Developer responds to outcry over 300 homes plan for Hailsham

Campaigners opposing the development SUS-170205-104208001
Campaigners opposing the development SUS-170205-104208001
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A Developer has spoken out after proposals for up to 300 new homes near Pevensey Levels sparked public opposition.

Hundreds objected to the plans in Marshfoot Lane, Hailsham, due to concerns for the protected environment nearby.

Earlier in the year campaigners, including Hailsham Town and District councillors, delivered a 796-signature petition opposing it to councillor Bob Standley at the Wealden District Council town offices.

But Welbeck Land has said its proposals for the site will meet local need for new homes while providing funding for local infrastructure and protection for the Pevensey Levels.

The developer says these protections include providing an ‘open space buffer’, ‘appropriate surface water management’, and ‘ecological mitigation measures’.

It also says the development will come with a new public open space of around 7.2 hectares, the equivalent of 10 football pitches.

Damon Turner, Director at Welbeck Strategic Land, said, “The proposals were submitted to help Wealden District meet its local need for new homes. “However, everybody has a right to expect that when the homes come forward they will offer solutions that make sure the area can accommodate them. That’s exactly our approach here.

“These proposals will provide meaningful benefits for the community, not just in providing more certainty for people trying to get on the housing ladder, but in terms of public access to green open space and contributions to local infrastructure.

“We do understand that there have been various rumours about the site, however the site is actually located on land that is both outside of and ecologically distinct from the Pevensey Levels.

“In the outline application which can be viewed online on the council’s website, we have also made the firm commitment to provide a green buffer between the new homes and the Pevensey Levels, and a range of measures that will contribute to the long-term protection of the Pevensey Levels, its ecology and habitats.

“The necessary licenses and permits will be obtained from statutory bodies to make sure this happens. A transport assessment has also been submitted alongside the application.

“We are now in discussions with East Sussex County Council and Wealden District Council and working on an update to take account of new figures. Improvements to Marshfoot Lane will be made, if required, to accommodate the scheme.”

The application includes up to 300 houses, 84 of which (35 per cent) will be affordable and 21 will be shared ownership.

Welbeck say this includes £2.5 million in contributions to local infrastructure, including roads, public transports, school, and health care.

But campaigners believe the plans will damage the environment and fear it will bring about pollution and destruction of native species.

The full application can be viewed at www.planning.wealden.gov.uk