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Planning for the district's future

Written by The Editor on .

Chichester DC LDF LogoA new planning framework for the district is being prepared – the Local Development Framework (LDF) by Chichester District Council.  It will shape the way we live in the district over the next ten to twenty years.

Chichester District Council will be consulting on a Core Strategy Options For Growth Document as part of the Local Development Framework between 4th January and 1st February 2010. The Core Strategy will replace the Local Plan and will set out the framework for development across the District up to 2026. Once the Options For Growth document has been approved by Council on 15th December you can visit our website to be part of this consultation.

This will be your opportunity to influence where future developments across the Chichester District will be located and how these should be supported by infrastructure.

For information relating to the Local Development Framework please visit the following website – and follow the link to Environment & Planning, then Local Development Framework.

National Park - It's 31st March

Written by The Editor on .

South Downs Map

Having announced his decision to create the South Downs National Park last March, Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced today (12 November 2009) that the new park will come into being on 31 March 2010 and confirmed its boundary.  Cocking will of course be right in the middle of the new National Park even if it doesn't appear to be in the middle of the DEFRA map.

For further information, newsletters and much other material, visit the South Downs Joint Committee web site at

[Click on the small map to view a larger version in a new tab or window]

Sparkling Cocking Bonfire Night

Written by The Editor on .

Carved pumpkinsThe bonfire is litThe weather was kind to the annual Cocking Bonfire held once again at the Sports Field.  The large and enthusiastic crowd that turned up, many in Hallowe'en costume, gave the occasion a really good atmosphere.

Twenty two pumpkins were entered in the competition which was won by Emily Mears (12) who had the privilege of pressing the button that lit the massive bonfire. The fireworks, orchestrated as usual by Andy Paramour, seemed better than ever and the lack of wind must have helped with the display.  The mulled wine was excellent and there was plenty of good food including a barbecue cooked by the Marks's of Manor Farm.

The event was held in aid of the Village Hall Project and should have swelled the coffers of that cause.

The Blue Bell becomes The Bluebell at Cocking

Written by The Editor on .

New Bluebell nering redinessThe long wait is nearly over as renovation work draws to a close.  After a closure that has lasted about a year, the Blue Bell public house will be re-opening in late November* as the Bluebell At Cocking.  The sign now hanging outside shows the new flower motif as evidence of the renaming.  The removal of the corner door, new window frames and exterior repainting are also signs of the investment that has been made by the new owners Tony Bale and Julia Dent.

The Bluebell promises to be open every day for Morning Coffee, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner, while rooms will be available from Spring 2010.

The proof of the pudding (pun intended) will of course only be available once the Bluebell is open for business and serving its fare.

* [This was optimistic, as November passed without the Bluebell opening, Ed.]

Summer Visitors 2009

Written by The Editor on .

Time trialling cyclistsSeptember and autumn are on their way and the summer should be more or less over.  Having said that, it seems that cyclists haven't stopped indulging in their fair weather activities yet.

The morning of Sunday (13th) saw hundreds of enthusiastic and fit time triallers shooting through Cocking having stored up some energy and gained considerable speed down Cocking Hill.  Some no doubt exceeded the 30 m.p.h. speed limit entering Cocking, but the police were not in evidence

Next week of course will see visitors to the Goodwood Revival driving through the village, perhaps that event marks the 'official' end of the season.

Local Sculptor Awarded CVO

Written by The Editor on .

Philip JacksonRoyal Victorian OrderLocal sculptor, Philip Jackson has been appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the Queen's birthday honours list.

The 'CVO' is awarded in recognition of services to the royal family, which will come as no surprise to those of us who have seen his fine sculptures with a royal theme such as the Queen on horseback in Windsor Great Park and the recently unveiled Queen Mother memorial statue in the Mall.

Many will remember enjoying the escorted coach tour from Cocking that Philip arranged, linking a selection of his sculptures in and near London.  Those who went on the trip will realise that his public works are by no means all based on a royal theme.  He has for example produced several bronze works depicting football subjects including the 1996 World Cup group near Upton Park, the home of Bobby Moore's club, West Ham United and statue of the late England captain himself at the new Wembley Stadium.

Naturally, there are local examples of his works, such as the new Angel Gabriel, suspended on wires at Harting Church, the statue of St. Richard next to the cathedral in Chichester and of course Cocking's own Millennium History Column would never have taken shape without Philip Jackson, CVO.

So, a richly deserved honour for our famous resident, pictured above at the unveiling of the History Column four years ago.

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