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01/06/2016 - Newsletter with Chairman's Report

June 2016 Newsletter with Chairman's Report

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2016

 

This report attempts to highlight the important issues that have impacted on the Parish over the past year.

 

1) I would suggest that the most individual issue and achievement this year was the completion of the Neighbourhood Plan (NP). It has been three years in the making for both Lindfield Parishes and within that period extensive investigations have taken place with the substantial involvement of residents. We have held many exhibitions and ’pop in’ sessions over the years and the whole process has culminated in the approval of the Government Examiner, MSDC and finally the Referendum when there was a substantial majority of residents in favour of the NP. I would like to take this opportunity of recording my thanks to all residents who took part in the process but a special thanks to Alan Gomme (LPC) and Andy Spooner (LRPC) for their exceptional involvement in ensuring a successful result.

 

2) The first test of the NP came with the planning application from Wates for 200 homes off Scaynes Hill Road Walstead. Although the NP was in place both the MSDC District Plan and the 5 year housing supply were not ratified. In the end, however, the MSDC Committee of Councillors rejected the Wates application by a substantial majority.

We do, however, have several further proposed planning applications around the Parish waiting in the wings namely the Taylor Wimpey development for 140 homes in the Gravelye Lane/Scamps area of Lindfield – this application is required to be considered by MSDC within the next few weeks. We are waiting planning applications for 50 dwellings in the Portsmouth Wood area of Lindfield (access opposite Haywards Heath Golf Club) and the proposal for 55 residences on a site adjacent to The Inn on the Green in Scaynes Hill - vehicular access would be by way of Anchor Hill.

The Parish Council (PC) has yet to decide how they will focus on the above when the applicants decide to submit a planning application to MSDC.

The Parish Council viewed 78 applications most of which were acceptable to the community.

 

3) The residents of Scaynes Hill had requested their own allotments way back in 2011 (Scaynes Hill Action Plan) and the Parish Council had been attempting to establish suitable land but be confident that there was still the demand. We believe we have achieved that goal and Council has approved the purchase of land in Clearwater Lane. The purchase process is in hand at present and a rough guide of layout has been presented to Councillors. It is proposed to install mains water and adequate parking both on site.

 

4) Other main features of the year were as follows

 

a. Burial Ground – The cemetery continues to provide funds for the community and the Chapel and Lodge are let also providing additional funds. Additional cremation plots were created in the Remembrance Garden and we have been able to establish an approximate 10 year supply of burial plots within the existing burial ground.

 

b. The Scaynes Hill Common and Anchor Pond continue to be maintained as a result of advice from local environmental groups. With the latter Council has recently approved the provision of new fencing around the pond and with the Common, the Sustainability Group has agreed to advise as a wild flower meadow on half of the Common.

 

c. Gravelye Lane Allotments continue to thrive thanks to the continued support from a small band of volunteers who maintain the allotments. It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of George Mason this year. He was our chief maintenance fellow for many years. George was awarded the Allotment Cup which was presented to his widow, Mavis at the Parish meeting

 

d. MSDC have extended the number of “dog bins” in the District and Council has been able to increase the number within the Parish. The new locations can be viewed at the Parish Office

 

e. A full list of works carried out and outstanding including projects to the funded by developers is available at the Parish Office.

 

f. Following on the WSCC street lighting review, the PC is carrying out their own review of their lighting. Unlike WSCC, the PC is installing LED lights. The first lights to be replaced are in Croxton Lane, Lindfield. A full list of street lighting owned by the PC can be obtained from the Parish Office.

 

g. The Parish Meeting on 25th April was again a great success attracting well over 70 residents. There were two main speakers, Richard Speller from WSCC Highways and Inspector Paul Woods explaining the remodelled community policing arrangement. The full report of the meeting may be obtained from the Parish Office.

 

5) We are pleased to announce that the Parish Council continues to maintain the precept (Council Tax) at the same level as preceding years.

 

6) The Parish Council continues to support local charities the list of which is held by the Clerk.

 

7) Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my fellow Councillors, Di (Clerk until December when she resigned). Christine Field and Lin Stockwell for their support over the past year. However, my special thanks must go to Vera (previously our Finance Officer but now Clerk) and Irene for their extreme endeavours over the first four months of this year in a period of frantic activity. I would like to welcome Sarah Anderson who has taken up the role of Finance Officer.

 

John Dumbleton