Plans for 700 new homes ‘a disgrace’

Ian Turner at the former sports ground, which he believes could still be put to good use
Ian Turner at the former sports ground, which he believes could still be put to good use

VALUABLE sporting facilities will be lost if a council’s plan to put more than 700 homes on land between Willingdon and Polegate comes to fruition.

That is according to campaigners who are protesting at Wealden District Council’s decision to designate the land at Hindsland and Morning Mill Farm in Willingdon for housing.

The protesters say more use needs to be made immediately of sporting facilities on the land which is owned by the University of Brighton and East Sussex County Council

There is a long jump pitch, a hammer cage for discus, a golf course, two hockey pitches, high jumping site, cricket nets which have never been used, a grass athletics track and two football pitches.

Veteran athlete Ian Turner said, “It is an absolute disgrace that this land should be allocated for housing in the first place but even more disgraceful is the fact that there are superb sporting facilities on the site which are not being made good use of and most certainly won’t be if the land is sold for development by both the council and the university.

“In a day and age when we are getting ready to host the Olympics these facilities should be brought back into use.”

The University of Brighton says the land at Hindsland is now surplus to requirements.

A spokesperson added, “We understand the concerns about the impact development may have in the area but these matters are for the consideration of Wealden District Council.”

Mr Turner is now hoping other residents and sports organisations in the area will rally together to bring the facilities back into use.

The plans have also fallen foul of Willingdon councillor Stephen Shing who described it as ludicrous and unworkable and said the land should remain as green areas and recreational ground.

Councillor Shing added, “For the last 40 years, there have been no changes or improvement to the local infrastructure.”