With the sun at last at last shining to welcome the newish year for the Parish, coinciding nicely with the easing of Lockdown, we hopefully can return to some degree of normality!
Over the pandemic your Parish Meeting has had many things to contend with including the consequences arising from the new park on Pond Lane, major development threats to the parish and the local district -as well as trying to act with surrounding Parishes in order to convert Wealden’s re-revised District Plan into something that might work for the Community, rather than act as a “developer’s charter “. The principal problem would appear to be, that the failure of the District Authority to produce an acceptable District Plan has left the door pretty much-open for “lawful“ development- Most of which, due to the National Park and Forest protection, is likely to be coming our way.
If they fail to get it accepted this time around there’s a very real risk that they could lose their right to control development in the District – The risks that this may entail appears to have resulted in their “revised “outline plan being so vague as to be virtually useless and , in some areas, being totally at odds with their past “direction of travel.” To offset some of the perceived problems associated with this we were invited to – and did put in a reply (see Website) both detailed and attempting to modify some of the “direction of travel .” For this we should thank the Simms’s family for their considerable help. A detailed reply to this is awaited with interest. The problem being that history has shown that waiting until outline proposals become detailed plans shuts “the stable door “well and truly after the beast has bolted into the undergrowth! And to stop or modify anything needs earlier intervention.
We are very lucky in the choice of our new Clerk -Laura Sparshatt- who has successfully “grown” into her role and is now a terrific asset to the Parish Meeting and through working with me has demonstrated an epic example of stoic endurance that should be rewarded in the afterlife- if nowhere else!
Having now Chaired the Meeting for about ten years I feel that the time has come for a change of leadership so it is with much consideration and some sadness I have decided to retire from Chairing Little Horsted Parish Meeting – I would like to believe that the new Chair will have the time, ability and drive to contend with the future – of which the downside is more than compensated for by being privileged to be able to assist some amazing people. Although it is possible that I might return like some kind of dysfunctional boomerang – I would like to wish my successor the very best of luck and to thank all who have helped me over the years.
I hope to see you all at the meeting- where some important decisions will have to be made.
Chairman Little Horsted Parish Meeting.