Edited extracts from draft minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 15th October 2018.
An elector has requested that the Parish Council look into the village hosting a similar event to Petworth in Bloom. Fittleworth currently has the Open Gardens event. The clerk will look into the Village in Bloom event and report back to the Council.
Village Shop and playground update
It was reported that the new playground and shop are now open and the first two weeks of trading have been excellent. Great support from the village. It is now necessary to register the lease with the land registry and the Parish Council will need to issue the first rent demand.
Winter resilience plan
It was agreed that the current plan will remain in place and, in addition, School Lane will be added to the plan – to grit or clear snow as and when required. This will not be covered by WSCC as School Lane is not a A or B road. The Clerk will contact the Parish Council maintenance contractors (Grasstex) and Neil Dallyn (local farmer) to see if either party can carry out the work, if and when required.
Neighbourhood Plan update
The Neighbourhood Plan is delayed due to a problem raised by South Downs National Park (SDNP).
The problem arises from the ‘Sweetman judgement’, by the European Court of Justice, which means that the Habitat Regulations Assessment (an Appendix to the Plan) can only identify ‘likely significant effects’ of the proposal.
If there are such effects, any mitigation can only be proposed as part of an Appropriate Assessment, which must be a separate document.
The consultants who prepared the HRA for the Plan are prepared to modify it, and put the Appropriate Assessment into a separate document, but South Downs are concerned that this may not be a satisfactory solution. They have sought legal advice (from a QC) which is awaited by the day.
It is now expected that the Referendum will take place in either February or March 2019.
An interested neighbour had some samples from the quarry site tested by the Horsham Geological Society. The results confirmed that the limestone samples tested were not local limestone and supports the view that the quarry has been importing limestone. This information will be forwarded to SDNPA.