Hailsham homes proposal lodged

L1497019 SUS-140707-110751001
L1497019 SUS-140707-110751001

Furious Hailsham residents have slammed proposals to build 170 new homes at Oaklands, Ersham Road.

Forty-five letters and e-mails condemning the scheme, which they say will ‘blight their lives’, have been sent to Wealden planners.

Town planners PHD from St Albans have submitted the proposal on behalf of developer MASMA. It flies in the face of local opinion and replaces an application for 195 dwellings given the thumbs down by Wealden District Council in 2012. It was also refused on appeal by the Secretary of State and Judicial Review in 2014. That application drew more than 300 local objections.

Tom Dalgleish from Sycamore Drive said, “Amazingly MASMA are resubmitting their application with minor amendments. What part of ‘no’ don’t they understand?

“The action group, of which I am a part, fears that Wealden may approve this latest application because they may not feel justified in incurring the costs involved if the matter goes to appeal again. In our view this would be an abuse of the democratic process.”

Tom is urging local people who have not already done so to write to the council expressing their views. He said, “If this is successful then development of Ersham Farm and other sites will inevitably come. This is green field land.

“There are already significant developments to the north, east and west of Hailsham - the undeveloped gap to the south keeps it distinct and this has consistently been part of planning directions.”

Objectors point out the proposal lies outside the development area and their fears are rooted in inadequate schools, highways, medical and other infrastructure provision to manage existing approved increases to Hailsham. They also say there is maximum traffic capacity at the Ersham and South roads junction and traffic on narrow lanes leading to the A22 will become ‘catastrophic.’ They firmly believe Hailsham has already had its fair share of building. They despairingly conclude, “Once the development boundary is breached, where will it all stop? It is imperative that this application is defeated. Allow building here and you might as well allow it anywhere.”

E-mail: planning@wealden.gov.uk by July 10; follow Save Ersham Farm on Facebook and go to Hailsham Town Council, 7pm, July 15 when the issue will be debated.