Planning Meeting

The meeting to discuss the planning application for Hillside was postponed yesterday evening as the SDNPA portal as unavailable. Therefore you are cordially invited to an online Extraordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council, on Tuesday 2nd March 2021 at 7.00pm via Microsoft Teams, the meeting will consider the items set out below. 

If you would like to join the online meeting, please email the Clerk at and he will email you the link needed to attend.

Mark Hind – Acting Chairman  


Public Participation: There will be a period of 15 minutes set aside at the beginning of the meeting for the public to ask questions or make comments on items on the Agenda. Comments on items not appearing on the agenda can be made at the chairman’s discretion.  

21/025/PM.          Apologies for Absence. 

21/026/PM.          Declaration of Members’ Interests. 

21/027/PM.          Planning matters 

Location:  SDNP/20/05150/FUL Hillside Poynings Road Fulking BN5 9NB  

Proposal: Proposed ancillary storage building, with associated access area, together with biodiversity and landscape enhancements, public footpath and related structures. 

21/028/PM.        Planning matters 

Location:  SDNP/21/00722/HOUS 8 Stammers Hill Fulking BN5 9NA  

Proposal: Conversion of car port to additional accommodation including external alterations 

Date of the next Ordinary Meeting: Thursday 15th April 2021 


Syrian Refugees


A young woman in Lewes has been collecting clothes, medical items etc all last year for Syrian refugees in camps in Syria and Lebanon. She has just posted an appeal for refugees living in tents in snow in minus 11 centigrade.

She is asking for more winter clothes for both adults and children. If you have any you could donate, please let me have them and I will get them to Samara in Worthing who is organising more lorries to go this month.

I am at 3 Stammers Hill, or can collect them from you.

Chris Gildersleeve

The Clappers of Clappers Lane

Signage at the north end of Clappers Lane

Facilis descensus Averno .. sed revocare gradum superasque
evadere ad auras, hoc opus, hic labor est.

Nowadays the primary function of Clappers Lane, residents apart, is to act as a Bermuda Triangle for credulous users of satellite navigation devices. But, until the road to Poynings was built in the early 1800s, Clappers Lane provided the only public route into Fulking and Edburton from the north. So it is a matter of some interest to ascertain how this once significant thoroughfare came by its curious name. The answer lies in the streams that cross the lane.

Anthony Brooks tells us that:

Until the early 1900s Clappers Lane flooded in three places: by the entrance to Brook House, [at] a ford just north of Knole House and at the junction of Clappers and Holmbush Lanes. Today, the streams at these locations now run under the carriageway, but before that, on the west side of the ford near Knole House, there was a simple, raised footbridge constructed of boards placed length ways. [2008, page 62]

Bridge over stream that borders Boggy Lagg

The bridge over the stream just north of Knole House (looking south)

Clapper is an ancient local word for a bridge across a stream formed by laying a plank on piles of stones, or a similar raised footpath for pedestrians alongside an occasionally flooded lane. According to the English dialect dictionary, a correspondent of Notes and Queries wrote in 1880 that “we have here [at Edburton] a lane called Clappers, so named from its ‘clapper,’ i.e. a raised footpath at side, to keep foot-passengers out of the water”. John Rowe, Lord Bergavenny’s manorial steward in the early seventeenth century, tells us that there were clappers at Fridayesmead, Sandstrete and “in ffulkinge”. F. A. Howe equates the first with the field still marked as Great Fridays on the 1842 tithe map (see 130 on the map below); the second with one which “survive[d] unused” in his day (1958) over the northern branch of the local stream in Clappers Lane, previously known as Sands Lane; and the third with a spot “on the main road where the stream crosses under Stammers Hill near the sheepwash”. These arrangements were obviously of long standing, because one of these, or one in a parish close by, gave its name to John atte Clapere (‘John at the clapper’), recorded in a nearby hundred in 1332.

Bridge outside Brook House and Hillbrook

The bridge over the stream by the entrance to Brook House (looking north)

Anthony Brooks takes up the question of the word’s origin on page 62 of his book. He says that it arose from the fact that the planks were partly unsecured, and “clapped” when walked on. However, clappers in other parts of the country, especially Devon, were made of heavy stone slabs, so that cannot be the whole story; and it cannot be true as early speculators thought, that the word derives from clapboard, which the name of John in 1332 also proves. Clapper also meant ‘stepping stones’, according to the English dialect dictionary, so wood is clearly not a necessary component of the definition.

Extract from the 1842 tithe map of Edburton parish

The 1842 tithe map showing “Clappers house &c”

The first record of the property called Clappers is in the parish registers in 1652: the burial of “the wife of Thomas Smith of the Clappers” (Howe, page 20); and a house with that name shows up on the 1842 tithe map for the parish of Edburton (see 132 on the map above). Thanks to the 1841 census we even know who was living in Clappers at the time. Members of that family were still living in the parish in 1881. The property makes repeat appearances, in the same location*, on the Ordnance Survey maps of 1898, 1920, 1940-45, and 1962. The original house no longer stands but has been replaced by Brook House which is located in a different part of the property (Brooks 2008, page 83). As can be seen, the property borders the stream that runs along the southern edge of Boggy Lagg and crosses the lane just below Clappers Sands where Brookside stands today; and, as noted above, this was the location of a clapper that lasted into the twentieth century.

There are two plausible hypotheses as to how the property came by its name:

  1. It may have taken its name from being adjacent to a clapper (or between two of them, as it was at one time); in more recent times a clapper seems to have been indifferently called by a singular or plural term.
  2. The form of the name, possibly with a possessive –s, suggests that it might comes from the surname, and therefore only indirectly from the clapper(s). On this etymology, an individual associated with a property near a clapper would have become known by reference to the clapper (“John atte Clapere”), the property, in turn would have become known as Clapper’s and then Clappers.

Finally, the property would have given its name to the lane, previously known as Sands Lane, that ran alongside it.

Richard Coates

*The current Clappers House is not in this location. It is further north, at the summit of a hill and thus far from both streams and clappers. Anthony Brooks reports that it was built and named after 1961 (2008, page 80).


  • Anthony R. Brooks (2008) The changing times of Fulking and Edburton: 1900 to 2007. Chichester: RPM Print & Design.
  • F.A. Howe (1958) A chronicle of Edburton and Fulking in the County of Sussex. Crawley: Hubners Ltd.
  • John Rowe (1622-35) Rentals and custumals of Lord Bergavenny’s manors. MS. now in East Sussex Record Office. Edited for publication by Walter H. Godfrey (1928) as The book of John Rowe, steward of the manors of Lord Bergavenny, 1597-1622. Lewes: Sussex Record Society (vol. 34).
  • Joseph Wright (1898-1905) English dialect dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press

With thanks to Nigel Vincent for the quotation from Vergil and to the local history editor for his help with research assistance and access to local material.

Copyright © Richard Coates, 2012

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2010 07 08 PC Minutes

Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held in the Village Hall, Fulking on Thursday 8 July 2010 at 8.00pm

Present: Chairman Mr Tony Brook, Vice Chairman Mrs Pamela Rowland, Councillors Mr Richard Corner, Ms Jo Hudek, Mrs Jennifer Parmar and Clerk to the Council Mrs Paula Hazard.

Apologies for Absence: None

Declarations of Interest by Members (if any) are shown against the relevant items in the minutes.

Minutes — The minutes of the meeting held on 8 April 2010, as previously circulated, were approved, accepted and signed by the Chairman.

The Chairman introduced Jo Hudek who had been co-opted to the Parish Council at an Extraordinary Parish Council meeting held on 1 July, 2010. This was following the resignation of Jenny Vaughan at the Annual Parish Meeting.

Highways: Non-skid surface Clappers Lane — The recent re-surfacing work of Clappers Lane had included adjusting the gradient of the northern entrance. This had meant that the problem of wheel-spin had been cured. Therefore there was no longer such a pressing need for a non-skid surface.

Flooding problem by the Shepherd and Dog stream culvert — The PC had sent County Councillor Peter Griffith a copy of the correspondence between the PC and WSCC Highways concerning the PC’s request for a more permanent solution. Clerk to follow up with Peter Griffiths.

Tree problem at Stammers Hill — Jamie Thompson, a local Tree Surgeon, had taken down the potentially dangerous sycamore tree that had been identified earlier on in the year. He had saved the village a lot of money by asking that his fee be donated to the Playground Appeal. The PC expressed their thanks to him and his team.

North Town: New Play Equipment — The new play equipment had been installed and the project had now been completed. The Chairman expressed his thanks to everyone involved with the project, particularly Councillor Pam Rowland. Thanks were also given to everyone that donated to the Playground Appeal.

Play Area Surface — The merits of four costed options were debated. The options ranged from upgrading the current barkpit to three other types of surface. It was agreed that the best option would be to replace the current surface with the wet pour surface. This would require a grant. Councillor Hudek to investigate the possibility of obtaining a grant from Viridor. If it was not possible to obtain a grant then the current bark surface would need to be topped up and maintained.

Mowing and Maintenance of field — The field was being maintained by a new person, Mark Stepney, who was doing an excellent job.

Public Liability Insurance — No further update from the NTF Trust.

Diverted Footpath 4dF: There was no further news from the Rights of Way Committee.

Reopening of Bridleway 11F: There was no further news from West Sussex Rights of Way.

Local provision of grit: Jenny Vaughan had kindly donated the money for the village to buy a grit bin for the Clappers Lane/The Street junction. The grit bin had been ordered and grit delivered. The Chairman was working on agreeing a precise location with householders.

Village Plan: Action in Rural Sussex (AirS) had given a talk about the Village Action Plan process at the Annual Parish Meeting. The last two issues of Pigeon Post contained articles requesting volunteers to come forward to join the Village Action Plan team. Several villagers had expressed an interest in joining the team. The Chairman reiterated the request for volunteers at the meeting. AirS had recommended that ideally two members of the PC would be represented on the Village Action Plan team. It was agreed that the two members would be Tony Brooks and Jo Hudek. The next step was for a kick-off Village Plan team meeting to be arranged.

Ram House: The PC had formally written to CC Peter Griffiths, as requested at the previous PC meeting. The letter detailed the need for the roof repair and asked whether a grant would be possible. The PC had also written to the National Trust asking if they would consider taking over ownership. This was on the basis that the National Trust would have the resources to look after this historical structure for future generations. Clerk to follow up.

Lower Kents: The Chairman had spoken to the landowner who had given an assurance that a planning application would be submitted by the end of July. The Clerk had also spoken to MSDC Development Control asking them to chase up the landowner.

Henfield Medical Centre Link: The PC had decided to donate 100 to the Henfield Medical Centre Link. The service provides transport to hospital, dental and medical centre appointments Centre for people in the Henfield area, including Fulking, who do not have other transport available to them. A significant number of clients are Fulking residents. Users of this service pay a small fee but there is a small shortfall. The PC had agreed that they hoped to make this an annual donation.

Motorbikes on South Downs: Motorbikes had been reported riding on the top of the Downs and across Fulking Escarpment. The problem had been reported to the South Downs Joint Downs Committee who advised that they had set up an initiative called Sussex Pathwatch to address this problem. People could either ring the non-emergency Police telephone number quoting Sussex Pathwatch or report it via the on-line Sussex Pathwatch website. In order to give weight to the problem and support the police in prioritising it, they recommended that as many people as possible registered incidents using this method. The problem was also reported to the National Trust who also advised that more people needed to report the problem in order for the police to give it sufficient priority. Councillor Parmar to alert Farm Manager of issue which could affect the herd of cows on the Escarpment.

Powered Microlights: The issue of the growing number of powered microlights flying over Fulking was discussed. The South Downs Joint Committee had advised that they were not aware of any specific policy on this. Chairman to speak to Mid Sussex District Council about its policy concerning the private use of runways.

Financial Matters: The Chairman and Vice Chairman signed off the interim audit, cheque list and Matters cheque stubs. The Annual Accounts for 2009/2010 had been signed off by the PC and Responsible Financial Officer. The internal audit was being carried out.

AOB: The Chairman and Councillor Corner paid tribute to Gina Field who had sadly died recently. They both spoke of her service and commitment to the village in her role as District Councillor.

Mr Goodridge had raised a concern before the meeting about dog fouling and dogs being out of control along The Backway and asked whether signs could be installed there to address these issues. The Chairman felt that as this was private land it was a private matter that needed to be dealt with by the parties involved and did not fall under the remit of the PC. It was also noted that there was a desire to keep signs in the village to a minimum. However, the PC did understand the general issues raised and agreed to post an article in the Pigeon Post.

The meeting was opened up for local residents to raise any issues.

The location of the sound stage in Small Acres during Fulking Fair was raised as a concern because it had caused a noise nuisance to residents who lived directly next to the stage last year. The Chairman said that he would see if it could be sited in a different position but he thought that the location could be constrained by the wiring.

It was queried as to why the issue of parking in Clappers Lane was not on the Agenda. The Chairman explained that as the purchase of the garages by Preston Nomads was still not complete, it was not possible to progress further with the creation and allocation of parking spaces for residents of Clappers Lane. It was discussed that other solutions to the parking problem had been explored. This had included the involvement of Peter Griffiths, particularly looking at using the banked area on the west side of Clappers Lane which had been viewed as prohibitively expensive.

The issue of external lighting at the Market Garden site was raised. The PC reiterated that they can pursue this as soon as they are provided with photographic evidence by residents which they can then supply to MSDC Development Control

Date of Next Meeting: 14 October.

The meeting closed at 8.55

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