The parishes of Ditchling, Westmeston and Streat have joined together to create one neighbourhood plan for the community. This is an important opportunity to have a say in how the area will develop and be protected in the future. A neighbourhood plan is a community-led plan for shaping the development and conservation of the area. It may cover a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues (such as housing, employment, heritage and transport) or it may focus on only one or two issues only. It can include allocation of sites for specific developments (housing or commercial) and proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities.
For more information please go to www.beaconvillagesplan.co.uk
For further information please see DS&W Neighbourhood plan 2nd presub.pdf
Westmeston Parish Council
On Tuesday 5th April 2016 a full meeting of our Council discussed the draft plan, with the resultant synopsis set out below.
All members expressed their appreciation of the high quality and professional standard of the publication. The complexity and wide range of research involved is reflected in the easy to read document, amply illustrated, with clear evidentially qualified conclusions.
We are grateful for the input from PMG, not least because as a small Parish, our resources are limited, in fact apart from Councillors following progress with interest, we were sadly lacking in volunteer members of the public willing to take on the task of assisting with the Plan.
For us, it is now a relatively easy process to suggest possible changes or amendments as the hard work has already been done. First we would like to make a few general comments which we feel could be incorporated in the introductory pages. We believe these could be worked in to the wording without altering the author’s style.
Secondly, we have listed comments on the main sections, in the order of the text.
These are an amalgam of members’ observations, both personal and as gleaned from contact with Parishioners.
Thirdly, whilst mentioned in the text, we are looking to the future, post adoption, in respect of the three parishes working together. Questions have arisen which can best be resolved by a meeting between Chairmen of Councils and PMG, before final submission.
In general we would like to see the profile of Westmeston raised pictorially and in the text. We believe our Conservation Area is important enough to be highlighted, with its Grade II*listed 12th century church, sarsen stone, restored telephone box and street of Victorian cottages, as well as a partly pre-Elizabethan manor. Residents previously raised large amounts of money to have telecom and power cables re-routed underground to enhance the landscape. Formation of the charitable trust, “Friends of Westmeston Parish Room” resulted in the building and opening of our Parish Hall in 2000.
We have a number of listed buildings, and the manor of Westmeston (and that of Streat) is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Perhaps some reference should be made to the Parochial Church Council, responsible for three magnificent and historic Churches. The PCC pre-dates the civil parishes with which we are familiar.
Whilst our economic contribution is modest, mixed agriculture is a visible activity, although some of the land is controlled from beyond our boundaries. We have a Golf Club providing employment, open to the public as a restaurant, and a few other businesses as well as those who work from home.
Two other organisations, operating as charitable Trusts deserve to be mentioned; The Westmeston based Monday Group, well known for their expert and wide ranging work on the rights of way throughout the Parishes and beyond, and The Jubilee Pathway Trust, a volunteer group responsible for providing pathways alongside the B2116 from Ditchling through to Streat Bostal. These are mentioned in the main body of our comments
Westmeston Parish Council 25th April 2016