Parish Council News – May 2024

Annual Parish Assembly

This year’s Annual Parish Assembly will take place on 20 May 2024 in Five Ashes Village Hall at 19:30. This is not a council meeting but a meeting of the parish residents that must, by law, take place between 01 March and 01 June each year. Organisations, societies and residents can contribute to the agenda and debate current issues in the community. If your organisation or society would like to report to the meeting or if you have any current issues that you believe should be added to the agenda for discussion, please contact the Parish Council office before 08 May 2024. The agenda is issued ten days before the meeting and will be displayed on the noticeboards and on the community website meeting schedule as usual. 

Reminder: Wealden’s Draft Local Plan

Wealden District Council’s Draft Local Plan consultation is open until 5pm, Friday 10 May 2024. Residents, businesses, and communities are welcome to give their views as this will help shape the final version of the Local Plan.

Their final face-to-face consultation is at Horam Village Hall, TN21 0JE on Saturday 04 May 2024 from 10am to 4pm. For further information visit: A paper copy of the plan is also available for viewing in the Parish Council office – please advise if you would like to view the documentation to ensure that a meeting in the office is not scheduled.

The Community Development Committee and Planning Executive Committee are working hard to formulate a response on behalf of the Parish Council. The proposed total figure for housing delivery in the Parish is 68, comprising:

Committed                    15

Local Plan allocation     0 (as there are no SHELAA sites n the Parish (explained below))

Windfall Sites                51

Total                            68

The Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) is an essential piece of evidence which is required to support the Local Plan process. It is a technical assessment which considers the suitability, availability and achievability of land in the district for possible development. The assessment does not in itself determine whether a site should be allocated for development but is a high-level assessment used as a starting point to decide whether sites could be developed for housing, economic development or other uses in a Local Plan.

South East Water Infrastructure improvements

Cllr Blakebrough has been communicating with South East Water subsequent to their presentation to the Parish Council last November to answer two questions about four improvements they said they were planning to improve the water supply to the parish. The questions left with them were:

  • When will the improvements take place and;
  • Has the required budget been allocated?

A summary of their response is:

One of their schemes to connect the Bewl Water treatment plant to Cottage Hill reservoir that supplies us, is now underway and is scheduled for completion in March 2025. Once completed they inform it will increase supply capacity by around 60%- a significant increase in about a year’s time.

Other improvements ‘in the pipeline’are: 

  1. Increase maximum transfer flow from Horsted Keynes to Ashdown Service Reservoir from 80 litres/second up to 110 litres/second;
  2. A supply from Hourne Farm to Cottage Hill Service Reservoir – 30 litres/second; 
  3. Increase maximum transfer flow from Popeswood to Cottage Hill Service Reservoir from 30 litres/second up to 50 litres/second.

These three improvements are included in their next five-year Asset Management Plan that will hopefully be approved by OFWAT for completion April 2025 to March 2030 and will transform the supply situation.

Temporary road closure warnings:

Rotherfield Lane is scheduled to be closed from the junction with Station Road to the junction with the A267 at Argos Hill from 18thJune 2024 – 21st June 2024 to allow South East Water to carry out apparatus repair works.

Wealden’s Climate Change Survey

Wealden District Council is creating a new Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and is asking residents across Wealden to take part in a survey to gather opinions on climate change action in the district. The survey takes on average 15 minutes to answer and the views and opinions expressed from feedback will help to form the new strategy and plan, and ensure it meets the needs of local communities, captures climate action taking place already and reflects future priorities. 

To complete the surveys, visit

The survey closes on Friday 10 May 2024 at 12pm. For more information residents can contact the Climate Change team at

Watch out for SMIDSY! motorcycle campaign

Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You! It’s a phrase commonly heard by motorcyclists who have come to a rapid halt when a vehicle pulls out in front of them. These “SMIDSY” incidents are one of the leading causes of motorcycle collisions and the focus of a new campaign led by Surrey and Sussex Police as covers come off motorbikes ahead of the spring bank holidays. 

Last year five riders died on the roads in Surrey and Sussex, including on busy Bank Holiday weekends, so the new campaign aims to equip motorcyclists to enjoy their holiday rides and get back to their garage safely. The most recent combined data from the Department for Transport and National Road Traffic Census from 2021 reveals that 310 motorcyclists lost their lives and 5264 were seriously injured on Britain’s roads.

Five-year data from 2016 to 2021 on reported road casualties cites failing to look properly on the part of a rider or driver as the most common contributing factor in fatal or serious collisions. The data also reveals that T, Y or staggered junctions are the most common locations of motorcyclist casualties, representing 34.7% of combined fatalities and injuries. 

The campaign will help riders identify a SMIDSY situation and protect themselves against these collisions, as well as sharing other riding techniques provided by some of the nation’s best riders.

Funding for community orchards

A total of £27,756 of funding has been awarded to Wealden District Council to support community orchards in the Wealden district. The funding has been allocated by the UK government through The Coronation Living Heritage Fund, which celebrates the coronation of King Charles III and supports tree planting projects nationwide and honours the King’s dedication to preserving the natural environment. 

Wealden council is asking schools, residents’ associations, village hall trusts, parish and town councils, businesses, community and voluntary groups, charities, not for profit organisations, and landowners with publicly accessible land to apply for grants between £1,000 and £3,500. The aim is to bring fruit and nut trees back to life and make orchards thrive. 

Applications to apply for a grant will close Friday 10 May 2024 at 5pm. For more information and how to apply go to our Climate Change Hub on Let’s Talk Wealden or contact

Wealden is 50 years old!

Wealden District Council marked the start of its 50th anniversary this week with a special flag raising ceremony The district council was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, which reformed local government in England and Wales. The new authority covered the area of two former districts, Hailsham Rural District and Uckfield Rural District, which were both abolished at the same time. The new district was named Wealden after the landscape and woodland. 

Wealden District Council provides residents with a number of services including waste and recycling, housing, planning, environmental health, benefits, licensing, community safety, leisure facilities and building control services. The council also collects Council Tax from residents – retaining only 9% of the total bill – on behalf of East Sussex County Council, East Sussex Fire & Rescue, Sussex Police and town and parish councils.

Parish Council Meetings

The meeting schedule on the website: shows this month’s Council and Committee meetings as well as agendas, minutes of meetings and other meeting documentation

Janna Todd, Parish Clerk 

Old Manor House, High Street, Mayfield TN20 6AL 

Telephone 01435 873784          E-mail: