Handcross news
Handcross news

The Parish Council: meeting proved to be interesting and informative last week on two counts, the first being in relation to the Neighbourhood Plan. At long last they were able to confirm when the consultation period is due to start and finish so please do make a note and pass on this information to as many people you know not only in the village, but the parish as a whole. On Monday or Tuesday next week, 6/7 November, you should get a leaflet or envelope through your letter box – not delivered by Royal Mail – explaining what has been done to date and what needs to be done and how you can get hold of a copy of the Plan for review and where to send your comments. The ‘official’ consultation period will then start from Monday, 13 November 2017 and continues until Monday, 8 January 2018, which I believe is a little over the period required but I would imagine the Council has agreed to give us an extra week as Christmas does fall within this period. If you are a regular reader of this column you will be aware that the Committee responsible for putting the Plan together has worked long and hard to try and get this right after our first attempt failed and I think they have done really well and hope that you will agree. We do need to get this in place as it can help – I read in a parish magazine covering a parish not very far from us who believed that the fact they had a Neighbourhood Plan had gone some way towards convincing their local council (not MSDC) that because a proposed development was not included in their Plan, there was no need nor requirement for this development to go ahead and threw the application out! I can image how good that felt for them and I would very much like this parish to experience something similar!

The other item: that I thought you might be interested in knowing about is in relation to the development of the land opposite Hoadlands and behind the Recreation Ground and Doctors’ Surgery. The developers have now realised that it is not a good idea to have all the lorries etc accessing the site on the road between the Surgery and the School and have approached the Parish Council with the aim of agreeing an alternative entry. They asked if they could put in a road from the bottom gate on the Recreation Ground, take it along the bottom of the Ground and onto their site about half way along; they would not be taking down any trees on the Recreation Ground and did not think there would be a need to take down any of the mature trees on their site. This road would be in place for about two years and there would be someone at the bottom gate at all times to ensure the safe entrance and exit of all vehicles; at the end of the two years the road would be removed and the Ground reinstated to how it was at the start of the build. The Council have agreed that they can do this and are in the process of getting the legal paperwork sorted and signed; and what do we get in return for allowing this to take place? The developers have agreed to a rental payment, paid in two instalments that will be used to refurbish the Pavilion on the Recreation Ground which is sorely in need of a new roof, new windows and better heating! I hope that any inconvenience of losing a strip of the Recreation Ground for a couple of years will be outweighed in a favour of a refurbished Pavilion.

On Sunday, 5 November: the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will be going through the village; the first vehicles usually start coming through about 10 am and the bulk are through by 12 noon. If you are planning to come up to the High Street to wave them through, it would be best if you walked up rather than drove as parking will be at a premium (more so than usual!), and on such occasions, it is normally quicker to walk down the High Street than drive! Fingers crossed the weather is dry and the sun shines for them!

This month’s Community Bus Outing: is in Tuesday, 28 November and is going to Polhill Garden Centre, one of the largest garden centres in our area. The Bus leaves Nymans at 9 am and the fare is £12.50; if you would like to put your name down get in touch with Christina on 400212 or speak to her in the Hardware Shop. The December outings have the aim of assisting you with your Christmas shopping, the first on Tuesday, 5 December to Canterbury, leaving at 9 am and the fare is £13.50 and the second on Saturday, 9 December to Winchester Christmas Market again leaving at 9 am and costing the same, £13.50. As these a likely to be popular, you will need to get in touch with Christina sooner rather than later, I would suggest.

Next Saturday: 11 November, Remembrance Day, will see the laying of wreaths during the Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial at the cross roads in Staplefield. The service will start at 10.45 am and all are welcome to attend. If you are unable to attend this service, there will be a Remembrance Service at St Mark’s Church in Staplefield on the following day at 10 am.