Bexhill new homes - concerned neighbours meet with MP

Residents opposed to proposals to build up to 80 new homes in Bexhill met with the town’s MP to express their concerns.

Gladman Developments Ltd wants to build the houses on land off Watermill Lane.

But residents in the area have voiced opposition to the plans, saying that the neighbouring street, Mayo Lane, will see increased traffic and become more dangerous for pedestrians.

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Objectors met with Bexhill MP, Huw Merriman, last Wednesday (January 5).

Residents concerned about the proposed development with Bexhill MP, Huw Merriman SUS-221101-132929001

Joyce Heward, one of the residents, who met with the MP, said the scheme would affect people living in nearby Mayo Rise and Ninfield Road, as well as Mayo Lane.

She said the site was in a flood area.

Joyce added: “I had to pay South East Water more than £1,000 to install a road drain outside my house a couple of years after I moved in. The drain now pours out into the field.

“We had an ecologist arrive down here last year and she told me there were three species of bats. I know there are badgers, because there are two setts opposite my house, plus two foxes. My neighbour believes there are newts in the field.”

Other residents have commented online on Rother District Council’s planning portal.

Justine Arnold said: “Mayo Lane is unsuitable for the increased traffic levels that would be caused by the fact that traffic from the new development would use Mayo Lane as the shortest and quickest way to access main roads and schools.

“Turning Mayo Lane into a ‘rat-run’ would also destroy the rural character of the lane, something that all residents value.”

Mr Merriman said: “While I do not have a role to play in individual planning decisions, I am becoming increasingly concerned about the general direction of house building in the area. 

“I also believe it is the right of residents to have their MP visit a site if the fabric of their community is being impacted by the proposed scale.

“Six years ago, the link road was opened between Hastings and Bexhill. It was paid for by council tax payers to enable new homes to be built for local people who want to get on or move up the housing ladder. 

“This is the road where new developments should be accessed from yet we are seeing little progress on it and far too many applications being made in already saturated villages, off country lanes and jammed in suburbs. 

“It’s not fair on the residents who live there or the new homeowners because it means we are rolling out housing on a piecemeal basis. 

“Both Wealden and Rother need to get Local Development Plans in place which direct, with force, where housing should be built and where it cannot be. 

“Before Christmas, I met with Michael Gove, the new Cabinet Minister responsible for housing and development, to tell him that planning reform is badly needed so we can help our local authorities, encourage faster house building where it is designated and stop it from blighting the lives of residents in the parts which need protecting. This will be my continued focus for the year to come.”

In a design and access statement, developers from Gladman said: “New homes will have easy access to local services and facilities, public transport links, employment areas and the public right of way network.

“There are a number of mature trees and hedgerows within the site, which have been retained as part of the scheme proposals and are proposed to be integrated into the areas of public open space within the development.”

The firm said a series of new footways will be provided as part of the development.