Concerns grow over plans to build 700 homes on Mornings Mill Farm

Mornings Mill Farm, Polegate.
Mornings Mill Farm, Polegate.

Residents are growing increasingly concerned about plans to build 700 homes on farmland in Willingdon.

An revised application to develop the Hindsland and Morning Mills Farm site off the A2270 Eastbourne Road will be considered by Wealden planners soon – but more than 700 people have joined a group against the proposals.

Mornings Mill Farm, by Lee Roberts

Mornings Mill Farm, by Lee Roberts

Included in the plan is a medical centre, primary school, community hall, local shops, allotments, playing fields and open spaces. The landowners say it will create a new sustainable neighbourhood on the 51.2 hectare site.

Willingdon Residents Association wrote a letter which gave the lack of infrastructure to cope with the development, additional pollution, increase in traffic and parking problems, flood risk, and access for emergency services as its main reasons of objecting to the plans. A poster against the development says, “Say NO to more traffic congestion. Say NO to more air pollution. Keep this green space for our future generations.”

Residents say the traffic chaos in the area over the past few weeks demonstrates how infrastructure would fail to cope with extra vehicles on the roads.

Andy Pink said, “I live extremely close to the proposed development – this and another close development are going to make our lives hell if approved.”

A poster objected to the proposed development at Mornings Mill Farm in Willingdon

A poster objected to the proposed development at Mornings Mill Farm in Willingdon

Rebecca Gurney, who also lives close by, said, “Not only will it add more chaos on the already horrendously busy main road into Eastbourne, Polegate really cannot cope with any more housing as the basic facilities just aren’t sufficient.”

Ethan Neville said the current road network ‘will not cope’ with the additional vehicles in its current state, and argued mini roundabouts should be put in place rather than traffic light junctions if the plans do go ahead.

He added, “Not having this green land will make the surrounding areas at a higher risk of flooding.

“The size of this development is simply too big and I strongly believe it should be rejected. We are going to lose a site of natural stunning beauty and create a concrete eyesore.”

Others raised concerns for wildlife in the area. Christine Faulkner said, “I lived on Mornings Mill Farm as teenager, it was like living in a green oasis, there are bats, badgers, hedgerow wildlife...building on this land will destroy the habitat,”

The application can be viewed at: planning.wealden.gov.uk. Application number: WD/2017/1942. The closing date for comments is February 10.