Ditchling Parish Council

Serving the Ditchling Community



Notes of a Meeting with BT and Ditchling residents

Old Meeting House on Tuesday 10th May 2016 at 6.45 pm


BT Representatives: David Axam, Paul Boichat, Adrian Paice.

Chairman: Don McBeth, Ditchling Parish Council.

BT explained the background of the rollout of Superfast Broadband across East Sussex and confirmed that the village of Ditchling should have been enabled in 2012 during the commercial roll-out phase. However, because of technical issues around the siting of the new boxes the roll-out did not take place. The 15 cabinets in Hassocks have already been enabled. To enable Superfast Broadband a new BT cabinet must be located close to each exiting cabinet. It is an Ofcom regulation that the new cabinet must be within 90m of the existing BT cabinet. The new cabinet must have a source of power.

There are three BT boxes serving Ditchling; box 18 in Lewes Road has been enabled with the new cabinet located just a few meters from the old cabinet and residents served by box 18 can access Superfast Broadband. You can check which cabinet serves your address using the BT Openreach FTCC checker.


Box 9 near Boddington Lane has not been enabled but a site for the new box has been agreed following a meeting with Ditchling Parish Council in October 2015. This box will be enabled at the same time as box 4.

Box 4 in South Street has proved problematic. A site meeting was held in Ditchling in October 2015 with BT and Ditchling Parish Council to look at options for siting the new box. Two potential sites required wayleaves and the landowners were not willing to proceed. The pavement in South Street is too narrow for a box to be located at the side of the pavement. A second site in South Street is a possibility but there are concerns over a high voltage cable which is close by which may need to be re-routed. Other options have included outside the Post Office by the DVA noticeboard and in The Bull car park. Initially it was thought that the works to run the cables under the highway from the box in South Street to a box on the opposite side of the road would mean that the road would be closed for a weekend. ESCC Highways have now agreed that the work can take place with a 4- way traffic light system in place for two Sundays in the winter time. Approx 70m of the highway will be dug.

Mr Worrall, the owner of The Bull indicated that the new box to link to box 4 could be located in The Bull car park.

No planning permission is required for the new boxes but planning departments are notified. Highways conditions must be met including minimum pavement widths. Sites must be safe for engineers to carry out work and safe for the public. Work is expected to commence in winter 2016/17 with the remaining two boxes being enabled by June 2017. Subject to an agreement being reached to use The Bull car park as a site.

Residents in Spatham Lane, Underhill and more remote locations may be served by other BT cabinets and this can be checked with Openreach.



  Next Parish Meeting & Venue  

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at 7.30 pm on 24th May 2016 at The Old Meeting House  

Details & Background

Ditchling is a delightful village nestling at the foot of the South Downs in East Sussex. It has an electorate of approximately 1,700 people. It is an example of a Saxon Strip Parish. There is an excellent network of footpaths covering some 33miles in total which enable walkers to enjoy the countryside and in many cases savour breathtaking views.

To the North of the Village is Ditchling Common Country Park which is owned and managed by East Sussex County Council and to the south there is the famous Ditchling Beacon which is the highest point on the South Downs. Ditchling Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest included in which there are three sites of Nature Conservation Importance.

There is a very strong cultural and artistic tradition in the Village. These are depicted in the local Ditchling Museum, Turner Dumbrell Workshops and local businesses. It is a lively community with some 40 local organisations which are represented on the Ditchling Village Association.

Ditchling is keen to preserve its character whilst realising that some change is inevitable. Parts of the Village are designated as Conservation Areas and the central area is further protected by an Article 4 Direction Order. There are 40 Listed Buildings in and around the Village.
The Parish is represented on East Sussex County Council and Lewes District Council; it has eleven members on the Parish Council who serve for four years. The Parish Council holds its statutory meetings monthly on the fourth Tuesday; in addition it holds Special Council Meetings on the second Tuesday monthly if required to deal with plans and urgent matters.

Function & Duties

Parish Council procedures are set out in "Standing Orders".


The Parish Council has four Committees

Grounds Committee

The Council owns and manages the Recreation Ground in Lewes Road It is responsible amongst other matters for deciding when the state of the pitches is suitable for football matches in the Winter. The Chairman of the Committee, the Groundsman and a representative from the Club make a regular inspection at 9am every Saturday during the winter months. The War Memorial, which belongs to the Parish Council, and the Droveway Shaw, which is owned by SEEBoard, also comes under the umbrella of this Committee. The Council employs Colin Truran as its Groundsman.

Burial Ground Committee
The Council owns and manages the Burial Ground and the field to the east, which is designated as a future Burial Ground extension. The Council employs Colin Truran to maintain the main part of the Ground and Peter Stenning to look after the Garden of Remembrance.
Lighting Committee The Parish Council owns and maintains the footway lighting in the Village. The lights on the signs and the buildouts etc. are the responsibility of the County Council. The lights in the Car Park at the Village Hall are owned and maintained by Lewes District Council. The council has sixty lamp standards in the village.

Footpaths Committee

This comes under the umbrella of the main Council financially but needs active members to walk the paths and keep an eye on them. Maintenance is carried out by the Monday Group. The County Council is responsible for all Definitive Rights of Way. The Committee also makes recommendations for money to be set aside in the estimates to give grants to the Monday Group.


The whole Council deals with planning applications. It is not a Planning Authority and can only make recommendations. It can comment in three ways, If it Supports an application it has to give its reasons. If it Objects to an application it has to justify with reasons, if it does not have strong feelings in either direction it comments "No objections" this leaves it in the hands of the Planners.

Financial Controllers

It is a requirement of the Audit Commission that the Council appoints two financial controllers as part of the Financial Control of the Council. These are Councillors who are not signatories on cheques. One looks at the accounts for payment prior to the Council Meeting and checks the cheques. The other has the bank Statements etc to check.

Internal Auditor

It is also a requirement of the Audit Commission that there is an independent internal auditor to monitor the work during the year. There is a public Audit carried out annually by a firm appointed by the Audit Commission.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

At each Council Meeting there is a folder including copies of the papers distributed to Councillors for the public to read as part of the meeting. Copies of Minutes and Agendas for the past year are kept in a file at the Post Office and are available for inspection upon application.