Around 50 members of the public turned out for a town planning meeting on Tuesday evening (July 15) where plans for a controversial development at Ersham Road in Hailsham were discussed.
The meeting, held by the planning and development committee at Hailsham Town Council, saw the council decide to strongly object to the proposed development.
Last week the Express reported how residents were up in arms after the new plan for ‘Oaklands’ was submitted just two months after a judicial review upheld the decision to refuse development there. The new plans are for 170 homes, instead of the original 195, at the Ersham Road site, with enhanced junction and access arrangements at Ersham Road/Coldthorn Lane. The plans have been submitted to Wealden District Council.
At the meeting several residents raised concerns with the committee about the plans.Ross Hollister, who attended the meeting and opposes the plans, said the prime objection heard was that the site is proposed for land outside of the Wealden Local Plan area. He said if a developer was allowed to build outside the plan ‘we might as well throw the plan away’. Other concerns were about traffic congestion. Speaking after the meeting he said: “Traffic congestion has always been an issue and whilst the development as proposed provides potentional funding for an improved roundabout at the top of Ersham Road, speakers indicated that the problem is rather the town centre and due to the significant growth that has already taken place in Hailsham.” Other concerns were the potential increase in traffic exiting Summerhill Lane onto the A22, lack of local infrastructure including schools, and flooding.
On Wednesday (July 16) Hailsham Town Council posted its objection comments to the district council which can be accessed via the planning application.
Mr Hollister added: “It’s very pleasing to have politicians seeking out the views of local people and listening attentively. This is how it should happen. I hope Wealden District Council are respectful of local feelings.”
The last plan for the site was in 2012 and was refused by Wealden planning department after hundreds of letters of opposition were received. The applicant, Masma Ltd, appealed against the decision in 2013 but after a five day hearing the refusal was upheld by the Secretary of State. The applicant then took it to judicial review but in April this year the decision was again upheld.
Comment on the application by July 25 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org quoting WD/2014/1226 or go to www.wealden.gov.uk.