The Annual Parish Meeting: last week wasn’t as well attended as it might have been but thankfully this didn’t have any bearing on the ‘business’ of the meeting! During the Chairman’s report it was mentioned that there was still a need for a neighbourhood plan, especially if we are to have any chance of limiting the amount of development, wanted, needed or not required in any shape of form! Later in the meeting a full report was given by the chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee on what has been happening since the last Annual Meeting and what is hoped to happen in the forthcoming 12 months. One of the things that is hampering progress of our Plan is the ever changing direction of the political wind and how if affects the housing numbers required in our area, not just our parish but the area as a whole. In order to give our Plan more of a chance of passing inspection we need to ensure that we have a realistic view of the amount of housing in the beginning, we can always revisit this in the future whenever necessary. The problems that Mid Sussex District Council has had with the District Plan and the housing allocation has impacted on how we arrive at our own numbers and how we can move forward; this is one of the reasons why the Parish Council appointed a firm of planning consultants to assist us and it has been working well, albeit a little slower than the Committee would have liked but at least it is going in the right direction. The Exhibition last month was a success in that the majority of those attended did complete and return feedback forms; the results of this Exhibition will be posted on the NHP website in due course. The current aim, if everything goes according to plan, is that from mid August through to the end of September the first draft of the report will be released to the parish for review; a revised report incorporating any and all comments will be released in December/January 2018 for review and if this second report is accepted, it is hoped that we will finally be able to vote on the Plan by this time next year! The whole process seems to be dragging on and on but we have to realise that certainly this year with local elections and the general election and the resulting shut down of local government, haven’t helped the cause, neither does the fact that everything that has to be reviewed by any statutory body takes six weeks at least! Having said all that, it is going in the right direction and it is something that we do need to do, so please bear with them, they are doing the best they can as fast as they can! Otherwise, everything that the Parish Council does and continues to do, appears also to be going in the right direction but they could do with some more councillors, particularly to represent the residents of Pease Pottage and Handcross as the larger two villages in the Parish so if you are interested please do get in touch with any council member or the clerk, contact details can be found on the website - www.slaughampc.co.uk. If you would like to hear more yourself, I am sure there will be a further update at the Parish Council Meeting this evening, Thursday, at 7.30 pm in the Pavilion - an agenda should be on the website (see above) or on the parish notice board outside the Spar Shop.
I have previously mentioned the new route that the Community Bus is trialling on a Friday afternoon to Haywards Heath - starting in Slaugham at 1.40 pm, Staplefield, 1.45 pm, Handcross 1.50 pm, Balcombe Half Moon 2 pm, Balcombe Newlands: (top and bottom) 2.05 pm, Balcombe Surgery 2.10 pm and returning from Waitrose (by the station) at 4 pm with a fare of just £1 single or return. The trial is running until Friday 9 June and if it has been well used during this period the Committee will be able to make it a regular run with the normal fare being applicable and concessionary passes allowed. If you would like further information about it, please get in touch with Christina on 01444 400212.
The Outing Club: has a trip to Longleat planned for Sunday 4 June leaving Handcross at approximately 8.15 am; the cost of the coach and entrance is £42 with children being half price. There are still some places available - and you don’t have to be a member of the Outing Club to go - so if you are interested, please get in touch by calling 01444 400081 for more information and details of the various pick up times on route; the usual pick ups are from Haywards Heath, Staplefield, Handcross (obviously!) and Pease Pottage.
The next two Community Bus trips: are as follows: Tuesday, 27 June Pashley Manor Gardens (East Sussex/Kent border). The cost is £20 and includes fare and entrance and the Bus leaves the village at 9 am returning at 3.30 pm. July’s trip is on Tuesday, 25 July and is Peter’s annual Mystery Tour, leaving the village at 10.15 am returning at 5 pm and will cost £12.50. This is a popular trip with a well thought out route with stops for refreshment and lunch along the way. If you would like to put your name down of either, or both, trips, speak to Christina int the Hardware Shop or phone her on 400212.
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