. One must face up to the fact that whatever sites are selected there will be opposition from those most likely to be affected. It will be impossible to come up with a plan that everyone will be happy with. The object is to find a solution that will have the least adverse effect on our community and hopefully produce some benefits.

UNSOCIABLE BEHAVIOUR: In my view that is a so called politically correct description of vandalism or the true description of criminal behaviour. There have been several instances of such activities of late, particularly in the vicinity of the playing field. The police have been informed of incidents and there is a promise that random patrols of that and other areas will be ongoing. We live in a village community in which we are expected to respect each other, each other’s property and community assets. If the braindead cannot accept such principles then they have no place in our village environment and, if they are young, then their parents should exercise proper control over their offspring. The schools are closed for the summer holidays so bad parents cannot expect teachers to be in control for the next few weeks. As far as the older yobs are concerned, is it not time that they started to grow up?

PLUMPTON WI: A good attendance at this month’s meeting saw us entertained by Sharon Lewis also known as ‘Forget Me Not’ her cabaret character. Her special interest is music from the 1920s to 1950s especially songs that would not have been approved by the BBC. Our August meeting on Wednesday August 12 will welcome Diane Page and her talk will focus on Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking. Visitors are always welcome. (Marilyn Nye).

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