Reader’s letter: Object to these industrial units in Hankham

From: Fiona Durling, Rattle Road, Westham, Pevensey

Regarding proposed rural industrial units at Hankham Nurseries, Hankham Street, will Hankham become an ugly industrial estate?

Objections to this planning application to construct four industrial units in the rural hamlet of Hankham, Westham, near Pevensey, need to be submitted to Wealden District Council via their website by May 13, 2022.

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The rural community here could become a noisy industrial estate.

Red sky at night, shepherd's delight... Marcus Berrisford took this wonderful sunset over Pevensey Levels on Wednesday January 9. SUS-191001-091256001

This development is not sustainable for many reasons.

The proposed replacement of one third of the existing agricultural glass house with four industrial units and parking would have many detrimental effects.

The hamlet of Hankham is a jewel in Wealden’s tourism crown. Many walkers and cyclists flock here to enjoy the narrow quiet county lanes with their views across the Pevensey Levels.

This area is an internationally renowned RAMSAR nature reserve.

The Levels are an important ’National Character Area’.

There are more than eight listed historic buildings nearby. The hospitality business economy depends on these factors.

At present tourists using the public footpath along side the glasshouse enjoy seeing the crops growing.

The developer describes this as brown field land . A replacement with four units and large areas of concrete covering this valuable agricultural land would preclude the growing of local sustainable food when shortages are increasing. The height of the new buildings would shade the remaining greenhouse, limiting production.

Hankham benefits from an area of fertile greensand soils and the most hours of sunshine in this country.

The ageing greenhouse could easily be replaced with cost-effective efficient polythene tunnels if necessary. Demand for local food is increasing, this provides jobs for local people and attracts expert growers from around the world.

Concrete also reduces climate change mitigation for generations.

Traffic safety – movements with large vans would increase, there would be no way to enforce any cap on movements. This would have an unacceptable effect on road safety. Many of the single track lanes have narrow verges with steep banks difficult to climb. Hankham Hall lane leads to Gallows Hill – steep , narrow long and winding with no passing places and blind spots.

This proposal is unsustainable for economic, social and environmental reasons.

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