Dear Residents,

I hope you are well and that by the time you read this you have had a restful summer break. This month I would like to update you on the Local Plan meeting which took place at the start of the summer break, on Thursday 29th July, to keep you abreast of the delayed revised local plan and the actions my group and I have been taking on your behalf to get this situation resolved as quickly as possible. This update will follow some district wide notices.

Free trees

Residents can apply for free trees from Chichester District Council for themselves and their communities, as part of a scheme to increase tree planting across the district. This follows a successful pilot scheme which was launch in January of this year. Residents can find more information about the scheme, along with guidance notes for anyone interested in applying for free trees, at www.chichester.gov.uk/treescheme. People can also contact the council’s dedicated Tree Project Officer by emailing treescheme@chichester.gov.uk or calling 01243 521161.

District wide celebration of culture 2022.

A further £50,000 has been approved by Chichester District Council for the new district wide celebration of culture in 2022. Residents are being invited to suggest ideas for events that they would like to see as part of the celebration and to let the organisers know of anything planned by their groups or societies during 2022. Ideas and suggestions can be emailed to chichester22@chichester.gov.uk.

Financial hardship resulting from impact of Covid-19

Chichester District Council is making further funding available to help economically vulnerable people in the district to pay their council tax. CDC’s team will do everything they can to help you by explaining all the support that is available to you. The easiest way to contact them is by email at benefits@chichester.gov.uk. You can also call 01243 534509, but please be aware that when lines are busy callers may have to wait longer than we would like. You can also visit this webpage to find out what support is available https://www.chichester.gov.uk/helpwithfinances

An update regarding the Local Plan Meeting which took place Thursday 29 July

Once again, I took the opportunity to voice at Chichester District Council the many issues which residents and parish councillors in the Loxwood Ward have raised regarding the ongoing delay to the revised local plan.

These were centred around:

  • Vast development in our small rural villages without a joined-up approach with WSCC to resolve issues of infrastructure with regards school places, medical provisions, public transport etc.
  • On the point of school places, I also raised the point that not only the local schools are under immense pressure but that the secondary school catchment is in Billingshurst which continues to see a lot of growth with 3000+ additional houses developed. Whilst schools are not a planning consideration it clearly should be because, quite frankly, where will young people in the community be able to go to school?
  • Lack of truly affordable accommodation being included in approved developments
  • Lack of foul drainage provision by Southern Water which is a huge problem for the Northern Parishes and one which continues to be given little consideration. The Loxwood pumping station is at capacity. The foul water for recent housing development in Loxwood is put in underground tanks and taken by lorry to treatment works. Alfold development, which is in the Thames Water catchment, currently drains south to Loxwood.
  • The report we were meeting to discuss featured no comment from Southern Water about how they will make provision for new houses in the North Parishes.
  • That the report made no reference to the issue of water neutrality and what this will mean for the Northern Parishes and future housing development

At the meeting, my group put forward a motion regarding the Local Plan with more detailed recommendations which aimed to improve and add significant detail to the recommendations presented by the Conservatives in order to ensure the Local Plan can be delivered with no further delays and safeguard communities like ours.

Those recommendations were, to our utter dismay, mostly rejected by Conservative Councillors.   If you would like to see the detailed recommendations and the voting tally see my Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/GarethEvansLoxwood/photos/a.2529689900406082/5892752587433113

For those residents who do not use Facebook, please contact me and I will send this information by email.

Get in touch

Please do get in touch with me if there is anything that I can help with or there is any support that you need. Please call me on 07958 918056 or email gbevans@chichester.gov.uk