Core strategy plan discussions not open enough

ON September 6, I attended a public hearing conducted by Wealden district council at the East Sussex national golf resort.

The meeting concerned WDC core strategy plan throughout Wealden and was chaired by a government planning inspector with WDC planning staff and about 100 developers, planners, councillors, builders and other interested parties.

No minutes were taken only scribed notes for the government inspector, no members of the press were present nor any members of Uckfield Town Council. Unless you attended the meeting, no one will know what was discussed.

The future of Uckfield and other towns and villages were debated by a number of speakers with WDC responding for Uckfield the Millennium Green and other green spaces were discussed with the possibility of them being used as Sang’s suitable alternative natural green spaces for the proposed development on Ridgewood farm. These green spaces are for the present residents of Uckfield not for developers to use to squeeze more housing on to Ridgewood farm.

If the Sangs are required to be incorporated within the development site, it may not be financially viable to build there.

Some of the speakers made WDC planning seem to be unprofessional and incompetent in their handling of the core strategy. One speaker said WDC had a earthquake on their hands and were using a dust pan and brush to clean up.

When asked about the 7km buffer zone for the Ashdown Forest and carbon pollution from vehicles, WDC responded with “the wind always blows from the south west and any pollution on the A26 Crowborough Road would be blown away from the forest”. What would happen on a still day? No mention was made about the A22 or the B2110 which both go through the centre of the forest with a vast number of vehicles using this route. Any wind direction would not disperse the carbon pollution.

How can WDC turn down planning applications for brownfield and windfall sites for a hand full or houses but be allowed to continue to try to get 1,000 houses and factory units built at Ridgewood farm. The 7km zone should include this site. I wait in anticipate for the government planning inspector’s final report.

Mel Sanders, Uckfield