Hallo Everyone, here is our September update….
Firstly we all hope you have had a relaxing summer break. The hay has been cut in the meadow, but the grass is starting to grow again… Let’s hope that we are successful in our campaign and the meadow will be full of summer flowers next year and in the years to come. We have been beavering away and have a lot to tell you…
Headline News: The South Downs National Park’s Local Plan Public Consultation will begin on 26 September and continue for eight weeks until 21 November.
The final version of the Local Plan will be available online from 26 September, which is when the consultation starts. We will study this final version as soon as it comes out and provide you with a summary of our main concerns shortly afterwards. We will also let you know how to make your views known, so that you can respond directly to the South Downs National Park Authority to tell them what you think. The more responses they receive from us the more likely it is that the National Park’s Planners will change their minds and the Government Inspector, who will take control at the end of March 2018, will listen to us and give us a further opportunity to comment in the final stages.
We have raised …
A huge thank you to all of you who have supported us with financial aid, and a special thanks for the generous support from The Wildbrooks Society. We still have a long way to go however, so if you were intending to send us a donation but haven’t yet done so … now is the time. Please! It will all go towards saving lovely Coldwaltham meadow from destruction. We are trying to raise £2000.00 because 97% of our flower-rich hay meadows have disappeared from the UK’s countryside in the last 30 years and we don’t want Coldwaltham meadow to go the same way…
Ways to donate
- Click on the Give heading at the top of our website (or this link), which will take you to the JustGiving page.
- Send a cheque to our treasurer, Chris Yeardsley, at 39 Arun Vale. Please make your cheque payable to Coldwaltham Meadow Conservation Group.
- Donate directly to our bank account at Lloyd’s Bank, Sort Code 30-90-09, A/c No. 42878260.
- If you would rather give cash, then stick it in an envelope and put it through our letterbox at 32 Brookview, and we’ll pass it on to Chris.
Your support is growing…
In addition to sending in those splendid donations, we have had 500 visits to our website, and nearly 100 people have also signed our petitions. We have nearly 300 people on our database and we have had loads of Tweets and Facebook messages – thank you all for these! Please sign our petitions if you haven’t already done so, either online or at Coldwaltham Post Office. They are proof that the community cares about the meadow, and the greater the proof, the more attention will be paid to our submission when we send it off to the National Park.
And it’s working…
Your emails to the National Park Board and the Planning Department made a big impression on the National Park Authority; we have been told by Lucy Howard, Planning Policy Manager for the National Park, that they will be reducing the number of houses from the original 35-40 to 25-30. This shows they are taking us seriously and it also confirms our view that they do not have evidence of local need for so many houses in our village. This is a step in the right direction, but we don’t want any houses built on the meadow, especially when we know that there are alternative sites that could be used in the parish. Talk of a possible third location has been announced by our Parish Council and we will provide you with the details when we receive them.
We now have a Planning Consultant…
Who is helping us to prepare our submission to the National Park’s Public Consultation. As soon as the Local Plan comes out (it won’t be published until the 26 September, which is very sneaky!), we shall scrutinise it for any changes from the original draft and work on our submission. We will summarise the bits that refer to the meadow, and send it to you, with our objections, and put it on the website. We will also pass on the advice we receive from our consultant about how we need to express our concerns in a way that will make the Government Inspector take notice. Please have a look at the summary when you get it in early October and send in your objections to the National Park. We’ll let you know how this can be done and provide more details in our next newsletter in a few weeks’ time. We must all have a go at this, so that the Inspector realises this is a real issue that many people feel strongly about. Lots of responses will hopefully draw more attention to the meadow. It is only one out of 38 other sites in the Local Plan, so we need to be noticed.
We have produced a meadow report
We have discovered that it was originally four or five smaller fields in the late 1770s, and that it was enclosed to form two or three fields in the 1840s. 44 endangered species protected by international law occur within one kilometre of the centre of the meadow and so do 116 species protected by UK law. For further information, please download the report. We produced it for the Parish Council, but we thought you might like it too.
Would you like to help raise money for the meadow by organising an event for us? We need some sort of a social fundraising group to do this, because we’re so busy with the Local Plan stuff. Various suggestions have been made about concerts and barn dances, and we have found some performers who have very kindly donated their services, but it all needs a bit of organising… If you fancy having a go, then please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org .
STOP PRESS – IMPORTANT!!!
The Parish Council needs to be convinced that they are fairly representing the views of the Parish when they respond to the Local Plan consultation. We know that the Parish Council want to hold a public meeting for all residents, so that they can assess what we all feel about the South Downs National Park’s housing proposal for Coldwaltham. The provisional date for the meeting is 19 October, in the evening, and it will be at Sandham Hall. Please come and let your views be known; we want to convince our Parish Council that it is in the villages’s best interest if we have some affordable housing built on an alternative site to the meadow. That surely would be the best of all worlds. Once we have confirmation of the date, we’ll let you know.
All the best,
Chris and Jim