70 new homes Site ‘not marked for housing’

I see from your report in the Sussex Express that an application for 70 homes has been lodged.

It is a shame that your report does not contain other pertinent facts and is therefore in my view highly biased and I would like to take this opportunity to comment.

For example:

1. The site has for decades been identified for sports facilities but definitely not housing. It is not allocated for housing in the Ringmer Neighbourhood Plan.

2. The 70 homes are over and above the allocation agreed by Lewes District Council for Ringmer’s Neighbourhood Development Plan. Previous schemes for the site and the adjoining fields (all under the same ownership) involved many more houses in excess of 100. The latest scheme for 70 could be interpreted as the thin end of the development wedge. You will see that access is still maintained to further areas for possible future further development.

3. The infrastructure and facilities of the village such as the primary school, village hall, and the Earwig Corner road junction cannot cope with the extra population. Just look at the congestion caused by the installation of temporary traffic lights at off peak to see how close to saturation that junction is.

4. Use and maintenance of the facilities will not be free. Users will need to pay to cover these costs, and a management organisation found to run them. There is no guarantee that these facilities will ever materialise, nor that they will be kept in operation for any foreseeable period.

5. There is no guarantee that the facilities indicated will in fact be provided. Ultimately this will be at the discretion of the landowner, and in my experience they often find adverse financial reasons to eliminate these elements from a proposed scheme.

Remember any houses would be built first, in order to fund the £2million or so to build the sports facilities, by which time it would be too late.

6. All of the above points have been explained in several public meetings and in the preparation of the neighbourhood plan. The neighbourhood plan is currently under examination by the inspector who is expected to report at any time.

I would be grateful if these points could be made in addition to your report, in the interests of balance.

Colin Mitchell

Ringmer

THE EDITOR: The Sussex Express believes it has a duty to keep the public informed about current planning applications – particularly where it concerns 70 flats.

Our report last week did precisely this. It is difficult to imagine how this can be construed as bias reporting, as Mr Mitchell maintains.