Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Celebrations
03 Feb 2022
Kirdford Parish Council calls in Police to investigate reckless habitat destruction
West Sussex, 03 Feb 2022 - Kirdford Parish Council has today, in partnership with our contractor The Ecology Co-op, submitted evidence of reckless habitat destruction to West Sussex Police.
The site to the south of the village known as Townfield Meadows, was indiscriminately and aggressively cleared in early 2020 a month before ecologists were commissioned by a developer to carry out a Habitat Assessment to feed into its application for 70 houses on the site (KD/21/00466/OUT).
Kirdford Parish Council commissioned its own independent review to establish how this process was managed and to verify the calculations in the developer’s report. The shocking conclusion of which has led to the evidence being submitted to Sussex Police.
A spokesperson for Kirdford Parish Council said; “Kirdford Parish is proud of its rich biodiversity. With a third of the Parish within the South Downs National Park, we are careful to ensure that all land owners, developers and Competent Authorities observe the law. Wilful eradication of wildlife and protected species is potentially a crime and should be investigated by the Police against the appropriate legislation.”
Chichester District Council’s Environment Coordinator acknowledged in her Ecology comments on the application, that it was “… unfortunate that vegetation was cleared from the site before the <Extensive habitat and protected species surveys> were undertaken.” But no attempt appears to have been taken to investigate the possibility of a criminal act having been committed.
Mr Paul Whitby from The Ecology Co-op who conducted the independent review said; “The law protects some of our species from reckless or intentional harm, including the destruction of their habitat or place of shelter. This large scale habitat destruction was carried out before a legally required ecological assessment was conducted. The destruction of such a rich habitat is contrary to both the requirements of the planning system in assessing environmental impacts, and protected species legislation. The clearance of the site immediately prior to consulting an ecologistresulted in the reckless destruction of hazel dormouse habitat and will certainly have resulted in the killing or injury of reptiles, which had already been identified at the site in 2009.”
Important message for Kirdford residents - Water Neutrality
March 2021, 'Natural England' (a Government adviser
for the natural environment in England) issued a message to Chichester
District, Horsham District, and Crawley Borough Councils, advising that “any developments ... which fall within the Sussex North
water resource supply zone (ed: this includes all of Kirdford Parish) will need
to be tested through an HRA (ed: Habitats Regulations Assessment). This is
because the Sussex North area is supplied by a water extraction at Hardham (ed:
near Pulborough), which we have advised cannot with certainty conclude is not
having an adverse impact on integrity on the Arun Valley SPA, SAC and Ramsar
(ed biodiverse areas of scientific interest) .... A water neutral approach is a
mechanism for avoiding impact if an alternative water supply cannot be
See below for full message.
Future developments in our Parish must be water neutral (use water recycling, grey water harvesting, reduced consumption). Kirdford Parish Council immediately asked Chichester District Council in March to suspend the CALA development in Chapel Field as this development did not include this design. After repeated requests, we were told in mid-September that because permission was granted in October 2019 (before this issue was raised), work could begin. KPC is contesting this point; our view is that we need to face the reality of today, not 2019.
In the months that followed, the other two councils have issued a 'position statement' declaring that all planning applications for new homes will have to be suspended pending a resolution to this issue. However, Chichester District Council have not done so and we have issued the following open letter to the council leadership:
Boundary Commission for England Review 2023
The Boundary Commission for England is proposing changes to the constituency boundaries in England, which would mean Kirdford would move from Arundel and South Downs to the Chichester constituency.
The proposed changes can be viewed here – just type in your postcode https://www.bcereviews.org.uk/
We would urge you to give your feedback
to BCE and help to protect our rural communities and preserve our dark skies.
If you wish your views to be
considered, please ensure they are received by BCE no later than the closing
date of this statutory consultation period, which is 2 August 2021.
For further information please go
Below is a suggested template to send to BCE. You can also
leave your comments on their website using this link https://www.bcereviews.org.uk/ and
then click the ‘comments’ button to the right of the boundaries map.
Please send your submission to: Freepost REPRESENT
Commission for England
35 Great Smith
To whom it
2023 Boundary Review Consultation – West Sussex
I currently live in the Arundel & South Downs constituency and I wish to oppose the current BCE proposals on the following grounds:
I understand that there is a counter proposal which has been put
forward by the Member of Parliament for Arundel and South Downs and which has
been discussed locally. This counter proposal has my full support.
degree of change imposed upon the electorate – with the current constituency
where I live broken into no fewer than six successor parts – suggests that the
Boundary Commission has given insufficient regard to boundaries of existing
constituencies as there are viable alternatives that would less inconvenience
essential character of Arundel and South Downs is of a rural constituency lying
between the Downs away from the coastal strip with an east-west orientation and
a string of similar and connected small towns and villages. This has not been
recognised as a geographic factor nor in terms of local ties; and
changes to the existing boundary number of split wards impacting just a few
thousand electors could prevent wholesale change impacting hundreds of
thousands of electors;
proposed inclusion of Salvington and Offington Ward from Worthing BC could
easily be substituted by restoring the Pulborough and Storrington Wards in
Horsham DC, materially improving existing community ties and reducing the
degree of change.
My address is:
UPDATE: NEW DEADLINE!
Our Parish Councillors continue to work hard to fight the proposal for Townfield. Thank you to those of you that have submitted your comments to Chichester. There have now been over 140 Objections and we are delighted to also be supported by our close neighbours, Wisborough Green, Plaistow & Ifold and Ebernoe, who have also submitted objections.
The interest has been significant and we have secured an extension to the deadline for representations to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be heard.… So we still have time!
The new deadline is now 20th May, so please, get your comments in, every single one counts!
Broadband speeds in the Village
We have been looking at the Government Scheme for vouchers towards increasing the Broadband coverage for Kirdford with OpenReach (the owner of the infrastructure). OpenReach do not have any projects in the pipeline to enhance the infrastructure for Kirdford - we already have Fast Internet to the Exchange and fibre to the green boxes on the roadside.
This already gives houses access to fast internet, but as you get further away from the green roadside boxes the speed decreases.
There is an opportunity to provide Gigabit broadband to buildings, but that requires a Community Fibre Partnership to be set up between an organisation in Kirdford and the residents. We have set up this partnership between OpenReach and Kirdford Parish Council.
The way the partnership works, is that residents who wish to potentially be included make themselves known to the Parish Council, we collate all the information (names, addresses etc.), this is then submitted to OpenReach, who will work out the cost, taking into account any available grants etc. - the cost is then passed onto the recipients - the Parish Council may also look at a grant towards these costs as well.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full address, including post code and landline number to be added to the potential list.
Spring is here
Well, after months of bad weather, we finally have a warm weekend. The perfect time to get out and about in the garden.
Spring is just around the corner, but unfortunately the Parish Council cannot organise a Village Spring Clean this year due to COVID restrictions. We have seen quite a few social media posts where our wonderful villagers have been collecting rubbish whilst out on their daily walks, and the Parish Council would like to thank them all for keeping our quaint Village looking beautiful.
As spring is on its way, the Parish Council together with others in the community, have put up 17 bird boxes this weekend. This was an initiative started last year, but due to COVID we did not get a chance to deploy them in time for the nesting season. This year we managed to put some up, but we still have a few spare, so if you would like one of these RSPB bird boxes just reach out to us. Keep a look out for the bird boxes, it might be a bit of fun while you are walking around the village...
Census Day - 21 March 2021
Census Day is on 21 March and a great deal of work is being done locally to prepare for it alongside the national campaign which you will see shortly, in newspapers, radio and television and social media. Recruitment of the considerable numbers of people who will be helping with the census on the streets is underway through https://www.censusjobs.co.uk/. Households across Kirdford will receive letters with online codes letting them take part from early March. The letters will also contain a phone number to call if the householder needs a paper census form.
None of us know what restrictions will be in place because of the pandemic so a whole range of scenarios are being planned for, but because Census 2021 will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets, no face-to-face human intervention outside the house will be required. In this situation, census forms will not need to be put in post boxes and collected by the postie. Nor will the envelopes need to be opened and the completed forms scanned or otherwise data-captured. It will be quicker to complete the form online too, as you will be automatically directed to the next relevant question. If you answer No to one, for example, you will not need to read through the next five which would only have been relevant if you had answered Yes.
It will also mean that the information will be more accurate as there will be less scope for handwritten answers being misread. Other answers to questions that might have been misunderstood will be able to be corrected by the guidance given by the program.
Everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed as a result of the census data. Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said “This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and there will be additional help and paper questionnaires for those who need them.”
John Heaton, the Census Engagement Manager for the South and West of West Sussex, who lives locally, added: “Things are very difficult for many people at the moment and it's not easy to look for silver linings in the clouds but, ironically, the fact that so many more people are using online resources now compared to a year ago means that many more will feel confident about completing the census online”.
First results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations. Incidentally, for those who are keen on researching family history, that means that the 1921 Census returns, taken not long after the end of the First World War, will be soon be available - from 1 January 2022, in fact. After the loss of life during the war and the Spanish flu which followed it - that other devastating pandemic just over 100 years ago - the increase in the population decade on decade was in single figures for the first time since the census began, just 5% compared to an average growth of 13.6% since 1801. It was also the only time in the history of the census that a question was asked about orphans.
Any local organisations that work with those in the community who may need additional help can contact John through email@example.com or for more information, visit www.census.gov.uk
Townfield Meadows Consultation
Dear Kirdford residents,
You will know from previous Facebook posts, that a company called Welbeck Land are conducting an online consultation regarding the proposed development of 70 houses on the Townfield site. They invite comments from residents on their consultation website.
Kirdford Parish Council exists to represent the views and concerns of our fellow residents, and we would like to hear your comments related to this proposed development.
We have launched an online form, and invite you to comment freely on the proposal so we can gauge our residents' reaction. Please follow this link Townfield Meadows Consultation and give us your feedback Thank you.
Christmas Goodie Bags were a smash!
It has been such a dismal year, with no events taking place in the Village, times have been hard both monetarily and mentally. The Chair of the Parish Council put forward the idea of giving goody bags to the children in the village for Christmas and it was unanimously voted a great idea and a sum of money was set aside for the project.
Mandy and Lynne raided the wholesalers and ordered in extra via the internet, the bags were made up, and a post was put on the Kirdford Noticeboard Facebook page.
Over 50 goody bags were handed out to children on Tuesday 22nd December and it was lovely to see everyone who came with a smile on their face.
The comments the Councillors received were heartwarming, and we are pleased it went down so well with the locals.
Let's hope next year is better and hopefully we will be able to do more things together as a community.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all from Kirdford Parish Council.
(Photo courtesy of Hana Askew)
Developments for the Parish
Developments for the Parish
Greetings, fellow Kirdford Parishioners
As this year slowly draws to a close, your Parish Council wanted to update you on some developments that will be occurring in and around the village. These will affect us from 2021 onwards so we hope you can spend a few minutes to read this announcement.
Chichester District Council has recently re-issued their Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) document which provides an assessment of available land for development in the Parish. This is land offered by Kirdford landowners to Chichester for possible housing development. The 2018 version of this document did not identify any additional housing for the Parish, so it comes as an unexpected shock to read the 2020 version identifies land availability equivalent to 591 houses for the Parish, with an initial allocation of 70 homes with staged developments planned until 2037. The land has yet to pass through the planning processes, but the chaotic change in direction partly results from the expiry of Chichester's own Local Plan. Despite this, we want to assure residents that the Parish Council intends to robustly defend our Kirdford Neighbourhood Plan, as adopted by referendum by the village, as the legally binding document representing your democratic voice. Our Parish has 458 houses in total, of which 226 homes are in the village. Controlled integration of small developments, driven by local need, is fundamental to preserve our village community.
Land South of Townfield
A site identified in the Kirdford Neighbourhood Plan for development is the Townfield site. In recent months there have been approaches to Kirdford Parish Council from an agent on behalf of the developer. We understand the agent and Chichester District Council have had initial planning meetings towards outlying planning permission, however the details have not been shared with us to date, so we cannot brief the Parish on the content. The agent has told us that they will provide a public consultation website so that we all can review what they have in mind for the development. Please review the consultation carefully and provide comments and opinion.
Plaistow Road Development
The field just north of Bramley Close, identified for development in the Neighbourhood Plan, was to be developed by CALA Homes with 54 new homes. Our Neighbourhood Plan required a phased approach for building, with half the houses first and a period of sales and integration for the new villagers, followed by development of the second half. Initially upheld by Chichester District Council, CALA then submitted a new application for the homes to be built without phasing. Despite our objection, and against our advice, Chichester District Council permitted CALA's second application significantly increasing the value of the plot. CALA are now selling the site with the new permission to another developer. After six years of stagnation, development is likely to start next year, but following the unphased development.
The Couchlands Farm site in Plaistow was in turmoil for years, causing environmental damage and distress to the two Parish communities, due to the unlawful developments of the previous owner. Ineffective enforcement by Chichester District Council meant that the site continued to pollute our environment for years before the residents could raise sufficient funding to pursue a successful Public Enquiry and have the development stopped. The new owner has been working hard to clear up the site and has recently issued a public consultation presenting their plans for some of the site (note; half of Crouchlands Farm falls within the Kirdford Parish). The Parish Councils of Plaistow and Kirdford visited the site in the autumn of 2019 to hear their advanced plans which included the content of this consultation, plus the future housing plans for approximately 130 houses. The consultation deadline for comments is January 11th, 2021, so time is short. We encourage everyone to review and comment.
all from us for now. May we take this
opportunity to wish all of us a safe and happy Christmas, and better times in
Kirdford Parish Council
West Sussex County Council Proactive flood prevention team targets highway ‘hotspots’
A ‘find and fix’ team will target roads prone to flooding in Operation Flood Prevention, which starts on Monday (7 December) and will run until the end of March next year.
Highway officers will work closely with our contractor, Drainline Southern, to co-ordinate the county-wide programme of proactive drainage cleansing.
Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “This proactive work will be in addition to our existing cyclical and reactive responses to drainage problems, which will continue in the usual way.
“Officers will use historical flooding data and their local knowledge to help target potential problem areas.
“The work will include cleaning the drainage system to ensure it is working to its full capacity, and this will support flood resilience for local communities.”
Tristan Miles, managing director of Drainline Southern, said: “It’s so vitally important that we target areas of flooding in the winter months – using our smart Geographic Information System (GIS), combined with local knowledge of the county, we can proactively tackle known problem hotspots.
“We will use one of our water efficient Super Recyclers to target these areas in the most efficient way possible.”
Residents are asked to continue to report highway drainage problems in the usual way, either via our website at www.westsussex.gov.uk, using the Love West Sussex app or by calling 01243 642105.
Super Recycler truck fact file:
- Waste water collected by the truck is recycled and can be used immediately for jetting, reducing the time spent on site, with all the environmental benefits of re-using the waste water
- The Super Recycler has unprecedented vacuum and high-volume capacity
- It is perfect for hard-to-reach areas, such as culverts and across fields, due to the exceptional suction
- It can suck to a depth of 50-70 metres straight down and more than 400 metres across land, depending on the fall of the pipe and whether liquids or solids are involved.
Consultation on Night Flight Restrictions
The government recognises that noise from aircraft taking-off and landing at night is often regarded by communities as the most disturbing form of airport operations.
The first part of the consultation is to formally propose to maintain the existing night flight restrictions for the designated airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) from 2022 to 2024.
The second part of the consultation, is to seek early views and evidence on policy options for the government’s future night flight policy at the designated airports beyond 2024.
If you wish to be involved in this consultation, please visit the
The consultation period will run between 2 December 2020 and 3 March 2021
CHICHESTER DISTRICT COUNCIL URBANISES RURAL VILLAGES WITH 2,194 HOUSING ALLOCATION!
Chichester District Council has unilaterally identified swathes of productive agricultural land for housing development consuming villages across the north of the district. The Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment document, released a few weeks ago, has mobilised residents and Parish Councils who are enraged at the report.
Full release attached.
Kirdford Parish Council Response to the Government White Paper: Planning for the Future
Small rural community from before the Doomsday
Book, about to face a 21st century Doomsday future!
THE GOVERNMENT PLANNING WHITE PAPER “PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE” AND CHICHESTER DISTRICT COUNCIL’S HELAA (HOUSING AND ECONOMIC LAND AVAILABILITY ASSESSMENT) WILL DESTROY VILLAGES
Finally - the playground is done!
After many years of trials and tribulations, the final part of the playground equipment was fitted today. It took over a year to get the permission from the National Trust to have our old playground equipment replaced, once the Council had that permission, the various items were ordered.
Everything was delivered last autumn, but the terrible weather delayed the project again, it was decided to continue in the spring....
Just as the matting was being laid, Covid19 hit, and we had to stop again. In the 6 months of the pandemic, the crow's nest swing went missing, therefore we had to order another one, this has just arrived and Cllr Tony Piedade and Cllr Tony Brooks fitted it.
It is all finished - enjoy!
Speeding through the village
As a Parish Council, we are regularly contacted regarding the speed of vehicles travelling through the village or anti social driving. It is an item that comes up often in our Parish Council Meetings (you are always invited, we display the agendas on the Parish Council Noticeboards and on this website).
I wanted to give an update of where we, the Parish Council, are at the moment with this issue. We have discussed the problem with the Highways Department of Chichester District Council and hope to be implementing a speed survey in the near future. We are also investigating the following options.
- Speed bumps - this is not an option according to Highways as they cause vibration in the ground and extra noise.
- Speed indication signs - these show the driver what speed they are doing in a 30mph area. They are easily erected in various parts of the village and we have identified, together with Highways, the optimum location for the signs - we are currently getting prices.
- Village signs - usually white or wood gates either side of the highway, with the Kirdford Village sign on them, indicating to a driver that they are entering the village. We have also identified with Highways, where we can place the gates - we are currently getting prices.
- Adding a 40mph limit before entering the village - again this is not an option according to Highways as they are governed by legislation with regards to number of houses, density, etc.
Another option to reduce speeding through the village, is the formation of a Parish Traffic Group, this is a group of volunteers that stand at fixed locations and measure the speed of vehicles going past them. Any vehicles travelling in excess of the speed limit are noted and the Police informed via a website. The Police will then take action, especially in the case of re-offenders. The Parish Council are happy to support such a group and contribute towards the equipment needed. Please reach out to us if you would like to form one. There are already groups in Wisborough Green and Ifold.
With regards to antisocial driving outside of the village, the Parish Council are powerless to take any action, we can only recommend that if you experience any dangerous or antisocial driving, you should note the registration number of the vehicle and report it to the Police yourself.
Cllr Tony Brooks
NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2020
NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN
ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2020
Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)
1. Date of announcement Tuesday 21st July 2020 (a)
2. Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd. The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.
Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2020, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:
Kirdford Parish Council Clerk
PO Box 437, Kirdford, Billingshurst, West Sussex. RH14 4DE
commencing on. Wednesday 22 July 2020
and ending on Tuesday 2 September 2020
3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:
The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and
The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.
The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.
4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015. The appointed auditor is:
Moore (Ref RD/hd)
Rutland House, Minerva Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough
5. This announcement is made by Lynne Brooks RFO Kirdford Parish Council