Welcome to the Cowfold Parish Council website
This provides information on the Council and links to related documents, as well as a summary of local facilities and village activities.
If you want to contact the Council, please call the Parish Clerk, Jan Wright, on 01403 864806 or send her an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Parish Council Meeting
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held in the Allmond Centre on Monday 11 March 2024, starting at 7:30pm.
This will be followed at 9:00pm by the Planning Meeting.
Members of the public are welcome to attend.
Cobwood Solar Farm Proposal, Burnthouse Lane
HDC Planning Application DC/23/2172: Construction and operation of a solar photovoltaic farm and associated infrastructure including transformers, inverters, DNO substation, customer switchgear, security cameras, fencing, access tracks and landscaping.
Formal request, submitted to Horsham District Council by Cowfold Parish Council, to extend the consultation period for the above planning application to 29 February 2024
Such is the level of concern within the Parish in regard to this planning application, Cowfold Parish Council called an Extraordinary Planning Meeting on Friday 26 January 2024 to further discuss with residents the issues around this proposal.
Representatives from West Grinstead and Nuthurst Parish Councils were also present.
Among other aspects, a recurrent theme was lack of clarity in regard to the closing date(s) for comments/letters of representation to be submitted to Horsham District Council. Therefore, in the light of these ambiguities Cowfold Parish Council formally requests that the consultation period be extended to Thursday 29 February 2024 to permit additional information to be accrued. This will also grant parish residents a further opportunity to put forward their individual points of view to the District planning authority.
Cowfold Parish Council
Joint submission from West Grinstead and Cowfold Parish Councils outlining in greater detail the relevant issues and concomitant concerns
We fully support renewable energy projects in principle and recognise their importance to our environment. However, this is provided that any such projects are sited in an appropriate location and include suitable mitigations so as to minimise any impact during the construction, operational and reinstatement phases.
We recognise that the proposals are situated on land that is classified as 3B and so is not prime agricultural land.
We recognise too that the applicants did request an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening Opinion from HDC and that they responded that an EIA was not required. That was very disappointing, particularly as an EIA would almost certainly have been required if the capacity of the scheme had been 50MW or more. There must therefore be a suspicion that the applicant has deliberately limited the capacity of the scheme, in so far as they have actually done so, save on paper, specifically to avoid the need for an EIA. That does not sit well with local residents.
Our concerns primarily relate to traffic management during the construction phase and the environmental impact during the operational life of the project. We note that access to the sites is via the A272 and minor roads. Littleworth Lane and Stonehouse Lane to the Southern Location and Burnthouse Lane to the Northern Location. It should be noted that the A272 in this area has been subject to numerous accidents, some fatal, over past years, the last one, thankfully not fatal, as recent as 18 January 2024.
We ask for specific assurances on the following points: –
1. A detailed traffic management plan should be provided as part of the initial submission and that this should include concise information as to how;
a. Vehicles will be controlled on Littleworth Lane, Stonehouse Lane and Burnthouse Lane.
b. Vehicle access to and from the A272 will be managed.
2. A commitment that there will be no construction activity outside the hours stated on the initial planning application.
3. A full plan as to how the roads will be kept clean including the management of any run off water as a result of any cleaning processes.
4. Ensure that no Heavy Goods Vehicles associated with the project enter the Cowfold Air Quality Management Area.
1. The applicant to volunteer a full independent EIA, whether or not this is a requirement, with evidence-based projections giving the specific levels of biodiversity net gain to be achieved.
2. Specific screening proposals to provide for minimal loss of amenity for those properties in the immediate vicinity.
3. Consideration to be given to securing free electricity for the benefit of those few properties most directly impacted by the proposed development in that they are surrounded on at least three sides by this proposed solar farm. We would suggest that for the avoidance of doubt, the properties should be identified at the outset.
4. Carry out and publish an independent full 24hour/7day acoustic assessment , prior to commencement, to establish a true ambient noise baseline.
1. The land to be reinstated, at the end of service or at the end of the term, whichever is the sooner, to its former state. The performance of this to be guaranteed by a Dynamic Decommissioning Bond.
2. The land then to revert to agricultural use.
Long Term Benefit
We propose that a commitment is given to fund the installation of a permanent 40mph speed limit. Specifically, along the A272 starting to the West of Park Lane, running Eastwards to meet the 30MPH limit at Cowfold. This should be in place before any construction can commence.
Cowfold Parish Council
West Grinstead Parish Council
Rampion 2 Offshore Wind Farm Newsletter, January 2024
An online version of the latest project newsletter for the Rampion 2 Offshore Wind Farm development, which includes latest news, proposal details, a project timeline and information for suppliers, is available on the Rampion 2 website:
The examination of the Development Consent Order (DCO) application begins on 6 February and details of the Preliminary Meeting and Public Hearings are included in the newsletter and reproduced here:
6th February at 10am
To enable views about how the application should be examined and issue the examination timetable.
Open Floor Hearing
6th February at 2:30pm
To allow Interested Parties to make oral representations about the application itself.
Issue Specific Hearings
7th – 9th February at 9:30am
To allow the Examining Authority to consider environmental matters and Interested Parties to make representations on these.
The Planning Inspectorate has decided these meetings will be held at the DoubleTree by Hiton Brighton Metropole, Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2FU. Subsequent Hearings may be held elsewhere in the local area.
You must register in advance if you wish to participate, but anyone can observe the events either in person or livestream online, and a recording will be published on the project webpage shortly after the event.
For further information, please visit:
EN010117: Rampion 2 Offshore Wind Farm Update September 2023
The Examining Authorities Rule 9 letter notifying of Procedural Decisions has been published.
The Applicants Letter to The Planning Inspectorate Regarding Advice Given has been published.
The Applicants Response to The Planning Inspectorates S51 Advice and S55 Checklist has been published.
The Additional Submission – 5.8 Design and Access Statement has been published.
The Examination Library has been updated.
See Rampion 2 Offshore Wind Farm for more information.
Proposed electric vehicle chargepoints in Cowfold
What is the West Sussex Chargepoint Network
West Sussex County Council, Adur and Worthing Councils, Arun District Council, Crawley Borough Council, Horsham District Council, Chichester District Council and Mid Sussex District Council have signed a contract with Connected Kerb, one of the country’s leading providers of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions.
The contract will see chargepoints installed across the county at zero cost to the councils.
Proposed chargepoints in Cowfold
WSCC believes that the future is electric. In 2030, a ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles comes into force. EV sales increased by 40% in 2022, with more than one in ten new vehicles being electric. This has highlighted the importance of having enough affordable, reliable and hassle-free charging infrastructure for the many, not the few.
Although it may not be a priority for residents now, WSCC wants to give them and their community the confidence to make the switch when the time is right for them.
WSCC is proposing six chargepoints in Cowfold – three in Station Road and three in Oakfield Road.
Until demand increases only two of these bays will be reserved solely for EVs. The other four bays will be available for all residents to use. This approach will be reviewed as WSCC see an increase in usage.
The proposed locations are shown on the following map:
The Parish Council has not been consulted on the proposed chargepoints and residents may have strong views on their location.
WSCC is conducting a public consultation between 10 July and 7 August 2023. To provide your feedback, complete the online survey on the following web page:
Cowfold’s Coronation Party
The party held on the Playing Field on Sunday was a resounding success!
Unlike Saturday, the weather was kind, and we had a great turnout.
Residents were entertained throughout the afternoon by live music, a children’s football tournament, face painting, snail races, a dog show, a performance by St Peter’s School choir and children’s crown making and talent competitions.
In addition to their own picnics, they were also able to tuck into the wide range of food on offer, including tea and cakes provided by St Peter’s Church and the WI in the Allmond Centre, burgers and hot dogs from the barbeque and pizzas from Fratello’s van.
The Parish Council is grateful for the generous donations made by local businesses and the significant funds raised on the day have been distributed to deserving organisations and charities in the village.
Our thanks go to Parish Councillor Connie Towle for organising such a great community event!
Rampion 2 – Bolney Substation Extension
Outdoor Gym and Fitness Equipment
Cowfold Parish Council is investigating different options to help users of all abilities aged 12+ stay fit and healthy.
To make sure we choose the right solutions, we would like to hear from you about your needs and interests.
Please click on the link below and complete the short survey.
The Council will collate and review everyone’s comments and update you on the findings.
Rampion 2 Offshore Wind Farm
Rampion 2 is the proposed extension to the existing Rampion Offshore Wind Farm; its stated aim is to provide enhanced green energy to the national grid.
The Planning Application states the power lines will come ashore at Climping and move across the landscape via seven discreet areas, including parts of this parish, to the proposed substation at Oakendene, Cowfold before connecting to the national grid at Bolney.
A public meeting was held in the Village Hall on Wednesday 23 November 2022, when residents had a chance to hear from, and ask questions of, members of the Rampion 2 project team first-hand.
If you were unable to attend the meeting, further information on Rampion 2 and the proposed current alterations to the cable route can be found at:
Following on from the meeting, Cowfold Parish Council sent an email on 11 January 2023 to Rampion 2 Team Members expressing concerns regarding the extent and clarity of information provided to local residents to date and requesting a further consultation period to allow their issues to be properly addressed. This is reproduced on a separate Rampion 2 webpage:
A response to the Parish Council’s email of 11 January 2023 was received from Chris Tomlinson, Development & Stakeholder Manager, Rampion 2, on Thursday 19 January 2023 and can be accessed via the following link:
A follow-up email was sent by Cowfold Parish Council on Monday 24 April 2023 to Chris Tomlinson, reiterating its concern regarding the continuing lack of information being provided to residents in the village. This is reproduced below:
Subject: Rampion 2 in Cowfold
Date: Monday 24 April 2023
To: Chris Tomlinson, Sarah Payne, County Councillor (WSCC), Jonathan Chowen and Lynn Lambert, District Councillors (HDC), Michael Elkington, WSCC
Copied to: Andrew Griffith, MP
Good Morning/Afternoon Chris,
Further to our correspondence earlier in the year (Reading/Rampion 2, dated 11 January 2023 and Tomlinson/Reading, dated 18 January 2023) I wish to strongly reiterate Cowfold Parish Council’s ongoing concerns on behalf of residents as to the poor standards of Rampion 2’s community communications strategy. The Parish Council is aware of the forthcoming Rampion 2 Community (Onshore) Project Liaison Group and has indicated its wish to participate, which has been acknowledged by your Project Liaison Group Chair and Facilitator. However, certain residents in the Parish continue to feel that a paucity, or absence, of information has been disseminated within the community.
Cowfold Parish Council is aware that Rampion 2 has received a variety of communications from within the Parish dating back several years voicing dissatisfaction and distress over this perceived lack of information. However, wishing to highlight the Parish Council’s ongoing unease I include below a number of extracts from some of the many emails directed and copied to us to reinforce the considerable misgivings voiced in this email.
- 18 July 2021: “Illegibility of Rampion 2 maps, particularly the background detail fade on sheet 20”.
- 6 August 2021: “This is a major infrastructure project, much larger than Rampion I, and I do not think local residents are aware of the consequences yet for their village for years”.
- 3 November 2021: The impression was given that the Oakendene estate was outside the boundaries of the parish and that the plan to churn up land for a cable 10 kilometers more than is needed and affecting all the welcome and many walkers from Cowfold within the parish south of the village was irrelevant to the parish.
- 30 November 2022: “Despite being explicitly told at the (public) meeting in Cowfold that I could submit multiple online responses, I find this not to be the case as the system will not allow a second submission from the same email address“.
- 3 February 2023: “One of the most unsettling aspects has been the apparent lack of consultation So many residents of Cowfold, and within the surrounding 3km area, have known nothing about the proposed development”.
- 3 February 2023: “The Rampion leaflet that some residents received, (in October/November 2022) but certainly not all, was misleading. Analysis of such will reveal that it failed to disclose relevant information and did not even mention the sub-station. It lacked adequate detail and was misleading at best”.
- 10 February 2023: “There was apparently a two year consultation process and yet only a few people were aware of this massive proposal.”
- 10 February 2023: “In October 2022 we received in the post Section 42 notices from you (Rampion 2) along with two sets of maps, dated July 2021 and October 2022. So did the businesses at Oakendene Industrial estate, being also in the RH13 8AZ postcode although it is not clear exactly when they received them, possibly considerably later as they were delivered by hand rather than by Royal Mail. They were told that it was all agreed and this was just to let them know, and they were asked to sign to confirm receipt… However, neither we, nor any of the businesses in Oakendene, received any such notifications in the July 2021 consultation, nor it would seem did any of our neighbours despite being in the vicinity of one of the proposed substation sites from the outset of the consultation”.
In addition, further concerns have been voiced on behalf of residents in Moatfield Lane and Kings Lane. These householders are in receipt of a letter from the Rampion 2 Project Team, dated 4 April 2023, entitled Targeted consultation pursuant to section 42 of the Planning Act 2008. Residents are questioning the iteration of prior consultation and the clarity of the information contained within the letter.
I am sure you will agree that Cowfold Parish Council, having been in receipt of these and other emails reiterating the recurrent themes of poor standards of communications and community interaction, is fully entitled to require Rampion 2 to consider its protocols in respect of Cowfold residents and radically enhance the standards of engagement we have seen to date.
Chairman, Cowfold Parish Council
Futureproofing our water supplies: a consultation on the Draft Regional Plan produced by Water Resources South East (WRSE)
WRSE is an alliance of the six water companies in SE England: Affinity, Portsmouth, SES, South East, Thames and Southern. WRSE has produced a strategic plan to consider how each member company will meet its legal duties to secure water supplies for its customers in the longer term (2025 – 2075), taking into account the likely changes in water usage. The plan is estimated to cost 15.6 billion pounds to implement.
In brief, the SE region currently uses up to 6 billion litres of water per day and WRSE’s projections show that, if the companies do nothing, there could be a 2.7 billion litre shortfall by 2075. Key actions proposed to prevent this potential shortfall include:
- Reductions in usage: leakage reduction and consumer usage reduction
- New supplies: build reservoirs and desalination plants and introduce recycling schemes
- Water movement: construct strategic pipelines to move water into and around the region.
The two key proposals in our area are a reservoir at Blackstone providing 19.5 million litres per day, coming on stream in 2046, and a desalination plant on the South Coast providing 10 million litres per day and coming on stream in 2028. In addition, a number of water recycling plants are proposed in our area.
The draft plan can be viewed here:
It can also be accessed online via the following link:
A one-page summary of the draft plan can be found here:
WRSE wants to hear your views and has a dedicated consultation website that includes more information on the plan and an online survey where you can answer its consultation questions:
Responses can also be sent by email or by post; addresses are provided in the draft plan.
The consultation is open from 14 November 2022 until 20 February 2023.
Struggling With Living Costs?
If you are short of money and struggling to pay for food or other essentials as a result of the current cost of living crisis, some sources of local help and support are included on the Struggling With Living Costs page.
Cowfold Road and Traffic Issues Report
A detailed investigation of pedestrian safety issues in the centre of Cowfold, as well as an analysis of traffic patterns and accidents on the main roads in and around the village, have been undertaken by the Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, Jerry Cooper.
The results have been included in the following report, which has been approved by the Parish Council and will be used in support of proposals to solve a number of the problems that are highlighted in the document:
New Online Forum for Bus Users in West Sussex
West Sussex County Council has set up an online forum called #WestSussBus for people who use buses in West Sussex.
This is a space to add suggestions, comment on local buses and issues affecting bus passengers and to offer ideas. You can also post videos and upload images about your experience of buses in the County. (By the way, WSCC is also interested in finding out why people don’t use the bus!)
Here’s the link: https://yourvoice.westsussex.gov.uk/westsussbus
You can also use the hashtag #WestSussBus if posting bus-related stuff on social media.
At the moment, we’re particularly looking for regular bus users who might like to create a bus journal – follow this link to find out more.
Please note that #WestSussBus is long-term project (at least a year) and content will change regularly.
You can email the team at: email@example.com
Cowfold Community Improvement Plan
January 2022 Update
We would like to extend our thanks to all those who provided feedback on the Cowfold Community Improvement Plan for 2021. More information can be found on the Cowfold Community Project Plan page.
We have successfully completed a number of projects during 2021 and look forward to focusing on new initiatives for our lovely village in 2022.
With all ideas comes a cost, both in terms of person power to carry out the project and, of course, a materials cost. The ideas presented were great, however, the costs for some of these projects were in excess of £100,000, well over the budget of the Parish Council, but not impossible if they are sponsored by local fundraising over several years to make it happen.
Where do Parish Council funds come from to spend on Community Projects?
The previous Section 106 scheme has been replaced by the Community Infrastructure Levy scheme which is a fairer system, as the money received due from housing development comes direct to the Parish Council and does not have to be applied for from Horsham District Council. Cowfold Parish Council now uses this money for local community projects.
Our success stories in 2021 included:
- Cowfold Rewilding Project.
- Butterfly Haven.
- Recycling Project in the Local Community.
- Recycling Scheme at St Peter’s School.
- Speed sign(s). Cowfold Parish Council originally proposed four signs but only one location has been agreed with West Sussex County Council currently.
Proposals for 2022
New initiatives for 2022 include the installation of an outdoor gym on the Playing Field.
Community Speedwatch in Cowfold
You may have noticed the local Cowfold Speedwatch group of volunteers who have started monitoring the speeds of vehicles travelling through the Village.
They desperately need to recruit more members to continue this very important initiative!
You can apply on the Community Speedwatch website:
(Once on the home page, click on the “Register” tab on the top menu and then the “Join Existing” tab on the sidebar menu.)
Greening Cowfold is a new initiative brought to you by Cowfold Parish Council.
We are set up to help Cowfold become a more sustainable, biodiverse and healthy place to live. We want to work with all the organisations and businesses in Cowfold. So if you, or anyone you know, would like to plant trees, help Cowfold homes become greener or get involved in any way – we’d love your help. Please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to provide more details of our activities, we have established a separate web page which can be accessed here:
Here are links to our latest newsletters:
April 2022 – Number One
April 2022 – Number Two
March 2023 Number One
March 2023 Number Two
Please take a look and do forward the links to anyone else who might be interested – thank you!
As part of the Greening Cowfold initiative, it has been proposed that, for the next several years, the village collaborates with West Sussex County Council to introduce an annual ‘No Mow’ policy for designated verges between March and September. These areas (see maps) will be clearly marked, not obscure any lines of sight for motorists and allow habitat regeneration with the possibility of enhanced wildflower planting from 2022.
More informations is provided on the Greening Cowfold page:
Cowfold Neighbourhood Plan
The Submission version of the Cowfold Neighbourhood Development Plan, which can be viewed at CNP_Submission_Plan_Final_.pdf, has been submitted by Horsham District Council for independent Examination.
The Examiner’s report has now been published and can be viewed at:
HDC published the full Regulation 16 documentation including all feedback and the Clarification Note from the Public Examiner in early March 2021.
Our response to the Examiner’s Clarification Note was sent by HDC to the Examiner on Wednesday 17 March 2021. This can be reviewed here:
The full documentation can be examined here:
An overview of the overall planning process is provided in the Cowfold Neighbourhood Plan page.
Follow the Countryside Code!
Our local farmers and other rural businesses are pleased to see people out enjoying the countryside but have sometimes been negatively affected by irresponsible behaviour. Some of this is often due to a lack of awareness and the following poster is useful in explaining the basics.
West Sussex County Council’s Electric Vehicle Strategy 2019 to 2030
West Sussex County Council has published its electric vehicle strategy for the period from 2019 to 2030.
The vision for the County is that, when residents travel by car and small van, they choose ultra-low emission vehicles, and travel in a carbon neutral way.
To achieve this vision, WSCC has three highly ambitious aims:
- At least 70% of all new cars in the county to be electric by 2030.
- There is sufficient charging infrastructure in place to support the vehicles predicted to be reliant on public infrastructure to charge.
- Ensure that there is a renewable energy source for all charging points on County Council land or highway.
More details are given in the WSCC Electric Vehicle Strategy document or are available on the WSCC website.