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Cowfold Community Improvement Plan

Aim

To help improve our village, the Parish Council is exploring the idea of a rolling three-year improvement plan to implement suitable projects put forward and managed by the residents of Cowfold. These can include the development of green spaces, new activities and amenities.

Funding

Most new housing developments in the village are subject to a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and some of this money is available for local infrastructure projects. The balance will be raised via the Parish Council Tax.

Ideas for Improvements

Back in March we asked you to submit your ideas on how we can improve the Village. We had a great response and the ideas and comments can be grouped into five themes:

  • Traffic and speed
  • Access
  • Community
  • Greening
  • Playing Field

Some of the work going on locally which will help in each of the above areas is outlined below.

Traffic calming through our village

We received lots of ideas on how to calm the traffic through the village, so here is a summary of what is coming up:

Pedestrian crossing

We have applied for a pedestrian crossing on the Bolney Road between Mercers Mead and the Playing Field. This will provide a safe place to cross and will help calm traffic in that part of the village when used.

The application is currently sitting with West Sussex County Council, who will take it to vote in the next financial budget (21/22) so it is not a done deal but we have been informed that it will be recommended. Fingers crossed!

Speed indicator signs

A number of people suggested speed indicator signs, and we have had agreement from the West Sussex County Council Highways department to put one up so far, which is west bound into the village on the Bolney Road near Oakfield Road.

You should see these in place over the coming months. The positioning of the others are still to be agreed with the Highways Agency, as there are restrictions and limitations on where they go in relation to the 30 mph speed signs.

It is likely that the sign that goes up will look something like the ones you may have seen in Shermanbury or Partridge Green. The speed signs will have data logging facilities which will enable us to use that data on speed and numbers of vehicles to validate further enforcement or road layout applications.

Speedwatch

You may have noticed the local Cowfold Speedwatch group of volunteers who have started monitoring speeds through  – they are always looking for volunteers!

You can apply here:

Community Speedwatch | Sussex Police

HGVs

We have petitioned regularly over the last ten or so years to the WSCC Highways to put in other measures, specifically to deter HGVs from using the A272 but to little avail. They did agree a couple of years ago to investigate putting up a sign on the A23 to try to signpost HGVs onto the A264, but unfortunately the report concluded it was going to cost too much and so declined.

Unsociable Driving

If you see any anti social driving through the village, please make sure you report it! You can use the Operation crackdown webpage:

Operation Crackdown

Access and Pavements

This includes both pavements and public footpaths.

Improving the pavements near the Co-op and near the Smithy.

A number of residents commented on the pavements in the centre of the village. These belong to the West Sussex County Council, and as such are not something we can change as a Village.

The Parish Council has contacted WSCC a number of times about both of these areas and they regularly send out an inspector. After each inspection, we have received a report stating that the condition/size/positioning of the pavements is not bad enough for them to warrant the cost and resource required for this to be prioritised.

We will continue to raise this as an issue, however, what might help would be if lots of residents were to report issues with the pavements using the Love West Sussex online form which you can find here:

Pavements, kerbs and cycle paths – West Sussex County Council

Public Footpaths

Cowfold has many kilometres of Public Footpaths. All Public Rights of Way fall under the West Sussex County Council’s remit and they want to know about when there is something wrong like stiles or gates are broken, or the footpath is blocked or unpassable. Please report any problems using the WSCC’s ‘report a problem’ form which you can find here:

Report a problem with a Right of Way – West Sussex County Council

There is a comprehensible map which shows which are Public Rights of Way (PROW) as some of the paths used in Cowfold are ‘permissive’ rather than PROW.  There is also a lot of information there about who is responsible for what, when footpaths are on private land.

New Pavements

A couple of residents asked if we could have a pavement from the village to Jeremy 2. This would fall under the remit of West Sussex County Council, so we will ask them if it might be considered.

Community

This area includes a community minibus and the community swimming pool.

Community Minibus

One resident asked for a minibus. This is a great opportunity to remind everyone that Horsham District Council offer community transport service for residents. Both Dial-a-ride and a community minibus. You can find details on their website here:

https://www.horsham.gov.uk/community/community-transport

Full time Post Office

A couple of residents asked why we can’t have a full time post office. This is not something the Parish Council can influence. The Post Office has determined how much use there is of the service in Cowfold, and have found that two afternoons a week are deemed sufficient and is what they can resource. The Co-op decided not to include PO services in Cowfold as they offer this in Partridge Green. There are also Post Office services in Mannings Heath at the petrol station.

Community Swimming Pool

A number of residents commented on the importance of the swimming pool. The Parish Council has already provided support by funding the online booking system for the first twelve months.

Greening

A lot of residents submitted ideas of greening the Village. As you are probably aware Greening Cowfold is now a strong team of volunteers which is very active in the village. If you haven’t already, you can sign up to the monthly newsletter, get involved and find out more on their web page here:

Greening Cowfold – Cowfold Parish Council (cowfold-pc.gov.uk)

Playing Field

There were a few ideas of resources that could be installed on the Playing Field. We are limited on the space we have, the funding and types of activities we can include; however, we are considering all of the ideas and contacting everyone individually.