Area News

Sand Extraction Proposal Shelved

Written by The Editor on .

Sand bucketReaders may remember the poster campaign last February, protesting against the possibility of sand extraction on Hawkhurst Farm (Click here for the original article).

Perhaps it had an effect because the latest news is that West Sussex County Council seem to have had a rethink and have suspended the whole of their Mineral and Waste Core Strategy. They state a number of reasons including "the implications of the new South Downs National Park"; a surprising omission for a strategy you might think.

On the face of it this sounds like good news, at least for the time being.  If you want to know more, see what  the Council are saying on their website by clicking here.

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 – www.chichester.gov.uk and follow the link to Environment & Planning, then Local Development Framework.

To Infinity and Beyond

Written by The Editor on .

Race to Infinity PosterMost of us have Broadband at home nowadays and you are almost certainly using it to view this page.  Broadband is a wonderful thing, but at cocking.org we subscribe to that old saying, "A Cocking computer user can never be too rich, too thin or have too fast a Broadband connection".  Let's face it, web pages take too long to appear, far too often.

Your Editor has to confess that he is a heavy user of the World Wide Web and the Internet generally, but he is probably not alone in wanting more speed from his Internet Service Provider.  His connection is from BT, but whether or not you are a BT customer, unless you use a mobile phone network it will still be BT's copper cables that deliver the connection and are therefore the speed they can provide is the limiting factor.  So we all have a vested interest in BT doing something to improve their infrastructure.

Maybe they will one day.  Recently BT launched something called the Race to Infinity to drum up public interest in having local exchanges upgraded to a faster speed using fibre-optic rather than copper cables.  They are offering five exchanges a priority upgrade and are encouraging local campaigns.  It is easy to be cynical and assume this is largely a marketing stunt by BT; it probably is and it's probably true that locally we are unlikely to win this competition.  Nevertheless, someone has to and if a high percentage of local people here and in other rural areas vote, perhaps even if they don't win, BT wlll get the message that nobody wants to move to a city just to get faster Broadband.

Today, 23rd October, the entry for the Midhurst Exchange showed that only 31 people or 0.66% had voted for our local exchange to be upgraded.  Ours isn't the lowest percentage in the country, but as the winners will be the exchanges with over 1,000 votes where the highest percentage of households vote, we will have to do better and aim at the 100% target of 4,680 votes.  So if you want to take part, click on the Race to Infinity Ad Banner at the top of this page when it comes round, or click here.  Good luck to us - we only have until 31st December to take part.

While you are waiting for Infinity, you can click here to test your connection speed.  It's a menu option under 'Help' too.

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 http://www.southdownsonline.org/

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

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