NEW SIGN DEBACLE AND FRACKING QUESTIONS:
Confirmation that the Golf Club's new signs are wrong and misleading
Has Crowborough Beacon Golf Club Limited taken its eye off the game to play ball with Cuadrilla?
On 12 April 2013 Crowborough Beacon Golf Club Limited erected nine new signs around Crowborough Common.
The signs erroneously state that public rights of access on the common are now governed by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW).
An official at the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs has written to several local residents confirming that the CROW Act does not apply to Crowborough Common.
Save Our Common calls on the club to remove the signs.
The public were given free access to the 222 acre common as one of the conditions of sale when 8th Earl De La Warr transferred the common to the club in 1906.
In recent years CBGC Ltd has made two serious attempts to realise the value of some of the land within Crowborough Common. This latest episode does, perhaps, pose the question - what is really going on?
Could there be some longer-term goal of which the public, as yet, are unaware? For example, located on Crowborough Common, close to Sheep Plain, is a gas well named ASHDOWN 2
Please refer to page 8 (and zoom in) of the Dept of Energy and Climate Change publication (below): 'The Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources of Britain's Onshore Basins- Shale Gas'. ASHDOWN 2 will be seen.
ASHDOWN 2 is a "conventional well which flowed gas".
For confirmation of location etc please see line 1563 in this spreadsheet:
It has been recently licenced to fracking specialist Cuadrilla (Weald) Ltd until 2039.
https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/information/licence_reports/onshorebylicence.html Scroll down to PEDL247 and click
Cuadrilla are the company who fracked for shale gas near Blackpool causing earth tremors and who have recently announced that a well at Balcombe (near Haywards Heath) will be drilled very shortly.
Fracking is the controversial extraction method which pumps water and chemicals underground at high pressure to shatter rock formations and release gas. Risks associated with fracking include earth tremors, subsidence, toxic chemicals from the fracking fluid seeping into local water tables, the lowering and pollution of water tables, problems related to the disposal of contaminated water, leakage of methane into the atmosphere, contamination of agricultural land and traffic pollution.
Save Our Common now asks:
- Is this the reason for the erroneous new signs - a failed attempt to exclude the public from the common as a whole, and the site of the well in particular?
- Is Crowborough Common about to become the site for a drilling and/or fracking facility affecting the lives of thousands of local residents?
- Have fracking specialist Cuadrilla and Crowborough Beacon Golf Club Limited reached an agreement?
- Isn't it time that the golf club gave the residents of Crowborough a full explanation?
Save Our Common makes the following suggestion to this private members club:
Why not run a successful golf club and leave Crowborough Common in its historic setting for all to enjoy?
Welcome to Crowborough Common. Crowborough Common is a beautiful area of undulating, mature heathland set close to one of the highest points in Sussex, with spectacular views to the South Downs.
Covering 222 acres, the common is the largest public recreation space within the town boundary and forms part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The public's ‘right to air and exercise’ was formalised in 1906 by the 8th Earl De La Warr. Crowborough Beacon Golf Club, established in 1895, maintains a highly-rated course on part of the common.
Members of the public have a legal right of access to all areas of the common on foot, including the golfing areas. This right of access is not restricted to public footpaths or tracks.
Being an unfenced common, the whole area is open to the public 24 hours a day throughout the year.
The origins of Crowborough Common can be traced back nearly 1,000 years. The Domesday Book (1086) recorded a manor named Alchorne (Alsihorne) - Crowborough Common is the ‘waste’ of Alchorne Manor. The waste was the land on which the lord’s tenants (the commoners) could graze their cattle.
Most of the common is heathland and woodland. The common has several owners.
In March 2009, Crowborough Common was the subject of a public inquiry. The purpose of the inquiry was to decide an application made by the golf club. Over 450 people attended the opening of the inquiry. As a result, there is now a large informal group who care about the common and keep in regular contact. The golf club's application was rejected. Click here to see the inspector's decision.
2012 Planning Application Outcome:
On 24 May 2012 Wealden Council REFUSED a new application by Crowborough Beacon Golf Club to develop a private gated car park on Crowborough Common. We welcome this democratic decision by local councillors and thank all those who supported the campaign opposing the plans.
'On the Common' Reproduced with the kind permission of Michael Edwards Tel: 07979 497907