Buxted Parish Council

Buxted Parish Council came into being in 1894 when the present system of Parish Councils was instituted to give rural communities a voice. Buxted Parish covers some 7,000 acres with an electorate of about 2,500 out of a population of 3,200. It encompasses the villages of Buxted, High Hurstwood and Five Ash Down.

The parish is divided into two wards – Buxted/Five Ash Down (10 councillors) and High Hurstwood (5 councillors). Councils are elected for a term of 4 years. Council meetings are held on the second Tuesday in every month (except August), alternating between Buxted Reading Room, High Hurstwood Village Hall and Five Ash Down Village Hall, at 19.30. Meetings agendas are displayed one week in advance on the Parish notice boards in Buxted (on the Ionides Trust site), High Hurstwood (near The Hurstwood pub) and in Five Ash Down (outside the Village Hall) and on the website. The agenda includes a list of any planning applications received from Wealden District Council for consultation. All meetings of the Council and its committees are open to the public, who are welcome to ask questions or raise issues with the Council before the meetings formally begin.

An early requirement was to provide allotments, which we do. Councils can also support arts and crafts; contribute to maintenance of churchyards; protect commons, provide buildings for public meetings, functions and entertainment, maintain public footpaths and bridleways (jointly with ESCC), provide footway lighting (we don’t), provide and maintain public open spaces, and comment on planning applications.

We also take an active interest in highways matters, policy and our environment (e.g. trees and hedgerows). More and more we have to comment on government policies for local government and voice our electors’ concerns.

Parish assets include Buxted Reading Room, two recreation grounds (Buxted and High Hurstwood), two allotment areas in Buxted (recently re-generated) and High Hurstwood, children’s play areas in Buxted and High Hurstwood, and two bus shelters. The budget is set annually over the period October to December. Planned expenditure less income forms the ‘Parish Precept’ which is levied as part of annual Council Tax. Apart from meeting general running expenses of the council – specifically employing our Parish Clerk – the council makes grants to local organisations and contributes to local projects e.g. Buxted Traffic calming.

The Parish Council recognises the burden of Council Tax but is also conscious of local needs for improvements in the Parish that increasingly are not being covered by either County or District as they seek to keep within national government budgets. Before increasing Precept to cover costs of local improvements such as the recent traffic calming, the Parish Council ensures that such improvements are what our electorate want and are prepared to pay for.

Councillors sit on various committees (e.g. Finance, Planning, Communications) and outside bodies (e.g. Ionides Trust, Buxted Community Hall Trust). Each keeps an eye on different parts of the Parish, e.g. for planning purposes and trees.

Our Parish Clerks, Beccy Macklen & Claudine Feltham (01435 812798) who act as the Council’s ‘proper officers’ on the Council’s behalf and under its direction. Both Clerks are available at the Reading Room to handle enquiries personally from parishioners on the first Thursday of every month from 10.15-11.30.

Latest Parish News

Local Development - Buxted Parish Council Statement


August 2022
Local Development - Buxted Parish Council Statement

In the light of the recent submissions for a large amount of development in Five Ash Down, Buxted Parish Council would wish to make the following statement.

The Council feels badly let down by Wealden District Council which has failed to produce a timely Local Plan or indicate preferred development sites which would have allowed the parish council to respond to planning consultations in a focused detailed way based on policy grounds, and where possible, obtaining benefit to the local area (should applications be approved). Instead, we are responding having no knowledge as to whether each site will be allocated for development within any emerging local plan and without WDC having considered the accumulative effect that the development of these sites will have on the village and surrounding area.

We have been told time after time that each site would be considered on its own merit, but this would not now appear to be the case. This became apparent at the recent North Wealden Planning Committee when officers advised that the appeal to build at the Coopers Green crossroad has been allowed on appeal and therefore the application to develop land to the rear of Coopers Row should therefore also be approved otherwise, they would be subject to ‘unreasonable case processing’.

We are not experts in concerns such as road safety, sewage capacity, infrastructure, and flooding. However, we can gauge the impact that an unacceptable level of acceptance of numerous local planning applications would have on Buxted and Five Ash Down, namely doctor and school capacity, local parking for commuters.

Also worrying is that appeal inspectors are putting the most amount of weight on the fact that WDC does not have a 5-year housing land supply. For example, when reading the appeal inspectors decision for the Cooper Green crossroads application, the inspector even agreed with some of the reasons for refusal but commented the lack of a 5-year housing supply and lack of any significant environmental reasons for refusal, they had no choice but to approve the application. So, this reason appears to supersede every other. Will this continue to be the case until WDC reach the housing target? In a recent communication from WDC, dated 12th August, Planning appeals update, external lawyers advised the council that their objections, mainly on traffic matters, was not defensible, and the objections would be withdrawn. Does this mean any future meaningful, previously material objection, from a local point of view, is rendered useless?

The Parish Council will however continue to work on resident’s behalf, listening to concerns and representing local knowledge when responding to all planning applications. We just hope Wealden listen and accept that town and parish councils should have a say in the planning process, otherwise it would seem our opinions are rendered worthless and unconsidered.

A lack of a local plan and any meaningful interim guidance from WDC who appear not to consider the quality of life of those currently residing in the area makes it increasingly difficult to respond proactively to when considering new large-scale development within our parish.

Living Well in East Sussex survey


August 2022
Living Well in East Sussex survey

Together with its residents and partners, East Sussex County Council is developing a long-term plan, its strategy, for adult social care.

To understand what really matters to local people, and so that the strategy can be informed and led by what is important to people who need care and support, their unpaid carers and their families, the adult social care team has created the ‘Living Well in East Sussex’ survey.

This survey is the starting point for creating a strategy that will set the future direction of adult social care for everyone who has – or will have – care and support needs within the county, the projects and services that support them and their carers and families.

It opens on 08 August 2022 and will close on 18 September 2022.

Mark Stainton, East Sussex director of adult social care, said: “Long-term funding, a workforce crisis and living with COVID-19 are just three of the challenges facing adult social care.

“But there are also opportunities, such as exploring new ways of developing and delivering services, the greater public focus on the role and value of social care that the pandemic has brought, and the government’s social care reforms.

“Our strategy will describe the priorities for adult social care in East Sussex, provide direction for services, and offer a clear understanding of what our clients, their carers and families, can expect from adult social care.”

So, whether you have lots of experience of adult social care - or none at all - East Sussex would like to hear from you.

Talking with East Sussex staff, independent sector care providers, NHS colleagues and wider stakeholders will follow in the autumn/winter, informed by what local people have told us about their priorities.

To complete the survey, please use this link: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/ASCsurvey, or contact the adult social care team using the details below for paper and other formats:

Email: ASCPersonalisation@eastsussex.gov.uk

Phone: 01273 481565

Write: Adult social care strategy survey, FREEPOST, ESCC, PUBLIC HEALTH

Completing the survey also brings a chance to win one of four Love2Shop vouchers, each with a face value of £25.

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