Willingdon residents say planning refusal is ‘people power at its finest’

A highly-controversial application for a large housing development on the outskirts of Eastbourne was refused last week and a residents association says it’s a ‘very welcome decision’.

Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 12:59 pm

A highly-controversial application for a large housing development on the outskirts of Eastbourne was refused last week and a residents association says it’s a ‘very welcome decision’.

Wealden District Council’s Planning Committee North considered the plans to build 700 new homes on land known as Mornings Mill Farm at a meeting last week (Thursday, December 9).

Willingdon Residents Association react to the Mornings Mill Farm news SUS-211213-183555001

Now Willingdon Residents Association and the parish council has welcomed the news.

Councillor John Pritchett BEM, chairperson for Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council and the residents association called the news a ‘very welcome decision’ in an open letter.

Cllr Pritchett said, “Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council thanks all those on Planning Committee North for their decision to uphold the Planning Committee South’s refusal. The council has objected very strongly on behalf of the hundreds of residents (over 1,000) who objected, which would be condemning the village to part of the Eastbourne suburban sprawl, cancelling one of our last green spaces and removing its rural character forever.”

The letter said councillors had ‘fought this application for many years now’.

Fresh calf born. Photo from Willingdon Residents Association. SUS-211213-161509001

Councillor John Pritchett said, “I thank all members of the Action Group led by Ruth Sheppard; our local Parish Council Large Development Sub Committee of Andy Watkins, Douglas Murray, Frances Pritchett, Ian Nisbet and I who will continue to fight against this development as we, and our council, have done for many years now.

“A huge thank you too to all our residents for their hard work in putting forward such a strong case for refusal against the views of District Council Planning Officers, many of whom do not know this area well enough to appreciate the problems that our residents have to endure on a daily basis, and which ultimately met with success. A perfect example of local democracy and people power at its finest!”

While members of the association took a celebratory photo by the entrance to Mornings Mill Farm, one of the cows in the field gave birth to a healthy calf.

Frances Pritchett, who saw the birth, said, “The birth of Farmer Henry Brown’s bull calf was an added bonus whilst we were there to take the photograph, which we understand from Henry is doing well!

“This is still all good farming land and it is a great pity that anyone would want to concrete it over and destroy Willingdon’s last open space.”