New plans for refused Hailsham site

Ersham Road, Hailsham, planning application for 170 homes
Ersham Road, Hailsham, planning application for 170 homes

“What part of no don’t they understand.” That is the reaction of campaigners after new plans for ‘Oaklands’ at Hailsham were submitted just two months after a judicial review upheld the decision to refuse development there.

New plans for 170 homes, instead of 195, at the Ersham Road site, with enhanced junction and access arrangements at Ersham Road/Coldthorn Lane, are with Wealden District Council.

The last plan was in 2012 and was refused by the Wealden planning department after hundreds of letters of opposition were received.

The applicant, Masma Ltd, appealed against the decision in 2013, but after a five-day hearing the refusal was upheld by the Secretary of State.

The applicant then took this to judicial review and residents were delighted to hear in April this year that the decision was again upheld.

Now they are ‘left amazed’ that an ‘almost identical’ application has been made after just two months.

Resident Ross Hollister said: “Just what part of ‘no’ don’t they understand? I hope it is not a case of just throwing more money at it until they get the result they want.”

Mr Hollister said residents felt strongly that whilst there is extensive development taking place to the north, east and west of their town, those sites are at least within a carefully constructed, and consulted upon, local plan.

The development proposed at Oaklands is outside the agreed development area on a Greenfield site between Hailsham and Stone Cross.

“A view has been expressed that if building is allowed here, it might as well be allowed anywhere,” he said.

Anger has again been transformed into action and letters of objeciton have been received by Wealden.

“As well as wanting to preserve the distinct character of Hailsham, correspondents are concerned about the impact such a development would have upon a peaceful area of wooded countryside and quiet lanes,” he said.

“This area also abutts Pevensey Marshes, a protected environment, and because there is insufficient capacity to link this site to the local sewage treatment works, there is a concern the Marshes could be affected.

Campaigners are urging all residents to make their views known by July 25.

Comments can be made to Wealden District Council by letter or email to quoting the reference WD/2014/1226/MAO or go to using the same reference number.

See letters page 28