Wisborough Green CANS
June 2020 – A new Campaign Group has been formed in Wisborough Green to combat loud motorcycle and car exhausts, speed and dangerous driving through the Village.
Many residents of Wisborough Green are complaining about noise from excessively loud motorcycle and car exhausts, as well as speeding and dangerous driving through the village. On sunny/dry weekends, the noise can start as early as 5-6 am and continues all day until the evening, making life a misery for many. Such behaviour is oppressive and anti-social and is a blight on our Village.
Studies have found that exposure to noise can have significant physical and mental health implications with heart attacks, high blood pressure, type two diabetes and stress, all linked to long-term contact with loud environments.
Recent posts on the village Facebook page and a recently formed WhatsApp group have drawn input from more than 60 concerned local residents and a formal pressure group is now being formed to combat the issues. Please follow the link to find out more about CANS and how you can get involved.
Summary currently being prepared.
Since then, a number of meetings have been held with WSCC to question the feasibility study and recommendations, particularly considering the current WSCC budget constraints. Independent inspections, commissioned by Keep Kirdford and Wisborough ‘Green’ (KKWG), indicate that with some remedial work, the bridge does not need to be replaced. As the current bridge is not compliant with traffic regulations, a replacement bridge would involve road realignment and would be widened to two carriageways.
Both Parish Councils have objected to the replacement on the basis that it is part of the Sussex landscape and a heritage asset, which is identified in the Kirdford Neighbourhood Plan. Concerns have been raised that widening the road will lead to increased traffic speed. KKWG instigated a petition in 2015 to save the bridge, which was signed by over 3000 residents. This resulted in a debate by West Sussex Council and a resolution passed “that WSCC Highways work closely with the Kirdford and Wisborough Green Parish Councils to explore the safest and most acceptable project for the future of the bridge, taking into account the rural environment as well as architectural and historical merit.”
After much discussion between the Parish Councils, WSCC Highways and KKWG, WSCC decided to replace Boxal Bridge when a future structural survey indicated that the bridge was failing. The decision was made by Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for Highways on 8th November 2018; there was no further consultation with WGPC or KPC except that a meeting was called on September 14th 2018 when WSCC advised that they were going to proceed to the design stage. The bridge will only be replaced when the structure is failing.
Oil & Gas Drilling
Over the following months, both Parish Councils engaged in discussions with local residents, Celtique Energy, other parishes where drilling was already being undertaken or threatened, and undertook considerable research into the industry and implications for the village. A local residents action group, Keep Kirdford and Wisborough ‘Green’ was also established/set up at this time and undertook extensive work to raise awareness, consult with experts in the field and prepare a case against the application. Having reviewed all the information, both Parish Councils also objected to the application; industrialisation of the countryside, potential environmental impacts and impact of large vehicles movements through the centre of the village. Full details and all responses can be found on the WSCC website (WSCC/083/13/KD).
The application was determined by the Planning Committee at West Sussex County Council offices in Horsham on 22 July 2014 and refused. Celtique Energy appealed against WSCC’s decision and a public enquiry was due to be held on 8 September 2015 in the Northchapel Village Hall. KKWG applied for and was awarded Rule 6 status to take a full part in the Inquiry and set about finding four witnesses and raising money. The company withdrew from the PI on 11 March 2015.
This is a brief summary and does not reflect the considerable time and effort that was required by all those involved. Although the immediate threat of this site has passed, other sites in The Weald are being pursued, one being at Broadford Bridge close to Adversane, three miles from Wisborough Green. At this site, permission was given for an Exploratory drill before the application was made and considered at Boxal Bridge. Keep Kirdford and Wisborough ‘Green’ continue to provide updates on developments at this site.
Crouchlands Biogas Plant
In this case, no planning applications were submitted for expansion or change of use, only a retrospective application once the community had alerted the local council. The retrospective application was refused and is now subject to appeal by Crouchland Biogas Ltd.
Although Wisborough Green is not directly affected by this operation, occasional tankers do come through the village and any further increase in activity could have a detrimental impact upon this village too. As such, the Parish Council has offered its support to Plaistow Parish Council.
A local action group, Protect Our Rural Environment (P.O.R.E), was established by local residents.
After a long fight, the Parish Council and local residents stopped the biogas plant activities. However, the clean up operation continues.