LATEST UPDATEThursday 27th May 2021

Henfield Parish Council is working with a small group of local residents, landowners and parents/adults who stepped forward to participate because they are keen to see some use of the Sandpit by our young people wishing to ride mountain bikes there. We are exploring options which would be acceptable to all parties. This group had a constructive discussion in April and we have planned a further meeting in June. In preparation for our next discussion we have asked the parental group to work with our young people to put together some proposals.

The following points are very important for all of us to note and act upon:

- We do want to support young people and help them to have an active lifestyle with access to the outdoors.

- We do also want to respect the rights of local residents to enjoy the amenity value of their properties, footpaths and the surrounding countryside.

- Since all of the access routes to the sandpit are by public footpaths across private land, any access by bicycle requires landowner permission, as well as permission to use the site from the Parish Council. At this time no permission has been granted, therefore access to and use of the site by bicycle represents trespass. The purpose of the working group is to find a compromise which landowners and the Parish Council would find acceptable.

- We have asked our community to help us find alternative sites as this one is not ideal. If you are a landowner who is prepared to allow access to part of your land for mountain biking activities to take place please contact us.

- We have asked for a pause in all mountain biking activities at the sandpit following a period of intensive activity and anti-social behaviour after the site was widely advertised on social media (these posts have now been removed). Whilst some groups and parents have respected this request, some have not and they are damaging the efforts of the working group to reach a solution.

- If other members of the public wish to get involved and support the working groups efforts please do get in contact. Social Media provides lots of words and opinion but what we need are people prepared to become actively involved in creating something which works for our young people.

Finally please be assured that this issue is not forgotten and solutions are still being actively considered.

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