The Hurst Meadows
Hurst Meadows - open to the public
1st May 2018
Nearly 50 acres of meadowland has now been acquired by the Parish Council, for access by the public and for preservation of the natural countryside. This is part of the Council's Neighbourhood Plan which was approved by over 90% of the community in our referendum in 2015.
The area is north of Trinity Road, west of College Lane, and east of Iden Hurst and Fairfield Crescent, with points of access currently from the Millennium Garden (Trinity Road), Highfield Drive, Latchetts Lane and St Georges Green.
Over the coming months and years we will be introducing new planting, to reinforce the indigenous species, introducing a community orchard, improving access and adding noticeboards and maps to help everyone understand and enjoy the areas.
The Neighbourhood Plan developed and supported by the community in 2015, aspired to create significant areas of public parkland and woodland around the north of Hurstpierpoint village.
These areas, previously in private ownership, would be transferred to the Parish Council as freehold land, to be held in perpetuity. This arrangement was part of the strategic plan for housing development in the village, and is linked to the provision of 140 homes at Little Park and 17 homes at Highfield Drive.
Two significant areas of farmland and woodland north of Highfield Drive (about 9 Ac) and Little Park (about 40 Ac) are to be transferred to the Council in 2016/17, together with s106 fund totalling approximately £400,000. The funds have been calculated as approximately £100,000 for preparatory works and the remainder to be drawn down over 20 years for ongoing maintenance (about £18,000 pa). The land will be covenanted against future development, in perpetuity, in accordance with the policies and aims of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Planning conditions for the housing development (Clause 15) attached to the permission (MSDC Ref: 12/04141) require a Landscape Ecological Management Plan (LEMP) to be approved by the Planning Authority, to be substantially based on the version accompanying the application. The following is an extract from the LEMP:
The aims and objectives of the LEMP are to set out a detailed framework of landscape management operations required to:
1.8.1 secure the long term health, safety and screening quality of the important landscape green infrastructure of the site provided by existing and new hedgerows, woodland shaw, and tree cover. This will include maintenance of new reinforcement / infill planting and periodic selective coppicing and hedge laying to achieve structural diversity, effective screening and secure boundaries where appropriate;
1.8.2 manage the COS (Country Open Space) in a naturalistic manner with low key maintenance inputs to ensure that the visual separation between Hurstpierpoint and Hurst Wickham is maintained as well as providing a pleasant local amenity and increasing local biodiversity and habitat;
1.8.3 provide an informal setting for the two areas of development;
1.8.4 provide a pleasant internal landscaped environment to the two areas of development capitalizing on opportunities to enhance biodiversity by using native species and/or species of known wildlife food and habitat value in the new planting
1.8.5 provide a robust landscape edge to the proposed development at Little Park Farm
1.8.6 maintain the play area; (this area will now be outside the parkland and not the responsibility of the Council)
1.8.7 maintain the Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) elements; (this area will now be outside the parkland and not the responsibility of the Council)
1.8.8 maintain boundary fences and access gates;
1.8.9 maintain signage, seats and bins;
1.8.10 maintain bird and bat boxes.
PARKLAND ADVISORY BOARD
In 2016 the Parish Council formed the Parkland Advisory Board (PAB), comprising local residents, key experts and come councillors. The Board is charged with overseeing the preparation and ongoing management of the parkland areas. The minutes of the PAB meetings and other background documents are published on this website (see below).
Hurstpierpoint Parkland Governance structure - 10 February 2016