Result announced on plan for 700 homes between Eastbourne and Polegate

A government inspector has refused to give the green light for a 700 home development along with a school and medical centre between Eastbourne and Polegate.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 11:42 am
Mornings Mill Farm, Polegate. SUS-170517-142335001

In 2017 Wealden council originally turned down an application by the University of Brighton and the Vine family to develop the site known as Mornings Mill Farm, on Eastbourne Road at Willingdon.

The developers appealed against that decision but this week, planning inspector Louise Phillips refused it on the grounds of highways issues.

The inspector said that while the development would provide much needed homes – 35 per cent of which would be affordable – and the scheme would have community and economic benefits, the scheme would ‘compromise bus priority measures along the highway authority’s Hailsham, Polegate & Eastbourne Movement and Access Corridor, cause detriment to the operation of the local road network and potentially compromise the safety of all road users’.

Residents before their march to demonstrate against the proposed developement of 700 homes at Morning Mills Farm in Willingdon (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190402-120829008

In her conclusion, the planning inspector said, “Overall, the basic risk to highway safety constitutes an adverse impact of the proposed development which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh its benefits.”

Maria Caulfield MP, the newly re-elected MP for Polegate, welcomed the news.

She joined local residents and neighbouring MPs in a protest at the site earlier this year.

She said, “I am pleased the planning inspector was able to listen to myself and many local residents who were very concerned about the potential new development going ahead without the necessary new infrastructure being included in the plan. I hope the developers will rethink their application and recognise the changes needed before submitting any new application to Wealden District Council.”