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Your Thoughts on Preserving the Beauty of Chailey

One of the main aims of our Neighbourhood Plan is to help and encourage the preservation of the beauty of our village.  Indeed, the “Vision for Chailey” reads as follows:

“Chailey will continue to be a thriving community which protects and retains its quiet, rural character and enhances its built and natural heritage.   Sustainable development that respects its countryside setting will be supported and infrastructure improvements will be encouraged.  The most highly valued countryside areas in the Parish will be recognized and conserved. Job opportunities within the village will be actively encouraged to provide improved prospects for local people. The sense of community spirit and cohesion will be fostered and increased.”

Note particularly the reference to:

  1. Protecting and enhancing Chailey’s built and natural heritage;
  2. Recognising and conserving the most highly valued countryside areas;
  3. Fostering and increasing the sense of community spirit and cohesion.

The heart of our village is Chailey Green and the area surrounding the Church.  In recognition of the importance of preserving this, the Green has been a designated Conservation Area since 1976.  In the Conservation Area Appraisal prepared by Lewes District Council, much is made of the attractive historic buildings surrounding the Green and also of the various views into and out of the Green.  Quoting from the Appraisal:

“The conservation area has a pervading sense of enclosure, almost separateness, provided by the concentration of buildings that surround the Green.  Nevertheless, the rural setting is an integral part of the character of the conservation area, with views across open fields possible in several locations.  Views of the wider countryside are possible along the northern part of Lewes Road between the Reading Room and Chailey Primary School……There is an attractive vista into the conservation area from the south where Lewes Road is tree-lined with some views of the open countryside and where Place Cottage and Beards terminate the vista.  An attractive vista is found up and down the tree-lined lane that leads to Chailey Moat, also either side of the lane there are fields which can be seen through a continual line of trees.  Some pleasing views and vistas are also available from a point standing on the Green and looking towards the surrounding properties.”

Bearing this in mind, your Parish Council is concerned by the increasing use of the lay-by along the centre of the Green as a more or less permanent parking area.  We feel that the presence of vehicles parked in the heart of the Conservation Area is detrimental to the built and natural heritage of the Green and fails to recognise and conserve one of the most highly valued countryside areas of Chailey.  It tends to destroy the beauty of the various views and vistas which are so well described and documented in the Character Appraisal.  However, any action to restrict or even ban such parking can only be undertaken with the support and agreement of Chailey’s residents.  Otherwise, Chailey’s sense of community spirit and cohesion may be damaged.

Therefore, your Parish Council asks you to consider the following questions:

  1. Do you agree that the presence of a line of parked vehicles along the centre of the Green detracts from the special identity and status of the Conservation Area?
  2. Should such parking be accepted by the community?
  3. If such parking is acceptable at all, should its duration and scope be limited?
  4. Would parking for the limited purpose of visiting the Reading Room be more acceptable?
  5. Should residents of the properties around the Green be given special permission for overnight parking on the Green?

Please respond, by the end of June 2024, to the Parish Clerk at the Reading Room, so that your views may be taken into account in the formation of any parking policy we may try to develop.

Chailey Parish Council, The Reading Room,Chailey Green,East Sussex, BN8 4DA

Tel: 01825 722388