Council votes against the development

Cricket club, left - planned new development site, right. SUS-140916-090155001
Cricket club, left - planned new development site, right. SUS-140916-090155001

East Dean Parish Council will be objecting to the planned development between The Fridays and the recreation ground.

Chairman Stuart Fuller told The Herald on Tuesday morning that the council had made its decision based ‘on a variety of grounds’.

“We held a council meeting after the public one and by a majority vote decided to object.

“We will be sending our objections to the planning authorities by the end of this week.

“The minutes of the meeting are not ready yet but will be made available for people to see the reasons behind our decision.”

Mr Fuller explained that the next stage would be the South Downs National Park planners agreeing to a date for the plans to be discussed.

It is expected that will be held towards the end of October. This will be in Midhurst and open to the public.

At the public meeting held earlier in the evening Geoff Johnson, an ex-planning solicitor with Wealden District Council, had urged all those who objected to the plans to consider going to Midhurst to lobby the planning committee.

“It’s important to show the planners the strength of feeling behind the objections.”

At Monday night’s open meeting The Gilbert Estate was represented by planning consultant Mark Best, of Parker Dan, Lewes, who fielded questions from the floor and also clarified points in the plan.

He said that figures demonstrated there was a need for affordable housing in the village.

He outlined that the development would take up a fair piece of the field, adding his client had plans to put further homes on the rest of the field at some date in the future.

Mr Johnson added, “It’s a pity the applicant has not attended but has chosen to stay silent on this plan.

“He has not even spoken to the cricket club over their concerns.”