Wadhurst Parish Council held its normal Full Council meeting on Thursday 13th September, but also an extra meeting on 6th September to concentrate solely on our response to the Wealden Local Plan.

Wadhurst Household Recycling Centre

The small working group set up to explore a way to keep the Recycling Centre open has held meeting with East Sussex County Council (who currently run the Centre) to determine the financial implications and legality of setting up a Community Interest Company (or similar) to run it and charge customers (to cover the costs) . It has met with Forest Row Parish Council to consider a joint approach (although this now seems less likely). Finally,a meeting with Veolia management (the current contractor) which resulted in an agreement to work with Wadhurst Parish Council to find a reasonable and affordable solution.  If at all possible, we want to keep the site open and not close it at the end of September.  The Parish Council have agreed to provide some funds to facilitate this.

Progress on a new Village Hall

The Chairman of the Wadhurst Institute, Hall & Field CIO gave a presentation to Councillors at its meeting on 13th September and answered questions raised. In summary, the re-development of the existing Commemoration Hall and part of the field, which is owned and run by the Trustees, proposes to provide a new Village Hall, a new Community Health Centre for enhanced Doctors’ surgery and Pharmacy, a new building that will be let to the History Society, a “village square” on the site of the existing Hall car park and a new car park (48-52 spaces).  The creation of an all-weather football pitch on the Uplands site will provide a pitch to replace the one “lost” on the field. There will be up to 24 new houses built which will, together with grants, donations and loans, provide sufficient funds for the project.

Wadhurst Parish Council agreed in principle to support the project and to a organise a Parish Meeting on 25th October to present the Full Plans to Wadhurst residents, and subsequently to arrange for a Parish Poll on 15th November of all the electorate to gauge support for the project.

Wealden Local Plan Draft Proposed Document

There have been three Planning Committee meetings where the Local Plan has been discussed and an extra full Council meeting on 6th September which just focussed on this.  The Planning committee meeting on 15th September decided how best to formulate our response and return it to another extra Full Council meeting on 4th October for final agreement.  All meetings have been open meetings, with an opportunity for the residents to speak during the Public Forum section.

Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan update

September has been a busy month for the Wadhusrt Neighbourhod Plan Steering Group.  A Focus Group Briefing with the AiRS consultant on 10th September,  a Neighbourhood Plan update at the Old Vine on 6th September where 40 residents attended and similar update in Tidebrook Church Room. Following the “Focus” Group briefing, they are now engaging with residents, businesses and schools about ideas for the future of Wadhurst, with a view to drawing up draft policies. They have also been reviewing the Wealden Local Plan which is out for consultation.

Grant funding

The Parish Council put aside some money each year to support local projects.  Application for this is done by completing a Grant Application form and returning it to the Parish Clerk. The bids are then scrutinised by the Community committee and those supported are recommended to Full Council for funding.  At the meeting on 13th September, Full Council allocated grant funding of £1000 to support the collaborative project organised by Beth Martin  “ Wadhurst – Over the Top” , a night of entertainment for all the family, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of World  War I.  This will be staged in the Commemoration Hall on 11th November and begins at 6.30pm.  Any profit will go to the British Legion.

Finally, to mention that Wadhurst Parish Council have been granted £10,000 by the Lund Foundation for the upkeep and protection of various road triangles scattered throughout Wadhurst.  Cllr Murphy and Nessie Spruce will represent us at the award ceremony.

 

Graham Wells

Chairman, Wadhurst Parish Council

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