Major plan for 1,000 homes - and a school - at Willingdon

The area of the proposed development. Picture: Google Maps
The area of the proposed development. Picture: Google Maps

An ambitious blueprint for more than 1,000 homes on land at Willingdon also includes a new primary school and community centre, it was revealed this week.

Mornings Mill Farm and Hindsland, on land off the main A2770 road in Willingdon, has been earmarked as a major new development and is being spearheaded by Brighton University which owns part of the land, East Sussex County Council and brothers Charles and Peter Vine who grew up on the farm.

As the masterplan for the site is submitted to Wealden District Council, the Vine brothers said they had a resolve to do the best for the community.

The plan includes 1,110 homes, a community centre, school, medical centre, playing fields and open space.

In a statement they said, “None of us can now avoid the fact that many houses need to be built but if it’s going to happen on the farm our ancestors worked, we want to be proud of the final result and to do all we can to make it the best it can be.

“Our hope is that we can influence the direction of the development in a host of different ways that will breathe new life into Polegate and also deliver to Willingdon some services it badly needs, and in particular a state of the art health centre and a school that pupils will be proud to attend.

“We would also like to explore the construction of a community hall which could perhaps be built using or incorporating Mornings Mill Farmhouse and some of the farm buildings, which are flint walled and have a great deal of local heritage bound up within them. These are interesting, unusual buildings that will add character to the development. Amenities like allotments and playing fields are a given.

“We want to do all we can to ensure that the development of up to 1,100 houses has a sense of community and a distinct character. Polegate used to be a thriving town and can be again. Willingdon can and should have some great new facilities.

“The fact we are not developers is the crux of the matter here. Theirs are businesses designed to maximise revenue from building as many houses as possible in a given area. We believe we are in a unique position to do all we can to ensure this development enhances the current communities and makes them more attractive and enjoyable to live in.”

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