News from our Chairman

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Robert Bruce has stood down as a member of the Parish Council and I would like to thank him on behalf of the Parish Council for his contribution.

I am very pleased to announce that Nicholas Griffin has been co-opted to the Parish Council with effect from October. Please join me in welcoming Nicholas to the Council.

Good news on the Village Hall in that the Trust that owns the Hall, sole trustee the Parish Council, has been awarded a £10,000 grant by Mid Sussex District Council associated with emergency support for the losses suffered by the Hall due to loss of income during the pandemic. I would like to thank one of our District Councillors, Lin Stockwell, for her support in being awarded the grant.

The Community Orchard, consisting of 24 native apple, pear and plum trees, is to go ahead on a site in Finche Field. Sponsorship of £80 per tree, including full deer protection, is requested from individuals, families, or groups. Please contact the coordinator of the project Chris McClellan (07971 788052, chrisbmcclellan@gmail.com). Planting is to take place over a weekend in December and volunteers are required in numbers to help with the planting under the guidance of Chris and the local supplier, Courtlands Nursery. Please do look out for the date and volunteer to Chris if you are fit to help.

It was reported to the September Parish Council meeting that Mid Sussex District Council has given planning consent to the planned replacement of the Pavilion on North Lane Rec. In order to satisfy certain conditions of the consent further work is now needed on a soil survey and an updated tree report. At the same time discussions with the football club, the Sussex Football Association funding officer and local stakeholders are continuing; the Parish Council has built up limited reserves for this long standing project.

The Parish Council has access to section 106 money from Mid Sussex District Council specifically for projects to improve the neighbourhood following new residential development, this time the 14 new houses in Bluebell Wood. It is planned to use the money for improvements to the surface of the footpath from opposite the Vinols Cross down to the junction with the bridleway towards Bluebell Lane and the tarmacked path at the top of the
steps to Finche Field from Vinols Cross.

Talking of Bluebell Wood, now owned by the Parish Council and following a site visit, it is clear that there is a certain amount of metal debris associated with the site's historic industrial use. Some of it appears to be dangerous if care is not taken when walking in the wood. Further work on a plan to clear the debris and manage the wood going forward are being prepared. Generous offers of support have been received from local stakeholders.

Soundings of local landowners, especially the owners of the Gravetye Estate, about the feasibility of an off-road cycleway to East Grinstead have been encouraging. This is a long term project and will in due course have to involve the Highways Authority.

The reply from West Sussex County Council, the Highways Authority, about the traffic issues when The Hollow was closed without notice on 27th July was predictably standard with an assurance that in future the lack of communication between the contractors and the traffic management company will not occur again.

As 2020 draws to a close it is gratifying to observe that despite the ongoing pandemic the Parish Council has continued to maintain operations without interruption. A Winter Management Plan is in place with support from local stakeholders in the event of very cold weather; this includes road clearance, provision of grit bins and help for housebound and less mobile residents. If support is needed urgently and the office is closed please contact
any Parish Councillor; phone numbers and addresses are on the website.

Season's Greetings and a hope that 2021 will see an end to the pandemic and its associated suffering.

Douglas Denham St Pinnock
Chairman of West Hoathly Parish Council

Posted: Wed, 04 Nov 2020 08:00 by Claire Hilton

Tags: News