LETTER: Countryside desecration

So the giant diggers and earthmovers are back! Your article ‘Work starts on new development’ [April 22] highlights that yet another new housing development has begun in greenfield space in Hellingly.

This would more accurately be described as ‘further desecration of the Sussex countryside’.

To believe that this major work was able to begin just two weeks after Wealden District Council granted planning permission on March 31 defies reality.

This development has been scheduled for a decade. And while your report points out “although an earlier plan – also for up to 240 houses – was turned down in August 2015 due to concerns about flood management and its proximity to an area of ancient woodland” how can such valid objections no longer apply eight months later?

The River Cuckmere has been flooding Hellingly for more than a 1,000 years. Ancient woodlands don’t move unless it is Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Insult is added to injury when you also report “developers are expected to make a contribution towards a new sports park in the area”. What sanctimonious condescending claptrap!

Where is the infrastructure needed to support the everyday requirements of at least another 600 residents?

Horsebridge Post Office and general store closed three months ago; Hellingly Primary School is bursting at the seams with children taught in temporary accommodation; the sole mini supermarket has car-parking space for only six customers.

Before approving yet another major housing development in Hellingly, local planners and councillors should stand up to the developers, remove their blinkers, take their snouts out of the trough and try some joined-up thinking.

To provide, at very least, a new school, a medical centre and retail units before covering our precious green fields with ever-increasing numbers of homes.

Cdr Roger Paine RN.

Church Path,

Hellingly