‘It’s like building Hadrian’s Wall’: Bid to extend Hailsham children’s home met with fury

Lansdowne children's centre, photo by Peter Cripps
Lansdowne children's centre, photo by Peter Cripps

Plans to add a two storey extension to a secure children’s home have not been warmly welcomed.

There could be an additional five beds added to the existing seven at Lansdowne Secure Children’s Home in Hawks Road, Hailsham.

But this news has been met with ire by one resident.

Christopher Newell, of Hawks Road, said, “It’s going to cost millions to accommodate five extra children, to employ another 15 people to look after them.

“It’s going to end up looking like a prison which it almost does now. It’s like building Hadrian’s Wall up Hawks Road, it’s going to be dreadful.

“It’s a really busy road, especially at school times. It was chaos before. There must be better places for them to have built this.

“It’s already an eyesore. It’s going to be 10 times worse.”

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council, which submitted the application, said, “Lansdowne provides a safe haven for young people who have had to deal with some very serious issues; a place where their educational, emotional and behavioural wellbeing can be ensured.

“It is one of only a small number of facilities of its kind in the UK, and demand for places is always extremely high. This expansion will enable us to offer vital support to an additional five young people with the greatest needs.

“Ahead of submitting a planning application we held a consultation evening with residents and, based on the feedback we received, the design was altered to make the development look less industrial and soften its appearance.

“However, the plans we have submitted retain the secure nature of Lansdowne which is vital for keeping the young people safe from harm.

“The planning committee will consider the application, taking into account comments from members of the public and other consultees.”

The consultation period for the application ends on February 16 and will then be decided upon by the county council’s planning committee.

You can view the full application on the county council website.

What do you think? Send your thoughts to eastbourne.herald@jpress.co.uk or sussex.express@jpress.co.uk