Decision due on combined 620 new Hailsham homes

Plans for 400 homes being put forward by Gleeson and Rydon south of Hailsham
Plans for 400 homes being put forward by Gleeson and Rydon south of Hailsham

Two schemes for a combined 620 new Hailsham homes are set to be discussed by district councillors next week.

Gleeson Strategic Land and Rydon Homes want permission for 400 dwellings at Cuckoo Fields and Ersham Park south of the town.

Meanwhile Gladman Developments is looking to build 220 homes and a convenience store north of Mill Road.

Both outline applications are due to be discussed by Wealden District Council’s planning committee south on Thursday July 18.

The site for 400 homes can be divided into two main parcels which are connected by a strip of land across the Cuckoo Trail.

Ersham Park to the west is around nine hectares, while Cuckoo Fields is 18 hectares of land to the west of Station Road.

The site would be accessed from both Ersham Road and Station Road.

Open space, children’s play areas, a kickabout area and junior sports pitch are all be included in the plans.

A total of 35 per cent affordable housing would be provided.

According to the applicants they will be providing ‘two new neighbourhoods which enhance the character of Hailsham and provide a range of well designed housing and open spaces for both existing and future communities’.

Hailsham Town Council says it would like to see infrastructure in place before houses are built.

The council has received 53 objections concerned about increased traffic, strain on infrastructure, loss of farmland and impact on the environment as well as the effect on existing properties nearby.

The Gladman site is opposite another parcel of land south of Mill Road where a development has recently been approved for 165 homes.

The illustrative masterplan, which includes 35 per cent affordable homes, shows the 220 new homes located within six distinct development parcels defined by the existing network of hedgerows which cross the site.

According to the application: “This approach means that the new homes will sit within a well-landscaped setting where the existing vegetation, supplemented by new landscaping, will screen and filter views from the Pevensey Levels, maintain habitat connectivity and respect the site’s existing field pattern.”

The plans include two new children’s play areas, which will be designed to cater for both children and teenagers, and new public open green space.

The convenience store would have ten parking spaces and space for deliveries.

Hailsham Town Council has strongly objected, arguing that Mill Road is an insufficient road access for the development as it is ‘not wide enough or substantial enough to withstand construction vehicles’.

The town council also believes the proposed development will have a ‘hugely negative impact’ on Lions House Park residents and is also concerned about the loss of wildlife habitat and the effect on Pevensey Levels.

A total of 59 objections have also been received, raising issues such as traffic congestion, air and noise pollution, road and pedestrian safety, insufficient parking and infrastructure, damage to environment and wildlife as well as the impact on neighbouring housing.

But an officers’ report said: “The council cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing land and there is a clear need for housing within the housing market area, including a need for affordable housing.”