THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS.
CHAPTER XX.
The present excellent condition of the town of East Grinstead has been brought about very gradually, most new proposals meeting at first with opposition and only becoming permanent institutions after most persistent efforts. Details are appended of the inception of schemes which are now part of our ordinary life and government.
THE LOCAL BOARD and URBAN COUNCIL.
The agitation for the formation of East Grinstead into an urban district took definite shape in the year 1881, when a Committee, with Mr. W. V. K. Stenning as its chairman, was formed to carry the project through. The promoters met with more than one serious rebuff. The first Local Government inquiry was held on February 28th, 1882, and the opposition to the scheme from all outside the town was tremendous. It was at first proposed that the area should be that already in exist­ence for lighting purposes, having a radius boundary of 11/4 miles from the Parish Church tower. In the end the Local Government Board positively refused the applica­tion. But the Committee, though rebuffed, were not disheartened. They amended their proposals, renewed their application, and on February 2nd in the following year a second inquiry was held. The applicants proposed to relieve Forest Row of all liability in regard to the drainage rate, and not to include the village in the urban district. The residents there at once withdrew opposition and the chief opponents left were mainly the proprietors of the parks and agricultural land which it was sought to include in the Local Board area. Their opposition was futile, and finally, on March 25th, 1884, the desired sanction was given by the Local Government Board,
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