Around 700 new dwellings, a business park of 8,600 square metres, a new primary school and health centre in Willingdon, may have come one step closer following the end of a public examination, Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council has said.
The Government Inspector, Mike Fox, will report on the soundness of the proposals in the Wealden Strategic Sites Local Plan, setting out development proposals until 2027, later this year.
Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council and Willingdon Residents Association Chairman, John Pritchett, and Chair of the Parish Council Finance and Policy Committee, Andy Watkins, were invited by the Inspector to attend to talk about residents’ concerns about the proposals.
Chair of the Parish Council Planning Committee, Fran Pritchett, also attended.
Representatives of Wealden District Council, East Sussex County Council, the land owners and Bespoke Campaign Cycling Group also took part in the discussion.
Cllr Pritchett said: “Throughout the process Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council and Willingdon Residents Association have made our concerns known to the district council. We remain very concerned about what infrastructure will be provided to support the development which will be mostly in Willingdon and made that clear to the Inspector.
“Concerns include how the development will be integrated with the rest of Willingdon, the loss of Hindsland as public open space, the additional traffic on the A2270 at Lower Willingdon which already has long tailbacks at peak times, Southern Water having not yet identified how they will deal with the additional waste water treatment capacity needed, the provision of water, whether the school and additional secondary places needed will be provided in a timely and satisfactory manner, and whether the promised and much needed new doctor’s surgery will be provided so there is easy access from all parts of Willingdon.”
Hindsland playing fields may become a community space under the proposals.
Cllr Watkins added: “Given that at times the traffic backs up in both directions between Cophall and Willingdon Roundabouts we are very concerned what will happen when the estimated in excess of 1,600 extra vehicle trips are made each day to and from this new development, business park and community facilities. It looks increasingly likely there will be increased rat running through the estate roads of Lower Willingdon in an attempt by motorists to avoid the tailbacks.”