Mountfield news
Mountfield news

OLD BAKERY: We weren’t able to make it to the Old Bakery for the open garden last Sunday but we’ve had lots of lovely reports. Barbara Valentine wrote, “A great success and everyone admired Sylvia and John’s beautiful garden — and had a very good time. I was amazed and rather envious at how much they have achieved there since only November!” Mind you, Barbara couldn’t object as she was kept busy with portraits and won two of the top raffle prizes: a voucher for Battle Deli and a leather gardener’s apron donated by a couple of local People Of Quality. Celia and Tubby popped in before another engagement (the Palace possibly) and had kind words too. Among the stars of the day were, of course, the old ovens with most people asking to see them. Charlotte Moore wrote, “Nice to see the ovens. All our bread [in Whatlington] came from there, delivered by Mr Honeysett and left on our scullery bench (no locked doors then) still warm”. The rain held off till long after the last guest had left and the bottom line was a whopping £633.00 for a splendid cause. Congratulations to Sylvia and John and tho their generous visitors.

AUTUMN EQUIZNOX: Mountfield Village Hall invites everyone to An Autumn Equiznox on Saturday September 23rd. Doors will open at 7.00 pm for a 7.30 start, with tickets priced at £6.00 per person to include a half time Ploughman’s Platter. The fully licensed bar will be open and will also offer wine served to your table. A wide range of subjects will be tested by the Local Celebrity Quiz Maestri so get a team together and find out what you do and don’t know. All bookings in advance please (by September 15th) to either Martina on 07930 285951 or Chris on 01580 389053. (As a warm-up question, particularly for MVH Committee Members: “How do you spell LICENSED?”) The proceedings are in aid of a new cooker and kitchen flooring for the Village Hall.

SW CONSTRUCTION: Peter Miles writes: We did promise you an update on the latest news. However, Southern Water (SW) have changed their minds and plans yet again about the properties on Eatenden Lane south of the railway so for now, we will report on some of the other features of the scheme.

SW have announced that they intend to hold a drop in session for all householders eligible to connect to advise exactly what is involved and how to go about it. This is scheduled for Wednesday September 27, this year. As yet, no further details have been released. We assume householders will hear directly from SW but we will also report details in the Village Voice if we hear.

In February this year, SW announced that they intended to present a second planning application to allow them not to build the Wastewater Treatment Works (WTW) for up to five years. The argument was that the WTW required a minimum of 60% connection rate by households — that’s at least 48 properties — for the bacterial activity on which it depends to work. Neither they nor we know how many people intend to connect, and within what timeframe, yet they have now stated that they have no intention of building the WTW until there is the required volume of waste in the system. And no, they have no intention of submitting a planning application to this end.

I and our County Councillor, Kathryn Field met with the two most senior planning officers at ESCC, Mr Ed Sheath, Director of Planning and Environment, and Mr Jeremy Patterson, Principal Planning Officer. They very clearly and explicitly explained that as far as they were concerned, if Southern Water construct the access road to the WTW site, install the wet well (the collection tank for the waste prior to treatment), the compound for the WTW (i.e. the fencing) and the landscaping (i.e. plant the shrubbery), that would be sufficient for them not to be deemed in breach of Planning Permission RR/728/CM-2014. You may need to read that again. At least once.

Once the sewerage — i.e. the piping — is complete, until sufficient numbers of households connect to achieve the required volume of waste, they will remove the waste from the wet well by tankering. You may ask why no effort has been made to establish likely connection rates. One reason is a degree of local opposition to a survey nut the main reason is that SW have changed their plans for Eatenden Lane four or five times in the last six months which makes answers to a survey impossible. The only point that should be made at this stage is that any household that considers installing a digester or similar arrangement rather than connecting to the public sewer just makes it more likely that the tankering of sewage goes on even longer or even that the WTW will never be built — which is unthinkable.

SW have updated their website as at August 31.

CONTACT: We hope we shall have a more cheerful Village Voice for you next week. There was one detail from this week that cheered us even more than the success at the Old Bakery: John there saw a kingfisher flashing along the little river through their garden this week. Always a very special sight. We can be contacted on 880614 (if no reply, just leave us your details on the answerphone) or via

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