No decision yet on plans to build up to 450 new homes

The Lower Hoddern Farm site earmarked for development. Image: Google Maps
The Lower Hoddern Farm site earmarked for development. Image: Google Maps

A big question mark still hangs over controversial plans to build up to 450 homes in Peacehaven.

A decision was deferred on the planning application for the site at Lower Hoddern Farm - despite Lewes District Council officers recommending approval.

The main hall at The Meridian Centre was packed as more than 250 people attended Monday’s meeting of the Planning Applications Committee.

Security and the police were also in attendance to hear the contentious application which residents claim has ignored their wishes throughout.

Peacehaven Town Council objected to the scheme in April on the grounds of insufficient infrastructure, the risk of road collapse, over-subscribed schools and doctors’ surgeries not being able to take any more patients.

More than 1,200 written objections were received by the district council, including those of all the doctors based in the town.

District councillors voted two for and four against, with one abstention, when the Barratt Homes development was put to the vote. They went on to decide that the matter should come back to the table for further discussion, once more information had been received from East Sussex County Council.

The town council maintains the A259 is packed each day, with bumper to bumper with traffic morning and evening, and the county council was not proposing any improvements. Air quality was also a concern.

Peacehaven Town Council Planning Committee Chairman Cllr Melvyn Simmons said it was “an ill-conceived and premature housing application”. He was “very pleased” the district council had taken on board the comments made by residents.

He said: “The application in three phases concerned all of us, as it could mean sale of the site part way through the build.”

He also felt that the district councillors had not been. He was aware they had all received letters from the developer Barratts, stating that considerable money would be available by way of CIL payments, which was simply “putting a positive spin on things”.

Cllr Melvyn Simmons said: “The requirements for any development to go ahead here, will have to include support for our primary care services, our schools and our commuters.

“Peacehaven shouldn’t be the town that people simply drive through any more.

“We want to encourage people to visit and enjoy their time here, not just to sit in traffic.”