Parish Council News – August 2018

Our thanks to Elaine Wheeler

During June we were sad to accept the resignation of Cllr Elaine Wheeler from the Parish Council. We thank her for her years of dedicated service to the Parish Council on behalf of the residents of Five Ashes. Wealden District Council has confirmed that the vacancy can be filled by co-option and we would like to hear from anyone who wishes to be considered to represent the ward of Five Ashes. To stand as a Parish Councillor you must:

  • be a UK or commonwealth citizen, or;
  • be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or;
  • be a citizen of another Member state of the European Union;
  • be a least 18 years old.
  • be an elector of the parish, or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish, or;
  • during the previous 12 months have worked in the parish (as your principal or only place of work), or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary.

You do not have to be connected to a political party.

The Parish Council meets once a month (for about 2 hours) except during the months of January and August. The meetings take place in Mayfield Memorial Hall and Five Ashes Village Hall. Its following committees carry out the detailed work of the Parish Council:

  • Planning Executive
  • Finance and General Purposes Executive
  • Community Development Advisory
  • Rights of Way and Trees Advisory
  • Community Safety and Traffic Advisory


You would be expected to attend the meetings of any of the Committees that you become a member of. Committees are scheduled to meet four times a year with the exception of the Planning Committee that meets every three weeks.


Be vigilant in the our play areas

I am sad to have to report that in June beer cans and more shockingly a razor blade was found in the play area in Five Ashes which is of great concern. Last year a drawing pin was stuck to the inside of the baby swing seat to deliberately harm a toddler. Although the play areas are checked on a weekly basis please be extra vigilant when using the equipment and please report any suspicious activity to Sussex Police by telephoning 101 or by emailing: and contact the Parish Council as soon as possible – contact details below.


Parish Council grants

One of the important roles of the Parish Council is to provide grants to organisations within Mayfield and Five Ashes to help them move forward with their own projects. Our grants policy can be found on the Parish Council website at in the “Key Documents / Finance” section along with the approved grant application form. To apply for a grant for 2019/20 you will need to submit your application to the Parish Clerk by 30 September 2018 with the financial information required. Individual grants may be made available up to a maximum of £500. They have to be match funded so applicants must cover at least 50% of the total project cost. If you do not have internet access please contact the Parish Council office on 01435 873784 so a copy of the grants policy and application form can be forwarded to you.

Wealden District Council (WDC) Local Plan update

The new draft Wealden Local Plan was published on 27 June for consideration by WDC’s Local Plan Sub Committee on 5 July and then the Joint Planning Committee North and South on 6 July before proceeding to their Full Council on 18 July 2018 (conclusions from this meeting were unknown at the time of writing this article). We have made the plan available to download on the Mayfield and Five Ashes Community Website: It is understood that it will go to consultation for eight weeks finishing on 08 October 2018. The section on Mayfield can be found on pages 301 – 312.

WDC have undertaken a Habitats Regulations Assessment as the “competent authority” for the Wealden district, taking into account Natural England advice. This work has determined that there is an adverse effect on the integrity of the Ashdown Forest Special Area of Conservation from the proposed Wealden Local Plan, either alone or in combination with other plans and projects.

WDC understands and supports development proceeding and wishes to achieve its objectively assessed housing need of 950 per annum. It has therefore investigated and is proposing a range of mitigation measures under the general heading of a low emission strategy which will allow development within Wealden to proceed up to the level of 950 dwellings per annum but not beyond this, within the period of the plan (2013 to 2028).

A key element of this approach is the continued monitoring of the level and impact of nitrogen deposition and the introduction of developer contributions to fund the mitigation measures. This approach follows the principles which apply to Strategic Access Management and Monitoring which has successfully allowed development to proceed in relation to the Ashdown Forest Special Protection Areas following the adoption of the Council’s Core Strategy.


Back Lane, Five Ashes

ESCC is proposing the seasonal closure of Back Lane (Byway 87) to prohibit motor vehicles between 1 October and 31 March each year. (This is the lane that links the A267 opposite Crier’s Lane to Leeds Lane.) This was discussed by the Rights of Ways and Trees Committee at their last meeting and there were no objections raise.


Planning alerts

Did you know you can now get alerts from Wealden District Council about the three most recent planning applications within 1 km of your property? You will need to sign up to “My Wealden” and set your planning radius on your account details page.


Close pass of a horse

Operation Crackdown has recently added a new reporting category – “Close pass of a horse” to look to evidence an increasing amount of near miss reports that are received. This category is in addition to the “Close pass of a Cyclist” which has been in place for a year now. As with all reports to Op Crackdown – you will need the registration number of the vehicle concerned and ideally some form of corroborative evidence such as helmet cam. Visit:


Distraction burglary

There has been a local distraction burglary reported in the area. Please be vigilant and don’t be afraid to question someone who comes to your property claiming to be from a company, such as Southern Water. Always ask for identification and if they are legitimate, they will not mind waiting while you call the company to check.


Phising alert

Watch out for fake Argos texts offering refunds. The link in the messages lead to phishing websites designed to steal your personal information as well as payment details.


West Street fence

After chasing Highways for nearly a year, information has been received that the fencing at the top of the bank in West Street will be repaired by the end of July. Let’s wait and see!


Finally, you may have noticed that one of the glass recycling bins is missing from the car park at the Memorial Hall. We were informed that it probably fell in the back of the lorry when it was being emptied. Rather surprising, but It makes a change from things falling off the back of a lorry I suppose. Enjoy the rest of the summer!


Summer Holiday Office Closure Dates

The Parish Council Office will be closed from 17 August 2018 to 03 September 2018.