We have to start on a rather grim note this week as ESCC Planning Committee granted Southern Water planning permission to build the sewage plant behind the goal in the Bonfire/Football Field off Solomon’s lane.

The critical meeting was on Wednesday, July 16th. Peter was there and writes:

“The build up to the meeting started with the publication of the planning officer’s report to the Planning Committee. Unsurprisingly, this recommended the Committee should approve the application. The report noted that “the Parish Council and local residents have referred to an alternative site on land the east of the A2100, almost directly opposite the proposed site” but then said that”the applicant [i.e. Southern Water] has considered this site as it has a history of flooding…” when, according to Fred Stace, Dennis Smith and Michael Mayers, it has never flooded in living memory.

“I had registered as a “public speaker” and put our case in my allotted three minutes. Kathryn Field, our doughty county councillor, did a sterling job on behalf of the village as a whole and the immediate local residents in particular. But to no avail.

“I’d been encouraged by the fact that the councillors had made a site visit but had not reckoned with the fact that, apart from Kathryn, they were all on a different wave length. For a start, there were two councillors who were barred from either speaking or voting because they had not been able to attend the site visit which seems illogical to me. They had received the same information as everyone else. Had there not been a site visit would nobody have been allowed to comment or vote?

“Then there were the councillors who did speak. One said that he thought “the siting has been done quite sensitively”. Another described it as “well out of the way”. Yet another said that the sewage plant site “is not next to people’s properties”. And one who actually described the proposed site as “a super location in some ways”.

“I was left with an impression of four men in suits who had simply forgotten their responsibilities to people rather than plans. That’s my opinion but you can make up your own minds as the proceedings are available as a webcast here: Or an easier way is to go to the parish website ( and click on the link there. When the webcast opens, there is a Timeline bar down the right so you can navigate to Agenda item 5 and to individual speakers beyond that.

“As a village, I think we did everything we could. Local residents made well reasoned and strongly worded objections. The Parish Council objection was tightly argued. And I have never seen anything from the High Weald AONB Unit as strongly expressed as their objection. Two voices, Kathryn and I, spoke for Mountfield at the committee meeting itself. There’s nothing else we could have done.

“After the meeting, I decided to take a short walk round the town before I drove back and promptly nearly got run down by a Southern Water van.”

A reminder that the Mountfield Flower Show will take place on Saturday, August 2nd. There are classes for Flowers, Vegetables, Flower Arranging, Crafts, Cookery, Photography and Juniors. Schedules are available from Celia Morris, 9 Hoath Hill and Sue Kennedy, 13 Eatenden Lane. Support your community and have a go at some of the classes. Go along on the day see what is being shown have tea and cake and play some of the games including a raffle.

One of our two local district councillors, Bob White, resigned citing health issues so a by election has been called for next Thursday (July 31st). Five candidates are standing. The local polling stations are the Village Hall in Mountfield and Brightling from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm. Regardless of who is successful, it will be good to have an active district councillor after far too long without one.

The Mountfield Club is arranging a car treasure hunt on Friday, August 1st from 6.00 to 7.00 pm. There is a £5.00 entry fee per car and there will be prizes and a BBQ. Also Steve Smith is arranging a Charity Quiz Night at the Club on Thursday, August 7th — more information to follow next week. Non-members are welcome at both events.

On Sunday evening (July 13th), prior to the World Cup, Steve Smith hosted the Club’s trophy presentation night with medals and trophies given to the finalist of the Clubs annual tournaments.

The winner of the Fred Stace Darts Knockout for the third year running was Alex Gray, beating Jack Hayler in the final. The Darts Pairs was won by Alex Gray and Danny Overy, beating Fred Stace and Wayne Martin in the final. Danny Overy became the shove champion, beating Fred Stace in the final. And the Club’s first table tennis tournament saw Alex Gray and Steve Smith finish joint third with Kevin Gray beating Jack Bromley in the final.

The Club has a new snooker champion with Ashley Sutton beating Pete Last in the final with Alex Gray and Steve Smith joint third. The doubles were won by Andy Saunders and Kevin Gray, beating Danny Overy and Jack Hayler in the final. Other snooker awards on the evening went to Sean Spillett for captain’s Player of the Season, to Kevin Gray for most league wins, and to Steve Smith for highest break of the season.

In the Club’s World Cup sweepstake, the winning ticket belonged to Dennis Smith with Alex Gray second prize. The full list of awards and winners can be found on the Club’s Facebook page.

We started on a grim note and sadly we must end on one too. It should not go unnoticed that Mountfield and Whatlington School closed its doors as a village school for the last time on Wednesday.

If you have any news for us — good news preferred, please contact us on 880614 (evenings) or via

Peter Miles