It is wonderful to see the sun shining again which enhances even further the sheer beauty of this ward which we are so lucky to live in! Since my last address I have been busy supporting residents up and down the ward with many different issues. Below is an update on some of these local issues and details of interest across the ward. As always if there is anything I can help with, please do not hesitate to contact me via my contact details at the end of this address.
Land West Of Guildford Road, Loxwood: I spoke at the planning committee meeting in support of this application as residents were keen to see that Loxwood was not left without a shop in the village. The outcome was that this was approved by all members of the planning committee.
Loxwood Claypit application: The WSCC planning committee will be meeting on Wednesday 18th May 2022 to discuss this application which has caused widespread concern across the ward. The planning officer has released their report ahead of this meeting and the recommendation is refusal. I will be attending the planning meeting where I will be speaking to oppose this planning application in line with the planning officer’s determination. I will update on the outcome in the next parish magazine address.
Land South of Townfield, Kirdford: A meeting between the applicant and officers of the planning department was planned to take place on 5th May to discuss the proposed solution for the Water Neutrality issue. This meeting was however unable to take place and has been moved to the end of the month. I will update in my next address as to the outcome.
Lagoon 3: Since getting elected in 2019 I have worked tirelessly to keep pushing Chichester District Council and the other authoritative bodies involved to ensure Lagoon 3 is safely removed and to help ease the concerns of many residents have voice. I requested and secured regular multi agency meetings to be scheduled which includes Parish Council members of Plaistow and Ifold and Kirdford so that the community can be kept fully informed that every step is being taken to ensure that Lagoon 3 is safe and to move towards its eventual removal.
Up until May 2021 there was an enforcement notice in place which has now expired. Chichester District Council have now instructed their legal team to step in and we await news of the outcome. However, I have raised the point on several occasions that the potential prosecution of the current landowner will not resolve this issue and I am taking every opportunity to make the point that residents in this ward want the Lagoon safely cleared. The next meeting takes place on Thursday 7th July at 2pm.
Foxbridge Golf Course: A flyer has been sent to some residents regarding a proposed health, eco leisure and accommodation destination at the old Foxbridge Golf Course. The Substantia group who have put forward this proposal are holding a public consultation from 18th May – 1st June 2022.
They hosted an in-person event at Kelsey Hall, Chalk Road, Ifold, RH14 0UD on 18th May 2022 where residents were able to view plans, speak with members of the team and offer their feedback.
I would like residents to know that I am aware of this application and attended this consultation in order to fully understand the application. Over the coming weeks I will be listening to the views of residents and the parish council in order that I can act as your voice to represent your opinions at the point that this planning application goes into Chichester District Councils planning department.
Chichester District Council Updates:
Ukrainian Refugees: You may have seen in the news that Chichester was named the most generous place in the country for housing Ukrainian refugees. The Times newspaper identified the story after reviewing the figures released by the Home Office, which listed Chichester as having the highest rate of Ukraine visas when its population is taken into account. CDC recognises how generous our communities are, and how they always step forward when help is needed. West Sussex County Council is coordinating the response across the county, and CDC are supporting them with this.
Energy bills rebate: Over the past few weeks CDC’s Revenues, Benefits and Finance teams have been working incredibly hard to issue the Government’s £150 rebate to those who are eligible. Thousands of payments have already been made and this work is continuing. The payment is intended to help with energy costs, which as you will know are rising considerably. CDC had lots of questions about the rebate scheme and so have created a short video taking people through the scheme and listing the eligible groups at: www.chichester.gov.uk/energybillsrebate2022
Email Newsletter: CDC would like to encourage local residents to sign up to their email newsletter ‘initiatives+’. These are issued every month and provide the very latest updates. It’s really easy to sign up at www.chichester.gov.uk/newsalerts
Mental Health Awareness Week: Last month CDC supported Mental Health Awareness Week (9 – 15 May), for those experiencing loneliness getting out to explore the community with others can be a great way to boost your mental health. CDC had 10 HeartSmart walks on offer during the Mental Health Awareness week ranging from a beginner 1 mile walk at Chichester Canal to a 6.5 mile walk around West Marden.
CDC are also celebrating 20 years of the HeartSmart Walks with a Walls Walk followed by celebratory tea and cake at the District Council. Bookings will open 3 weeks before the event with limited spaces. The latest Programme May – July 2022 is now available, with a huge variety of volunteer led walks taking place across the District. http://www.chichester.gov.uk/heartsmart
CDC are working with local businesses and offering Wellbeing Check ins for staff at George Ide Solicitors, St Richards nursery and Loxwood GP surgery.
My next round of District Councillor Surgery dates are as follows:
Sat 11th June (11-1pm) Old Mill Cafe, Wisborough Green
Sat 18th June (12-2pm) The Onslow Arms, Loxwood
Saturday 2nd July (11-1pm) The Coffee Cup, Ifold (village shop)
Saturday 23rd July (12-2pm) The Half Moon, Northchapel
Should these dates not be suitable, or you are unable to visit in person I am always happy to visit residents at their homes/alternative venue or arrange a telephone call/zoom conversation. I can be contacted by phone 07958 918056 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gareth Benjamin Evans, District Councillor for Loxwood Ward