Sharnfold Farm back at the centre of development plans

Plans for 31 houses on land at Sharnfold Farm are in the pipeline - six months after discussions that 400 new dwellings could be built there.
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The application site is a patch of grassland in the north east area of Sharnfold Farm fronting the old Hailsham Road between established residential areas to the east along Hailsham Road to the A27 and to the west of the Holly Blue pub.

According to a design and access statement submitted with a planning application to Wealden District Council in the last six weeks, the development includes a mix of two-storey contemporary properties ranging from one to four bedrooms - 35 per cent of which would be affordable.

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The site includes flats, high chalet bungalows and a terrace of town houses facing the access road opposite a play area.

Wealdon District Council planning document SUS-201211-160150001Wealdon District Council planning document SUS-201211-160150001
Wealdon District Council planning document SUS-201211-160150001

The homes will be set back from the road, with front gardens and driveways according to planning documents.

Sharnfold Farm is a 78 acre site - owned by Kent Entertainment Ltd - which includes a popular farm shop and butchers, a number of public spaces including a children’s play area and farm trail and a popular pick your own fruit service.

In response to the plans, residents have raised a number of issues and objections.

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This includes the strain they say it would place on local facilities as well as a rise in traffic and a reduced number of green spaces.

Sharnfold Farm shop. SUS-170517-095604001Sharnfold Farm shop. SUS-170517-095604001
Sharnfold Farm shop. SUS-170517-095604001

One resident Leanda Eede said, “I don’t feel we have the infrastructure to cope with all this new housing.

“We moved to this area as we didn’t want to be in Eastbourne with all the traffic and all we have now is building noise and dust.”

Another resident Jamie Taylor said, “I understand there is a need for new housing however it appears Hailsham is almost at capacity and is at risk of losing the traditional values and heritage people cherish so dearly.”

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Campaigners have vowed to fight any development on the site and say they believe this latest application is just the tip of the iceberg and that Stone Cross and the surrounding area cannot cope with any more housing developments.

The latest application by Hop Farm Real Estate Ltd comes six months after a screening opinion for 400 homes being built at the farm was submitted to the council.

Documents were lodged with the local authority back then for what was described as a mixed-use scheme on the farm site including up to 400 new homes and a pedestrian bridge which would link the new development of homes to existing facilities at Stone Cross.

At the time a spokesperson for the developers said, “Kent Entertainment Ltd is keen to work with the council to develop a sustainable mixed-use solution for the site.

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“The combination of assessment work will provide the baseline information to support the preparation of an outline application and to promote the site through the next stage of the Local Plan.”

Until recently Sharnfold Farm was owned by Dennis Hillesden and his family and won numerous business awards over the years as well as recognition for its food and drink offering.