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Today's South East news website headlines


The Argus: The terrible secret of a mother who 'sexually abused her twin boys' told in new Netflix show

Kent Online: Former Kent Police special constable and ambulance boss accused of 'crime ring'

Get Surrey: Road closures on M25, M23, M3 and A3 set to disrupt traffic in the week ahead

Chichester Observer: Guns found in rucksack hidden in bushes in Sussex

Eastbourne Herald: Police ‘extremely concerned’ for missing Eastbourne man who could be in Mid Sussex

Crawley and Horley Observer: Halloween: The 11 ‘spookiest spaces’ in the UK revealed

Worthing Herald: Worthing seafront 10k in pictures

Mid Sussex Times: Duck fair organiser wins community award

Brighton & Hove News: Burglars steal cameras, computers and cash from Brighton charity for disabled children

Hastings Observer: Hastings Bonfire In Pictures

Brighton & Hove Independent: Why we should attract hedgehogs to our gardens

Replacement wheelchair-friendly minibuses for West Sussex

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Dozens of replacement wheelchair-accessible minibuses costing about £2m in total will soon be added to the West Sussex County Council fleet.

The minibuses, which will be used by adults services as well as for taking children to and from school, will replace older vehicles and will be paid for out of the council’s capital programme.

The 33 minibuses will be brought in during the 2020/21 financial year.

New housing plans approved

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Mid Sussex District Council has agreed to sell more than 27 acres of land in Haywards Heath to a developer to allow new homes to be built.

The three parcels of land north-west of Hurstwood Lane, will be used as part of a 375-home development which was given outline planning permission in August.

The application for the site at Hurst Farm was submitted by the council and Cross Stone Securities and includes plans for a two-form entry primary school, burial grounds, allotments, and a country park.

Plan for new housing near Haywards Heath
Mid Sussex District Council
The plans will see nearly 400 new homes built

The site is allocated for housing in the Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan and the sale of the land was agreed at a meeting of the cabinet this week.

The application attracted more than 140 letters of objection, mostly raising traffic and access concerns, but leader Jonathan Ash-Edwards said the development was "an excellent opportunity for the delivery of significant infrastructure improvements for Haywards Heath".

Because one part of the land includes ancient woodland, the council was required to consider any objections received from statutory adverts placed in the Mid Sussex Times, but no such objections were received.

Councillors decide on preferred bypass route

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Bypass options

A 30-year bypass saga is moving towards its final chapter as a decision was made on the preferred route.

Two proposed routes had given support, denoted by colours red and magenta.

During a special meeting of the full Arun District Council on Thursday, the magenta route was the clear winner by 31 votes to five, with three abstentions. The crimson route received five votes.

Leader Dr James Walsh said: “We’re one huge step closer to having it delivered in two or three years’ time which will benefit the residents of Arundel, benefit residents of the whole of the Arun district and improve the south coast trunk road for millions of motorists every year.”

The magenta route would see around 4.4 miles (7.3km) of new dual carriageway to the south of the existing A27, from the Crossbush junction to just west of Yapton Lane.

It would include a new bridge over Binsted Rife, with around 3.7miles (6.1km) of the existing A27 being downgraded.

Highways England's consultation continues until 24 October.

Arun District Counciml will now work alongside West Sussex County Council, Arundel Town Council, Walberton Parish Council, Lyminster and Crossbush Parish Council and the South Downs National Park Authority to prepare a Local Impact Statement.

Northern Arc plans approved

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Northern Arc
Homes England

Plans for more than 3,000 homes north of Burgess Hill have been given outline planning permission by Mid Sussex District Council.

Homes England, the government’s housing agency, took over the delivery of the 200-acre project – known as the Northern Arc – last year and work on the first phase is expected to begin in 2020/21.

The council’s planning committee gave the proposals approval on Thursday.

They will include £41m of infrastructure work, which will be carried out over the next three years.

Work on the first phase of development will begin next year, with the final phase scheduled to start in 2031/32 and residents expected to move in to the last 451 homes by March 2034.

When it came to approving the application, the decision was never in doubt.

As well as the homes, the development will include extra care housing, 13 gypsy and traveller pitches, community, sports and healthcare facilities, a four hectare business park, two primary schools and a secondary school, and 82 hectares of green space.

More than 900 of the new homes – 30% – will be classed as affordable.

Sunrise across Kent and Sussex

Guy Bell

The home counties were showered in sunlight this morning and photographers, amateur and professional, captured the red sky in all its glory.

Eastbourne's beach turned red and was snapped by B Fowler.

Red sky
B Fowler
Eastbourne covered by the red sky

Meanwhile, Eddie Mitchell captured the red sky above the iconic Worthing Wheel.

Worthing Wheel
Eddie Mitchell
Sunrise over Worthing
Goring sky
The sky shone bright in Goring By Sea

@Msiggsy was able to take a picture of the stunning sky above Goring By Sea while Iain Gowers was able to do the same from his home in Hove.

Hove sky
Ian Gowers
Ian Gowers captured this stunning view in Hove

Paddock Wood FC supporters were up early this morning to help show off the sunrise at the village's railway station.

Paddock Wood
Paddock Wood FC Supporters
Paddock Wood's sky was a sight to behold at the break of dawn

Today's South East news website headlines

Printing press
Getty Images

The Argus:Number of bus lane fines issued increases by 774 per cent

Kent Online:Students are being offered free meals to commute between university campuses after chiefs struggled to attract new students to its Medway site

Get Surrey:'No evidence' of how Surrey Police will make £10m of required savings, report finds

Chichester Observer:Earnley Concourse fire ‘under control'

Eastbourne Herald:Two rescued by the RNLI near Eastbourne

Crawley and Horley Observer:Person who fell onto shop roof rescued in Crawley town centre

Worthing Herald:Downton Abbey star helps raise an Earl’s fortune at Chichester to protect the South Downs

Mid Sussex Times:Burgess Hill development for more than 3,000 homes given permission

Brighton & Hove News:Brighton pub’s bid to create new city centre roof terrace sparks fears of flying fag ends

Hastings Observer:Witnesses sought after ‘gunshots’ heard in St Leonards

Brighton & Hove Independent:Two rescued from house fire

Tories win council seats in by-elections

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Two council by-elections in West Sussex have seen resounding victories for the Conservatives.

Residents in Tilgate and Three Bridges went to the polls on Thursday following the death of Charles Petts, who represented the wards at borough and county level respectively. He died in July, aged 52.

In Tilgate Maureen Mwagale took 57% of the vote, with the turnout at 29%.

Her win takes the make-up of the council back to 19 Labour and 17 Conservative, the same as it was before Mr Petts’ death.

In Three Bridges, borough councillor Brenda Burgess took the seat, with 52% of the vote.

The result makes no real difference to the county council which has a large Tory majority but things are very much on a knife-edge at borough level.

Cuts to social care budget

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Proposals have been made to cut more money from social care in West Sussex.

Plans were announced to halve the £200,000 Local Assistance Network budget, which had already been cut from £806,000 in April.

The network provides assistance to families and individuals in times of crisis and helps to fund food banks, children and family centres, social enterprises and Citizens Advice.

West Sussex County Council says it is under pressure to find £75.5m of savings over the next four years.

Today's South East news website headlines

Stack of newspapers (generic)
Getty Images

The Argus:Brighton council leader: We struggle to empty bins

Kent Online:Staff sacked at Elvy Court Care Home in Sittingbourne after abuse

Get Surrey:Gatwick Airport drone attack: £790,000 spent on investigation but police still don't know who's responsible

Chichester Observer: Electric fence around Bognor bowling green 'utterly over the top'

Eastbourne Herald:Lewes MP hits out after car tyres are damaged for the second time

Crawley and Horley Observer:Call to tweak plans for ID checks at West Sussex rubbish tips

Worthing Herald:Concern for missing Worthing man who discharged himself from hospital

Mid Sussex Times:Burgess Hill woman convicted of benefit fraud after dishonestly claiming thousands of pounds

Brighton & Hove News:Student campaign to end unpaid trial shifts prompts public consultation

Hastings Observer:New Hastings lifeboat to honour mum and son’s shared love of the sea

Brighton & Hove Independent:Extinct moth makes amazing return to Sussex

Police officer seriously injured after being hit on A27

Police officer hit on the A27

A police officer has been seriously injured when he was hit by a vehicle as he helped the driver of a broken down lorry on the A27 near Falmer.

He was struck at about 20:30 BST on Wednesday as the lorry on the eastbound carriageway was just about to move again, Sussex Police said.

The officer received serious but not life threatening injuries.

The collision is not being treated as a deliberate act and the driver, who has not been arrested, is cooperating with the police investigation, a police spokesman said.

Council urged to dump waste ID plans

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Plans requiring people to show two forms of identification before they can dump their rubbish should be looked at again, West Sussex councillors have urged.

The idea is being considered by West Sussex County Council in an attempt to reduce costs and congestion, particularly at amenity tips close to the boundary, such as East Grinstead, Shoreham, Crawley, Burgess Hill and Billingshurst.

If approved, anyone visiting the county’s 11 tips would have to show photo ID such as a driving licence, plus a recent utility bill or current council tax bill.

While some members of the environment, communities and fire select committee had no problem with the need for ID to be shown, most were less than impressed with the need to also bring a bill.

Chairman Andrew Barrett-Miles said he tended to throw away his council tax bill and felt it was "unnecessary" to make people present them.

He added: “The majority of us have the new plastic driving licences with our pictures on – and they have our addresses on – and I would think that is perfectly adequate.”

Officers reported that some 10% of people who used West Sussex tips lived in other counties – and said the saving predicted was actually "on the conservative side".

The final decision will be taken by Deborah Urquhart, cabinet member for environment, who said she would look again at the need for two forms of ID.

New homes to be built on former sewage treatment site

Former sewage treatment works north of Burgess Hill
Homes will be built on the former sewage treatment works north of Burgess Hill

Plans for 325 new homes at the former sewage treatment works north of Burgess Hill have been approved by Mid Sussex District Council.

Outline permission for the site in Fairbridge Way was granted in 2014 but, because the process was not completed within the five years required, Fairbridge Developments and Glenbeigh Developments had to resubmit the application.

It was given the go-ahead at a meeting of the district planning committee.

A report said the developers had managed to complete some of the infrastructure work needed.

The committee also approved plans for more than 40,000sqm of employment development on land south of the A2300, Gatehouse Lane, in Goddards Green.

It refused plans to demolish buildings at EDF Energy, in Lewes Road, Ashurst Wood, and build 54 homes on the site. A similar application for 71 homes was refused earlier this year because members felt it was a ‘significant overdevelopment’, it offered too little parking and too few affordable homes.

New college 'may not be built in time'

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Woodlands Meed School

Governors at Woodlands Meed School say they have been told that unless work on a new college starts next month, it is unlikely to be finished in time for a September 2021 opening.

The special school, in Burgess Hill, has been waiting for years for a permanent college to be built at its Birchwood Grove Road site – which would allow youngsters to leave the current prefabricated set-up they currently occupy.

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council's cabinet member for education and skills, said the authority was "doing everything possible" to ensure the college opened on time.

Bur Marion Wilcock, chairman of governors, said: “The governors have expressed their serious concern about the progress of this project.

“Governors were originally told that unless construction work started by October, it was unlikely that completion by September 2021 could be achieved."

Controversial traveller pitches plans approved

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Traveller site

Plans for two traveller pitches in Pulborough have been approved, despite 60 objections.

An application to change the use of land at the junction of Hill Farm Lane and Stane Street to allow for the pitches was given the nod by Horsham District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

Questions were asked about road safety, the effect on the character of the area and whether there was a need for such sites in the first place.

Councils are required to have a five-year supply of land to be used as accommodation for gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople - something Horsham does not have.

Committee chairman Brian Donnelly said the committee had to make its decision based on evidence submitted in line with the protocols set out by the council and the government.

He said: “The nub of the matter really is this five-year supply of land for gypsies and travellers. That is a protocol we have to adhere to.

“As soon as we run to get to a point we seem to be standing still because the government keeps on changing the goal posts.

“Really more representation should be made to government to review these matters.”