Action group gets MP’s backing

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Lewes MP Maria Caulfield pledged to support East Chiltington from what it sees as overdevelopment at an action group meeting last Monday.

Lewes District Council (LDC) proposes building 36 new houses on Hollycroft Field, the community’s unofficial village green. One of 30 sites selected as part of LDC’s New Homes Project, the field (a registered community asset) is earmarked for development despite this going against LDC’s own Local Plan. The rural site has consistently been found unfit for new building.

Maria met representatives from the East Chiltington Action Group to hear their concerns and to be presented with images and descriptions of life in the settlement.

She pledged to do all she could to help the group halt the development, which she claimed was ‘outside the localism plan.’

One of Maria’s six election pledges is to protect green spaces.

She wants to retain the rural essence of her constituency and campaign against what she dubs inappropriate developments that do not have the necessary infrastructure to support them.

She points out East Chiltington is reached via a very narrow single track lane and has no shop, school, station, an intermittent and inadequate bus service and insufficient sewerage facilities.

She believes affordable housing should be built on existing brownfield sites rather than on green spaces. She said: “Once these are built on, they are gone forever.”

Rivkah Cummerson, East Chiltington Action Group chair said: “We are delighted Maria is fighting our corner against LDC.

“She recognises the whole New Homes Project process has been undemocratic and some sites, including East Chiltington, are inappropriate in terms of having sufficient infrastructure around them. This LDC project is not in line with current housing development process and there has been inadequate and laughable ‘consultation’.

“It’s wonderful to have Maria’s recognition and backing of our cause.”

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