Infrastructure ‘already a mess’ around Hailsham

Missing Abid Shaif has been found
Missing Abid Shaif has been found

Overdevelopment of Hailsham and the surrounding villages will be the topic of discussion at two public meetings.

The first will be held at the town’s Civic Community Hall on Tuesday, September 22 and a second meeting will be held at Herstmonceux’s village hall on Tuesday October 6, with both starting at 7.30pm.

They have been organised by Laurence Keeley, a county councillor for Hailsham, who feels that large scale housebuilding in the town and surrounding villages is overwhelming an already stretched infrastructure system. This includes roads, the sewage network, and places at both schools and doctors’ surgeries.

Mr Keeley described the situation as a ‘mess already’ and said: “Residents are concerned about the overdevelopment, lack of infrastructure and affordability.”

He added: “There is a point where you can’t see your doctor, traffic is absolute chaos. It’s gridlocked and it’s going to get worse.”

But he explained that with East Sussex County Council needing to make £90m worth of cuts over the next few years, it was unclear where the money would come from to fund necessary improvements.

He suggested that developers should be asked to contribute more money towards providing the infrastructure needed.

Another main concern highlighted by Mr Keeley is rising house prices, making home ownership unattainable for many residents.

He has argued that the problem of the cost of developable land could be solved by setting up Community Land Trusts. This aims to get around the fact that the price of land skyrockets when it is earmarked for housing.

While he described neighbourhood plans as a good idea in practice, he felt they were currently a ‘sham’.

After an initial presentation attendees will be asked to share their views to inform a resolution which will be sent to Wealden District Council.

He added: “People can turn up on the night and have their say and express their concerns. I want to hear their concerns and have it from them.”

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