“Old red telephone box .. converted into tourist information kiosk”

Fulking telephone box and bus stop

[A slightly misleading illustration]

The Argus reports:

This former BT telephone kiosk was installed decades ago in .. a hamlet nestling in the South Downs .. For years it remained unused, .. It has now undergone months of restoration work and now displays a large-scale map of the area with details of local places of interest and local amenities. It would also dispense leaflets and brochures provided by the South Downs National Park Authority, various institutions and by businesses in the vicinity.

Village Action Plan Group meeting

The Village Action Plan Group will have its annual meeting on Thursday 15th August.

As the Plan is a living document, various actions are achieved throughout the year or are superseded by other developments and this meeting will review any progress and agree any new actions.

Please feel free to attend even if you haven’t been before.

The current plan can be found here on the village website in the section ‘About our Village’ or click here.

Kate Watson
Fulking Parish Council

Village Plan – Original Ideas from 2010

Here are the original discussion notes from the Village Plan Working Party first published back in 2010. Things have moved on since then.

The Future Requirements of Fulking village?:-

Fulking is a unique and lovely rustic country village situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), of which there are not many left in Sussex, and now set in part of the South Down’s National Park.

Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) is urging all towns and villages to prepare a development plan for their own area looking ahead up to 2026. If we do not present a plan then MSDC will prepare one for us based on what they think we require, and all future Parish Councils will be required to work towards it. The Parish Council therefore feel it is important that the village produces its own plan for the future, rather than have one imposed by MSDC.

1) Enhance the conservation area of the Village
This can be achieved by removing all telephone poles and putting the cables underground (see also item 6) and perhaps in 2012 with the much stronger signal of Digital T.V. the aerials could be placed in the loft where practical.

2) Limiting the continual enlargement of Dwellings
Within the conservation area, enlargement to properties is often carried out by developers who then sell the property on within some two to five years. With enlarged homes comes the problem of increased numbers of family and then more cars parked in The Street and Clappers Lane . If an extension is allowed within the Conservation Area then it should be to the rear of the property and should not alter the appearance as seen from the road.

3) Embrace the new MSDC and National Park policy
NO new housing development in the National Park, except in very exceptional circumstances.
Clappers Lane should be made a quite lane by WSCC as it is now within the National Park and will be used by a lot more walkers, horse riders and cyclist.

4) The Sewerage Plant:
Must be brought up to the latest EU standards. This would prevent all the lush weed growth which then chokes up the stream, and also bring the discharged water quality up to the standard required to stop pollution of the River Adur and to some small degree, the sea in which we bathe.

5) Village Car Park
We need a Village car park to cater for visitors to the village, customers of the pub and walkers access to the Downs. The Car park must be a green parking area suitably screened to blend with the surrounding area.

6) Telephone and Broad Band System
Due to the increased potential to work at home and to allow any business to function efficiently, the telephone and broadband system must be greatly improved. We all know of the system’s slowness even though it is supposed to operate at 8Mb. Even with a direct line from the exchange to Manor Farm businesses, they are still experiencing many problems. This improvement should be possible if the villages of Poynings, Fulking, and Pyecombe all group together and push for early installation of the new 100Mb fibre optic system for which the government has given permission and which is to be installed all over England within two years (if you can believe this is possible!).

7) Village/Church Hall
A new hall will soon be required as the present one is falling apart due to woodworm and rot. Insulation against heat loss is non-existent as it was built 1902. The new government standards require disabled access and car parking so perhaps a new village hall could be built in the village car park. It should be built to modern standards and fitted with solar panels to reduce the hot water bills.

8) Affordable Housing
A very difficult subject. The main considerations are young people who have lived in the village all their life cannot afford to buy houses here, so they move away leaving their parents who often become unable to manage on their own. The parents are then forced to move away to nearby towns, their house is then sold and the chance to help their parents in old age, and another chance to live in the village is also lost.

9) The Chapel
When the old village hall is demolished, the Chapel, a feature of the village which is still in reasonable condition, should remain and there are several possibilities for its future if let out by the church; it could become a village tea room and small village shop; suitable small business such a firm of accountants, computer sales and repairs, a secretarial service; it could even be converted to living accommodation with an extension at the back. Such options would not alter or spoil the look of the conservation area, whereas to demolish the two buildings and build a new cottage/ house would spoil the rustic charm of the village and would look out of place.

10) Children’s Play Area
This part of the village has been a constant expense for all previous Parish Councils and it is costing the P.C. a lot of extra money. One major expense is the repeated topping up of the bark in the enclosure around the climbing frame. This needs to be replaced by a modern permanent safety material that does not require any maintenance.

11) Allotments
This is a recent issue started by the organic movement and the credit squeeze. There are only a few people who think they want an allotment as most are too busy today with family activities. TV, computers and other modern technology.
The solution that the P.C. therefore suggested is that if anyone has more garden than they need, the P.C would introduce them to a person wanting an allotment and let things takes their course.

These are The Parish Council’s thoughts for the future of the village and the start of the Village Plan.

The Parish Council would like to hear from anyone who has ideas they think should be included in this suggested plan, or indeed comments on items they do not agree with. Please reply to Paula Hazard The Parish Clerk, or to one of the Parish Councillors. Please have your say!! Your views can be expressed at the Parish Council meeting on Thursday 9 September 2010, 7.30pm at the Preston Nomads Cricket Club House. If indifference is shown, then it will be adopted as the official plan for Fulking and lodged with the MSDC.

2012 05 03 PC Minutes

Annual Meeting of Fulking Parish Council: Meeting held in the Fulking Village Hall on 3 May 2012 At 8pm

Present: Ms K Watson (Vice Chairman), Mrs P Rowland, Ms L Dyos, Mr M Trist and Clerk to the Council Andrea Dickson. 8 members of the public.

1. Meeting opened by Ms Kate Watson

2. Nomination for Chairman and Vice Chairman were received by the Clerk. Chairman Ms Kate Watson was nominated by Mrs P Rowland and seconded by Ms L Dyos Vice Chairman Mr M Trist was nominated by Ms K Watson and seconded by Ms L Dyos The Chairman and Vice Chairman signed the Declaration of Office forms.

3. Apologies: Dr D Slavin and Colin Trumble.

4. Minutes of Annual meeting of Fulking Parish Council on 2 June 2011 were amended and approved.

5. Chairman s Report Clerk The previous Clerk did not meet the Parish requirements,this resulted in her resignation . Sheena Trist thankfully stepped in to help out until a new clerk could be recruited. Andrea Dickson took up the post of Clerk in April, her details will be on the website soon.

Planning: In the past year Fulking Parish Council has received 11 applications. 3 have been approved. 1 refused. 6 pending consideration. 1 called in by South Downs National Park Authority. Market Garden site is included in the pending consideration list (the application is for permanent permission for the stationing of caravans and a dayroom on the site). This has been called to committee by Mid Sussex, the planned date for this is 31 May (this has yet to be confirmed). The National Planning Policy Network (NPPN) was introduced at the end of March, hopefully this should not alter things too much for Fulking. More information can be found about the NPPN on the internet.

Finances The annual precept has increased by 3.26% to 6344.

Thank you to Bob Rowland for acting as The Responsible Finance Officer and for looking after all financial matters. Thank you also to Nick Hughes for carrying out the Internal Audit of the annual accounts. This was accepted by the Parish Council last night.

Highways: Flooding is still an issue despite Tony Brooks’s best efforts to get this sorted. Please report any flooding to West Sussex Highways Department in Chichester. Speeding is still a problem, articles have been posted in the Pigeon Post highlighting this issue. Fullking was very prepared this year with a winter management plan, although it was not necessary to put this into action.

Village Hall: Parochial Church Council considered selling the Village Hall due to lack of funds. At a public meeting in December the Village Hall Action Group was formed.The action group has worked tirelessly over the past few months improving the facility, raising funds and encouraging people to use the hall. The current arrangement is still in a trial period, the future of the hall is still very uncertain and in the hands of the community.

Village Plan: The Village Plan published last summer has recently been updated. This will be found on the website in the near future.

Crime: There has been a sharp increase in crime in the area recently so please be vigilant. Anything suspicious should be reported on the direct number for non emergencies 101.

Village Fair: Please support the village fair on Sunday 29 July 12noon-5pm. Thank you to the Social Committee which does a great job raising funds and orgainising cleans ups around the village.

Finally thank you to David Slavin for his work as Chairman in the last few months. David will be stepping down as councillor due to work commitments. This will create a vacancy on the Parish Council which will be advertised on the Parish notice board in the near future.
Thank you to all of the councillors for the extremely hard work they have put in over the past year. Thank you also to Aidan Walker for his continued involvement in Pigeon Post and to James Lightfoot for running the website for the village. Final thank you for attending the meeting and for taking an interest in the local community.

6. Speakers: Councillor Peter Griffiths gave an overview of the services West Sussex provide. Andrew Trigg (SDNPA) Neighbourhood Planning Officer for the National Park gave an update for Fulking on Neighbourhood Planning. Tricia Robinson gave a review of the progress made by the Village Hall Action Group.

7. Comments from the floor.

8. Dates of next Ordinary Parish Council meetings July 12, October 11, January 10 2013.

Meeting closed at 9.30pm

[ BoilerPlate plate = “PC_Disclaimer” ]

2011 07 11 PC Minutes

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting Held on Thursday 7th July 2011 at 7.30pm

MT, PR, KW, LD & DS. Clerk to the Council. Apologies from MSDC & WSCC representatives. 20 Members of the public present.

The minutes from the last Ordinary Parish Council meeting held on 14th April 2011 were approved.

Tony Brooks wrote to SDNP re: operation of the 28 days rule for the flight strip, however has no response to date. Pump House adjacent to the public house — SDNP were to take over responsibility for this issue, however no further correspondence has been received. Bus Services Cuts: No 17 from A281. WSCC have not jetted the drains outside the Old Thatch. This issue is in need of attention,

Fulking Village Hall: The Chairman gave a brief update on the VH. The Chairman then introduced Rev Currer to brief the meeting in more detail. Rev Currer reported that the Hall belongs to the Parochial Church Council. The hall has been in disrepair for many years. Discussions have taken place regarding selling the site, or demolishing the building and rebuilding. The PCC were reluctant to sell the site commercially. A letter of intent was received by the PCC from residents proposing to develop the site and build a hall for the use in the village. It would be agreed that should this option there would be an agreement that the use is non-commercial gain and for development for the village. This is the current position and still under discussion. The Big Society encourages this type of work with communities. There would be a village trust in place should this option be chosen in order to ensure there are no commercial sales in the future. The ownership was registered without the deeds for the VH therefore whoever purchases the site would take out insurance in order to cover any Covenants issues. Suggestions took place regarding the possibility of the Church considering leasehold for the VH site. The PCC will aim to keep the village informed of the progress on this issue. The next steps are for the PCC to meet with the proposing group to discuss further. The next step should this proceed would be for a surveyor to come and inspect the site for advice. A proposal then goes to the dioceses of Finance for approval before going to solicitors. It was felt it was important to ensure the village have been consulted as part of this proposal. Discussions took place regarding historic ownership. The PC could not afford this in the past due to the costs involved. Thanks extended to Caroline Currer for attending the meeting this evening.

Local Planning: Lower Kents — Cllr Rowland updated: 2 buildings – one achieved retrospective planning. The second building required full planning permission; however there had been delays due to Elections and neighbourhood issues with consultation. MSDC thought there was no need for this application to go to committee, however, following lengthy discussions with our MSDC Cllrs we have managed to get this to go to committee. No date set yet.

Market Garden — The 5-year agreement expires on 26th Sept 2011 in order to give MSDC time to establish further information. Martin Small and Mike Bleakley from SDNP are the Link Officers for MSDC, and have been involved in this issue. It would be key to continue with Mike Bleakley with this issue as the SDNP are not happy with the current situation. The owner is thought to be registered at the Withey Patch, so the 5 year agreement was due to the lack of availability to re-homing them. CLAG asked for support from the PC to work with MSDC to establish what has been worked on in the 5 years since this 5 year temporary planning was granted. The PC agreed this issue will be supported and will work with CLAG where required. The land is understood to be owned by the Hearne family. Cllr Dyos updated that the SDNP felt this was of significant issue, therefore will require further investigation.

Old Pump House — Previously known as smugglers walk. A mobile home was placed in situ in April, and subsequently the Enforcement Officers from MSDC completed a site visit. There is a 6-8 week timescale currently for the removal of the mobile home, along with various building materials. There has been a history of Enforcement issues with this property.

Backway: It was noted there are more vehicles using the backway. Access for 3 vehicles only had been agreed. This is a Bridleway, and should be 1 metre wide. The Chairman informed members that this issue was not for the Parish Council and this should be discussed between the residents in the area.

The Village Action Plan: to be delivered with this week’s Pigeon Post. Thanks to all those who have worked on the Action Plan.

Notice Board: Cllr Dyos stated that the current notice board is in need of repair and is too small. Clerk to look into the costs of a new notice board.

Concerns have been mentioned to Cllr Watson regarding the control of dogs around the access land in order to protect nesting birds. 1st of March to 31st July. Information is on the National England Website.

Next Meeting Date: Thursday 6th October 2011 at 7.30pm.

Meeting closed at 9pm.

[ BoilerPlate plate = “PC_Disclaimer” ]

2011 04 14 PC Minutes

Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held in the Village Hall, Fulking on Thursday 14 April 2011 at 7.30pm

Present: Chairman Mr Tony Brook, Vice Chairman Mrs Pamela Rowland, Councillors Mr Richard Corner, Ms Jo Hudek and Mrs Jennifer Parmar.

Apologies for Absence: Clerk to the Council Mrs Paula Hazard

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

County Council update: None (no County Council representatives attending).

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2011, as previously circulated, were approved, accepted and signed by the Chairman.

Highways: Flooding — The Chairman has compiled a Flooding Report detailing all recurring flooding problems in the area and submitted this to WSCC Highways and Peter Griffiths. This has resulted in a successful site meeting between the Highway Officer, Chairman and Clerk resulting in: jetting of drains by corner of Kent Cottage, Four Acres corner, and Shepherd & Dog corner; plan to stop soil erosion on northern bank of Shepherd & Dog corner; a ditch dug at the Four Acres corner for water to soak away. Highways confirmed that WSCC is responsible only for the first metre of the ditch off the road so the ditch has only been dug for that length. We ideally need a longer ditch to cope with heavy rain.

The Highways representative also stressed the responsibility of landowners to drain their land properly. Highways believe the main source of the problem in Clappers Lane is water coming off the land and ditches not being maintained adequately. The landowners need to ensure that their ditches are kept clear and free running. Ditches on the land running on the eastern side of Clappers Lane need digging out and maintaining in order to reduce water on the lane. WSCC Highways has written to the landowner to this effect. No action has been taken by the landowner to date.

Correct Signposting for Roadworks: WSCC and Peter Griffiths have been advised about a problem with incorrect road closed signposting at the Shepherd & Dog pub. When Highways plans to carry out roadworks where the road is still available for access, they must put up access to business signs. On 14 Feb the access open to business sign was not put up, only road closed only sign up. (Ref 557735). This has impacted both the pubs and Springs on a number of occasions.

North Town Field Play Area: The grand opening of the improved Children’s Play Area will take place on 22 April at 11am as part of a wider celebration including an Easter Egg hunt. Representatives from Viridor and WSCC have been invited.

NTF lease: The PC is arranging to register the lease with the Land Registry (which is an obligation of the tenant). This will reduce the insurance costs with one policy covering both the play area and NTF.

Field tidy-up: A major tidy up of the southern bank of the field was held in February. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped out.

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

Reopening of Bridleway11F — There was no further news from West Sussex Rights of Way.

Bridleway 5/3F — The PC has contacted the South Downs Joint Committee as they had previously carried out some work to improve the drainage. They advise that responsibility for the maintenance of rights of way within the South Downs National Park will pass to the local authority (i.e. West Sussex County st Council) on April 1. This means that the PC will need to look to them to fund the maintenance of this type of work. The SDJC advised that on a previous project to do this type of work, the local PC requested support from the Mid Sussex Bridleways Group. MSBG has been contacted to seek support. Awaiting response.

Village Plan: The draft Village Action Plan was discussed and final comments taken at a meeting on 10 February. The Plan booklet is now in production and should be ready for printing shortly.

Ram House: Further to the repairs to the Ram House, undertaken and paid for by the National Trust, there is no further news on the NT taking ownership of the House. A reminder letter will be sent to the NT.

Lower Kents: The planning application was received by MSDC in October and has now been passed to the PC and is available to residents for public for consultation. The PC has passed on its objections and concerns and those expressed by local residents at the Planning meeting. We are now waiting to be informed of the date of the MSDC Planning Committee meeting which is likely to be in May or June due to the local elections.

Powered Microlights: The Chairman raised the issue of noise and nuisance caused by powered microlights at the South Downs National Park Authority February meeting. The SDNPA are looking into it.

Market Garden Site: The Chairman read out to the meeting the letter received from Claire Tester, Head of Planning at MSDC in response to the PC’s letter. Copies of both letters were made available to attendees. The MSDC letter did not address the issues and concerns raised by the PC in respect of dealing with the expiry of planning permission. The letter merely states that there are no plans to offer additional sites for travellers and offers information for the family occupying the Market Garden site and advises them to contact the Housing Needs Team.

Parish Council: Two people have submitted nomination forms to MSDC to become councillors. As the PC needs 3 Councillors to be quorate, there aren’t enough councillors to Elections form a PC. The Clerk is in discussion with Returning Officer about how to deal with this. It may be possible for MSDC to extend the deadline for nominations and for a new election date to be set probably for mid June. However, the Clerk is waiting for confirmation from MSDC.

Finger post: The main post of the sign at the junction of Clappers Lane and The Street has been painted and new, painted finger boards have been fitted. Temporary lettering has been put on the finger boards, with final lettering now being manufactured. It was noted that Clappers Lane has been misspelt. The Chairman will report this to the contractor to ensure that all spellings are correct for the final version.

Parish Clerk: The current Parish Clerk is standing down at the end of April so the position was advertised in two editions of Pigeon Post. There were general enquiries from four local people but no formal applications received. A formal application was received from Jenny Hartley who acts as Clerk for 3 neighbouring parishes and she has been offered and accepted the post.

Annual Parish Meeting: Because there will be no new Parish Council to hand over to in May, the APM is being postponed until such time as a new PC has been formed. This is dependent on the outcome of discussions with MSDC. The APM should hopefully be held in June. The new date will be publicised in the Pigeon Post. A speaker from SDNPA has been requested.

Litter Bins: Bins are not emptied by Mid Sussex. 3 bins in NTF are being regularly emptied by 2 volunteers. The Chairman asked for a volunteer to empty the bin in the bus shelter.

Financial Matters: The Chairman signed off the interim audit and cheque list.

AOB: Councillor Corner informed the meeting that EDF are in the process of changing electricity meters for some residents. This is a routine operation. Any resident affected by this will receive a letter from EDF. All electrical appliances should be disconnected when this work is taking place to avoid damage to appliances.

Councillor Corner informed the meeting that he is submitting a funding application to MSDC to get funding for the village fair.

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

A resident has written to and emailed Susannah Kemp with regard to Lower Kents. She has received no reply other than to say that Ms Kemp is stepping down.

A discussion took place to clarify PC issues in respect of the fact that the current Councillors lose their powers as of 9 May. The information provided earlier in the meeting was reiterated. Jenny Hartley said that she will email her details to residents.

A resident objected to Councillor Corner’s intention to apply for funds for the village fair on the grounds that the fair generates funds for the village and therefore it was not appropriate to apply for public funds to support this venture.

The issue of how WSCC deal with road closures was raised. A resident stated that official procedures are not being followed, leading to problems for businesses and residents. The key problem is that when road closure signs are put in place it is not made clear that people are still able to access businesses (Springs, Coles, Shepherd & Dog, etc.) and houses. The PC will make WSCC aware of this problem.

A discussion about the temporary airstrip at Folly Farm took place. The matter was discussed in terms of the nuisance caused to local residents by the very frequent use of the airstrip. In reply to a question from the owner of Folly Farm, the Chairman confirmed that it is the PC’s intention to enforce the 28 day rule in respect of this airstrip and that this would be monitored by residents living close to the airstrip. The owner of Folly Farm raised concerns about possible errors in recording flight frequency since there are other aircraft and motorised hang gliders using the area. The Chairman stated that the residents monitoring usage could tell where the craft are taking off and landing because of their close proximity to the airstrip. The Chairman also raised the issue of horses being disturbed by the noise. The owner of Folly Farm undertook to give warning when the airstrip was being used so that horses could be moved but maintained his right to keep a temporary airstrip and indicated that enforcing the 28 day rule will mean that a greater concentration of flights will take place which will increase the nuisance. Two pilots who use the airstrip also attended the meeting and made clear their intentions to minimise the nuisance to residents. The issue remains unresolved in as much as those residents living close to the airstrip will still experience noise disturbance from the temporary airstrip. The PC and some residents commented that the airstrip does not appear in keeping with the ethos of the new National Park with the emphasis on peace and quiet. The Chairman reported that the PC was waiting to hear from the SDNP with regard to the policy on motorised hang gliders and small aircraft in the National Park.

Date of Next Meeting: TBA once arrangements for the new PC are in place.

The meeting closed at 8.15pm