Eastbourne planning refusal a victory for common sense

From: J BaileyHankham Street, Hankham

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 10:02 am

Thursday June 17 witnessed the refusal by the Planning Committee South to grant permission to develop 31 homes on part of Sharnfold Farm, the first step towards building 400 homes there.

In a separate application consent was given to convert the barn and cart-lodge for business use, making internal and external alterations.

On behalf of the Sharnfold Farm Action Group we thank all our supporters, including ward Councillor Douglas as well as Councillors Balsdon, Cleaver, Draper, Snell, Watts and White for their stance in opposing the development on the grounds of traffic congestion, impact on Pevensey Levels and loss of greenfield space.

Campaign against building 400 houses on Sharnfold, Stone Cross. SUS-200212-130117001
Campaign against building 400 houses on Sharnfold, Stone Cross. SUS-200212-130117001

The decision represented a victory for common sense. As part of its deliberations, the committee recognised that the Hailsham Road leading to the Red Lion junction (and further beyond at the Golden Jubilee roundabout and down Friday Street) was already greatly congested at peak times and that to allow further building would greatly increase both congestion and pollution.

The vote was close; six councillors to five, and of course there remains the prospect of a possible appeal by the developers, or a new application to build the proposed 400 homes 
across the whole of Sharnfold Farm.

In other words, we may have won this battle but it is certainly not the end of the planning war.

In a recent development, and despite the fact that the head of planning advised the planning committee this was unlikely, Historic England have now listed both the barn and cart-lodge at Sharnfold Farm as Grade II listed buildings, which supports the views of Councillors Cleaver, Snell, Watts and White that planning consent should be deferred until Historic England’s judgement had been made.

Planning committees and district planning officers alike are under pressure to secure building permissions.

However, the irony is that, if the planning permissions already granted had been built out, there would not be a housing crisis and no need for the Government to set its ludicrously high building targets.

We would like to thank the Eastbourne Herald for highlighting the number of developments being planned in the area, and the campaigns to preserve our green space.

If you would like to join us in our campaign to limit further building in the Stone Cross area, please email your contact details to [email protected]