Gareth Evans Dist CllrDear Residents

As I write this we have just welcomed in a New Year. I hope 2023 is happy and prosperous for you all. My District Council updates can be read below and we ever if you want to speak to me please do get in touch!

Local Updates:

Public Consultation on Speeding: Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council hosted a public consultation on Tuesday 10th Jan at 7.30pm in Kelsey Hall. I attended this meeting and will support the Parish Council as this moves forward.

21/02849/FUL Land Southwest Of Willets Way Loxwood West Sussex: The applicant has now submitted an appeal to this application meaning the site visit did not take place as planned.

22/02346/OUT Foxbridge Golf Club Development: Since the monitoring officer withdrew the support cards which did not follow protocol a high number of objections have gone in.

21/00466/OUT – Land West of Cornwood Townfield Kirdford West Sussex: This is unlikely to go to planning committee until at least February. I will update residents as and when I hear more.

22/02121/OUTEIA Outline Planning Application for the erection of up to 492 dwellings – Crouchlands Farm: This is in addition to the 108 house development that has already gone in. I know that there is strong feeling in the community about this and I will be working with the community and the Parish Councils to oppose a wholly unsustainable development of this nature. This is not to mention that Lagoon 3 remains in situ and albeit it has a different landowner.

Northchapel resident reporting flooding in their property at Luffs Meadow: Over the Christmas break I received an email saying water was pouring down a stairwell of a block of flats in Luffs Meadow and Hyde could not do anything about it. The resident had sandbags against their door to prevent water coming into their property. I discovered that the other three properties were empty in the block. I intervened and we got emergency services to break into the vacant property and sort out the water leak. I have asked CDC to investigate why three properties are vacant when there is a waiting list for residents to move into the area.

CDC Updates:

Local Plan Update: We have received a working draft of the Chichester Pre-Submission (Regulation 19) Local Plan which will be considered by DPIP on 18 January and then as a final version by Cabinet (23rd) and Council (24th), the following week.

Sewer flooding: November and early December saw exceptionally heavy rainfall and a few residents experienced sewage surcharges as a result. Fortunately, no-one that contacted CDC reported sewage coming into their home. The public sewer network in the district is the responsibility of Southern Water and we understand they experienced exceptional demand for operatives to deal with sewer surcharges, creating delays in response for some residents.

Members have asked what recourse residents have to a regulator if the water company is not meeting its response targets, and whether the council has an enforcement role in this scenario.

The regulator for the Water Companies is The Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT) , which includes an advisory body for consumers – the Consumer Council for Water [CCW]. Residents should be referred initially to Southern Water’s own complaints procedure https://www.southernwater.co.uk/help-advice/sewers-and-drains or to CCW https://www.ccwater.org.uk/ if unsatisfied with Southern Water’s response. Vulnerable customers can register as such with Southern Water to receive a higher priority service.

The council has Environmental Health powers to deal with defective private drainage, for example, dealing with a landlord or neighbour that fails to attend to a blocked or surcharging foul drain.

Environmental Strategy Unit – new staff: Three new members of staff have joined the Environmental Strategy Unit. Mark McManus is job sharing the post of Strategic Wildlife Corridor Enhancement Officer with Sarah Hughes.  They are both part-time and Mark’s usual working days are Mondays to Wednesday. Oliver Gammon has joined us filling the vacant post of Environment Officer (Projects). He will be working 15 hours a week on a variety of biodiversity related projects, including Biodiversity Net Gain, Local Nature Recovery Strategies and Brandy Hole Copse Local Nature reserve. Sara Osman started on 5 December in the new post of Specialist Environment Officer. She will be working on the communications and events actions in our Climate Emergency Action Plan and on domestic energy efficiency funding alongside the Housing team.

District Councillor Surgeries

Sat 4 Feb: Onslow Arms, Loxwood
Sat 18 Feb: The Forresters, Kirdford
Sat 4 Mar: Old Mill Café, Wisborough Green

I am also available for home visits or one to one meetings at alternative dates/venues upon request.

Get in touch! by phone 07958 918056 or by email gbevans@chichester.gov.uk

Gareth Benjamin Evans, 
District Councillor for Loxwood Ward