LETTER: The people have had enough

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I am writing in response to your front page article ‘Local plan delayed’ [Express November 4].

The article featured a quote from Mark Best from Town Planners Parker Dann: “Parker Dann planning consultant Mark Best said the delay means would-be developers will continue to present ad-hoc schemes in areas where building has formerly been restricted, often outside the development boundaries. He went on: “This is particularly frustrating for communities where people need to know what is likely to be built and where. They urgently want a planning-led system.”

The irony of Mr Best making this statement to highlight how frustrated local rural communities are, beggars belief. Mr Best and his company Parker Dann are responsible for many local applications on inappropriate sites, including farmland outside of development areas in Wealden.

Houses are needed, yes, but they must be in keeping with the local area and sustainable, a plan to put 123 houses on land only ever used for farming in Horam, for example, does not meet this criteria.

In addition to this, Wealden have appointed Parker Dann to design and build the crematorium planned for Horam on farmland purchased by them.

Wealden has one of the worst traffic accidents records in the country.

Wealden District Council claim that by building huge estates in rural areas and creating even more traffic and congestion, speeds will be slowed down and therefore accidents and fatalities reduced. I would argue that the increased level of pollution for rural communities (and the knock on effect on the protected area of the Ashdown Forest) may be even more detrimental to local people’s health and legal cases may be brought to Wealden going forwards in response to this. There is a young lad who lives very close to the large estate planned for Horam on farmland who suffers from cystic fibrosis. The additional weight of traffic in Horam will severely affect his health. Where is Wealden’s duty of care to this local family?

The people have had enough. Surely Wealden District Council can see this with Brexit and now the American election. Local communities were meant to be more involved in the planning process, no-one locally feels like this is happening. Crowdfunding can now facilitate action to be taken by community groups against the council if they believe the communities interests are not being served.

Lucy Atabey

Horebeech Lane, Marle Green