Chairman:             Mrs Rosalind Hart

Clerk:                     Mrs. Lorraine Grocott, BEM, BA Hons (Local Policy)

                                23 West Meade, Milland, Liphook, Hampshire, GU30 7NB

                     Tel 01428 741393…  Email: clerk.beptonparishcouncil@gmail.com

                     Website – http://www.bepton.org


Thursday 28 January 2021 held via Zoom.

Present:           Mrs R Hart (Chair), Mr J C Beaumont, Mr J Beckett, Mr D Hollowood,

                        Mr M Salmon, Mrs C Bower, Mrs L Sadler

                        Cllr Dr K O’Kelly (County Councillor)

                        Cllr Mrs J Fowler (District Councillor)

                        Mrs P McCullough – Midhurst Vision

850.  Apologies – There were no apologies.

851.  Declaration of Interests of Members Item 9. Mrs L Sadler planning application.

852Minutes of the Meeting 26 November 2020.  Agreed.  Mrs. Hart to sign and send to the Clerk.

853.  Public Participation – Mrs. Phillipa McCullough – Midhurst Vision and Midhurst Angels

Midhurst Vision – She is working with the Midhurst Vision team who are gathering groups, and organizations with a view to developing a shared strategy for Midhurst for the benefit of the community as the stakeholders.  They have been advised not to be too ambitious and to limit their ideas to key aspects. 

  1. Midhurst as a ‘sense of place’. They are looking at the North Street carpark and the Grange car park.  Improvements to these areas would improve the look and feel of the whole town. To enable these improvements, they are hoping to attract funding from Chichester District Council (CDC).   They are working with a company who specializes in this area.  There will be a meeting, probably via Zoom, at 11am on 8th February to develop this project.  Other ideas include discussing traffic movement, carparking and pedestrian areas.  Councillors are welcome to attend.
  2. Gateways – creating a sense of arrival into Midhurst.  This would include landscaping and attractive signs.
  3. The group are discussing air quality management at Rumbolds Hill with (CDC).  This is a particular concern that came out of the recent survey. 
  4. Local businesses, particularly the small independent shops, are under considerable pressure. 

The group is looking at how help can be provided to raise their shop fronts to a higher standard.

  • On North Street 35% of the shops are charity shops and they are trying to help them to improve their window displays, possibly sourcing training sessions to help in this area.
  • Funding is the key to making these improvements. They will be developing a strategy document that can be used to apply to CDC and other bodies to attract funding particularly for the Sense of Place and Gateway improvements.

Midhurst Angels – They are still providing support and answering calls for emergency shopping, prescriptions etc.  Help will also be provided for the vaccination centers, which will be running 3 days a week and up to 7 days.  They are organizing drivers for Riverbank.

Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 28 January 2021


854.   Report from the District Councillor – Cllr Mrs Judy Fowler

Riverbank Medical Centre is now operational, as is the Midhurst Pharmacy.  There has been considerable unrest about the length of time taken for West Sussex to begin vaccination.  This is mainly because at the time when rollout was being organized Chichester district had a low incidence of Covid infection and therefore resources were targeted at those areas with higher incidence.  Unfortunately, the incidence in the South ballooned shortly afterwards, throwing these calculations.

Update on Covid Business Grants

Since its inception in August last year, CDC have received 77 applications for large business grants and 132 for small business grants.  51 applications have been successful for the large grant (totalling c£172k) and 81 small businesses have also been successful (totalling c£68k).  The spread of applications has been right across the district.

Emergency Accommodation

It has been more difficult this year to find accommodation for rough sleepers, due to Covid restrictions on communal sleeping but CDC in conjunction with Stonepillow has been able to accommodate most.  There are always rough sleepers who refuse help.  Four Streets evening food provision has been busy and the Chichester Hub has extended its opening hours. 

Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan

Public consultation finished in October.  3000 responses were received.  The Plan will be presented for adoption this month and in Cabinet in February.  (Reasons stated for not walking or cycling were that the roads were ‘too busy’, that there were ‘difficult junctions’ and that the ‘quality of the physical environment’ was poor).  The Plan will be amended to encompass these findings.

New Automatic Vehicle Wash Facility

This provides an on-site wash for vehicles at the Westhampnett Depot and can wash the large refuse collecting vehicles on the top and sides and chassis.  The facility will be offered to private hauliers on a commercial basis.

Sainsbury’s Midhurst

Complaints have been received about the lack of Covid restrictions at the store.  Following investigation by Environmental Health representatives and discussions with management this has resulted in changes being made.

Rural Towns Coordinator

A new coordinator has been appointed.  She is Bridget Clements and began work this week.  She can be contacted on bclements@chichester.gov.uk.  She is working with the Midhurst Vision group.

855.     Report from the County Councillor – Cllr Dr Kate O’Kelly

Covid – Latest data – 3114 new cases in West Sussex for the 7 days up to 22 January.

405 new cases in Chichester District – 334.4/ 100000

Vaccination roll-out

On 15th December – 8 GP Led vaccination services in West Sussex went live – None in Chichester District.  Chichester District in wave 6.

Vaccination hub at St Richards.  Started vaccinating care home staff and NHS staff there on 4th Jan.

Midhurst practice and now Midhurst pharmacy are up and running.  We are being updated each week by CCG leaders – hoping to find a central Chichester site soon.

Scams – beware vaccine phone call scams – the scam is to ring and ask the individual to press a button their phone if they want the vaccine or give their card number.  The vaccination service will not ask for any of these actions.

Dr Kate O’Kelly is hoping to join the team of vaccinators at the Midhurst practice.

WSCC Budget decisions

Options still on the table –

Closure of child and family centres including Petworth – a concern for rural North Chichester area.

Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 28 January 2021


Now off the table –

Closure of 2 out of 11 of the HWRS (Household Waste Recycling Sites) – charging for DIY waste.

Bus subsidies

Bus discretionary passes

HASC in January 2021

We scrutinised the plan for Adults and Health service planning overview.  Savings options all being considered.

Review of in-house residential services – closure of Marjorie Cobby House in Selsey which was used as post discharge short term beds.

Review of Shaw day services – underused but during Covid this is understandable. 

Reduction in well-being programme.  Programme underspent and disrupted during Covid.

The committee was of a view that reducing support for prevention of physical and mental health now was short-sighted.

856.     Chairman’s Items – Mrs Ros Hart

a)   Chairmanship – After some thought Mrs Hart has decided, with the will of the Council, to continue as Chair to complete her 4-year term.

b)   Clerk – Mrs Grocott has agreed to continue as Clerk until September 2021.  She will write a short piece inviting interest in the role, in the next newsletter.

c)   NALC – The government is not currently planning to extend the remote meeting regulations beyond 7 May 2021.  Along with other local government bodies, NALC is continuing to press for this extension.  NALC is also preparing guidance for local councils on preparing for and managing the

return to physical meetings in May and beyond.

e)   Sign damage – The sign damage made by the hedging contractors for Cowdray has now been repaired.

857.     Finance report – Mrs Grocott, RFO

a)   Statement of Accounts and payment for approval.

These payments were approved.

  • J Beaumont card reader and card for Nat West account. – The Clerk and other signatories have completed the forms for Mr Beaumont to receive a card reader and card.
  • The Clerk will submit the VAT Reclaim form for 2020-2021 in February.

Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 28 January 2021


858.      Planning Report – Mr. John Beckett



Notification of intention to fell 1 no. Weeping Willow tree (T1). | Lower House Barns Bepton Road Bepton GU29 0JB – Application withdrawn.


Metis Homes request permission to erect 75 homes with associated access, parking and landscaping following demolition of the existing buildings at Council Depot, Bepton Road, GU29 9QX

LPA requests that the application is withdrawn citing concerns about the entrance to the  development, the design of the homes and density.

Application in progress


Mr & Mrs Milner request pre-planning advice on first floor and ground floor extension to Laurel Cottage, Bepton Road. – Advice provided

SDNP/20/04602/HOUS, SDNP/20/04603/LIS

Cowdray Estate requests permission to demolish existing concrete garage and erection of replacement garage and alterations to existing dwelling including new French doors to rear.

Permission granted.


Mr & Mrs Sadler Request permission to carry out internal repairs to south west corner hip roof at Henchers Farm, Bepton Road. – Application in progress


The Cowdray Estate requests permission to refurbish and build single storey side and rear extensions to The Country Inn, Severals Road, Bepton. – 22/01/21 Amended plans submitted –

Whilst the Council continue to support this application in principle, Mr Beckett agreed to go back to the planning officer about various on-going concerns as well as the proposed sedum roofs.

Application in Progress


The Cowdray Estate requests permission to construct a new agricultural access track to Rectory Farm Dairy, Church Lane, Bepton.

23/11/20 – Planning have requested more detailed information on crossover, visibility splays, track surface and alignment. – Application in Progress



Draft Soft Sand Review Plan has been published on WSCC website. Severals East and West are not included in the plan. The public consultation has now closed, and the plan has been submitted to government to be tested for soundness and legal and procedural compliance. The public examination hearings took place 25th to 27th August and the Planning Inspector will now review the information presented. If considered sound the soft sand review would be adopted in December 2020 and incorporated into the Joint Minerals Local Plan.

9/11/20   Following examination hearings several modifications have been made to the plan which are out for consultation until 8/01/21. There is no change to the proposed extraction sites included in the latest draft plan.


Bepton Parish Council have applied to CDC to have a TPO applied to the Beech tree situated in the garden of The Country Inn. This decision is being considered in association with Planning Application SDNP/20/03042/FUL.

Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 28 January 2021



Breach of planning condition 4 of SDNP/18/06491 at Hopkiln, Bugshill Lane. Wall to east of driveway built in incorrect position. Planning Enforcement resolving the matter.

Applicant has now submitted revised plans to retain wall in its present position under application SDNP/20/04989/CND.

859.     Census 2021 – This will be carried out online on 21 March despite the changing circumstances of the pandemic.  The national Census is carried out every 10 years.  It gives a detailed picture of the country.  Census 2021 will be mainly online although paper copies will be available.

860.     SDNP workshop – December 2020 – Mrs Hart and Mr Beaumont attended the Zoom Webinar which covered the new Partnership Management programme for 2020-2025.  SDNP received 105 applications for their Covid-19 fund set up in May 2020.   In future there will be three annual SDNP workshops per year alternating between traditional presentations with Q&As and Zoom Webinars.

861.     Website review – Mr James Beaumont reported that he had been developing his understanding of the website and had made some small changes.  He felt that we could manage more of the changes ourselves however we will still need to use PosAbilities for technical administration.  He asked for a little more subject ownership by councillors for the site.  The site now includes silos for Bepton Church and Covid-19. 

862.     Broadband update – Our plans for fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) broadband for both south and north Bepton are progressing.  For the southern area of circa 50 properties contractors are being engaged and final surveys done.  Infrastructure work is expected to start in the Spring with completion by the end of the year.  For the northern area of circa 115 properties including some just outside the parish, and we await a final binding quote from Openreach.  We anticipate this in early February and fully expect it to begin line with the initial “computer” estimate.  All being well this work should complete in early 2022. For further information or queries, please email Duncan Hollowood on brdh.bpc@gmail.com.

863.     Newsletter – Mrs Carey Bower is preparing a spring newsletter. 

864.     Nextdoor – Nextdoor is a useful website offering social media type facilities to a neighbourhood.  Many have joined and are making good use of the site, but it may be appropriate to explain its reach i.e., what the visibility is of the posts we make.  When one joins as a new user, it is possible to think that your reach is just to your immediate area (e.g., Easeboune, Bepton or Stedham).  In fact, Nextdoor adds you in all local neighbourhoods.  For us this list is Singleton, West Dean, Elsted & Treyford, Trotton with Chithurst, Stedham with Iping, Woolbeding with Redford, Easebourne, Midhurst, Bepton, Cocking and Heyshott.  With such a wide reach, it is important to obey standard safe practice rules for using social media i.e., not posting personal information that you would not want to place under the nose of, for instance, the criminal fraternity.  Phone numbers, addresses, specific location information and details of when you are away from home are all to be avoided. It is possible on Nextdoor to configure which of these areas you want to post to but best practice is to make sure you only post what you are happy for anybody to see. 

Note:  this is for information only.  It is not a promotion by Bepton Parish Council.

865.     Winter Resilience Plan 2020/21 –Please see the website Bepton.org for more information.

Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 28 January 2021


866.     Environment matters/ Highways matters/ Rights of Way

a)   Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) – Severals Road – As previously reported, the Council’s TRO application to reduce the speed limit in parts of Bepton was approved in November 2020 and will be delivered as part of the 2021/22 programme subject to no objections being received during its consultation period.

b)   Village gates – These gates, due to be installed in January, are now on hold until further notice due to Covid-19.

c)   Midhurst Area Cycling meeting – Lockdown has put most projects on hold. The main project to reopen the railway line – Rother Valley Way requires further consultation especially along the stretch between Petersfield and Nyewood which could take some years to resolve.  One of the main problems that affects the Midhurst to Chichester link are the bats in residence in the tunnel under Cocking hill. 

d)   Discussion about the bike tracks used by young people in the woods on Bepton Down. 

Mr Salmon agreed to speak to the Rights of Way officer regarding liability.

e)   Climate Emergency detailed Action Plan – Mrs Sadler has a copy of the new Plan.   If the Action Plan is successful, there will be a year-on-year reduction of 10% of carbon emissions.  A tree planting project officer has been appointed with a £2.5m. fund from Defra for landowners to plant trees.

f)   A new initiative “Don’t lose your Way”.  Over the next three years, residents in the UK are being asked to nominate rights of way that have fallen into disuse.  Documentary and photographic evidence is needed so that these rights can be recorded on the official map.  Ramblers central office has now published a map of the paths identified as potential lost rights of way.  It is at https://dontloseyourway.ramblers.org.uk/.  You will need your email address and password to log in.  The map was drawn up by comparing an Ordnance Survey map of around 1900 and a Bartholomew map of around the same year.  The routes that were shown as bridleways, footpaths or roads on the old maps but are not shown on the current Definitive Maps as rights of way today are marked with blue dashes. If you are interested in this project, contact Mike Salmon, email: mikesalmon.bpc@yahoo.com.

867.     Other meetings

a)   SSALC – West Sussex Clerks Networking Forum – 8 February 10.30-11.30am – LG to attend.

b)   SSALC  – Chairs network forum – 9 February @ 6.30pm – RH to attend.

868.     Date of next meeting via Zoom will be on Thursday 25 March at 6pm.

If the public would like to be present would they please contact the Clerk in advance.

Chairman: ……………………………

These Minutes are unconfirmed until signed by the Chairman.