As residents may already be aware, Henfield Parish Council is undertaking a review of the use of the Sandpit area (North of Henfield Common) following a formal request in January from a group of young people who have enjoyed cycling in this area,
Their letter requested a proper litter bin and some form of agreement to ride there safely, including an offer to help preserve wildlife through conservation activities.
As owners of this land the Council are considering all aspects of their request and of course looking at all points of view
We have been made aware of an anonymous leaflet which was distributed selectively to some Henfield residents about this matter (but not to the Council). The letter was not attributed to any individual or group. It is possible some recipients may believe that this was distributed by the Parish Council. Henfield Parish Council wishes local people to know it was not written by them or based on information supplied by them.
A change from informal use to a more formal use by a specific group brings some challenges around our public liability insurance and health and safety obligations therefore we have taken professional advice before responding.
Having gathered this advice the plan is to look at both sides of the situation, bearing in mind the council’s role as the landowner, its obligations to local residents, its health and safety responsibilities, its duty to protect wildlife and the importance of encouraging outdoor recreation and fitness for all age groups, including young people.
The Parish Council has appealed to cycling groups to stop using the sandpit whilst this consultation takes place.
It is also important to note that there is no intention to consider the construction of a mountain biking park or a more commercial facility, or of selling the land to another party.
The Council is committed to keeping the Sandpit area, and footpaths leading to it, as a pleasant recreational space for all who enjoy the outdoors.
The process of review and consultation is ongoing and we aim to make recommendations and decisions at our next Recreation & Open Spaces Committee Meeting on Tuesday 13th April 2021.
This is a public meeting open to anyone to attend via Zoom on application to the Parish Office for a meeting code
Find out more about your Parish Councillors and the Parish Office TeamREAD MORE
Find the Parish Council Policies and Henfield Parish Council's Public Open DataREAD MORE
Find out about the role of the Parish Council and the other Local Authorities, Horsham District Council and West Sussex County CouncilREAD MORE