Residents are angry at plans for southern Hailsham

ANGRY residents have spoken of their fears for the future of Hailsham following a report in the Sussex Express about development plans for the southern area of the town.

Masma Limited wants to build 195 homes and a GP surgery at Oaklands in Ersham Road with 360 parking spaces and storage for 390 bicycles.

A ‘hybrid’ outline planning application has also been handed in by WE Vine Trust for 35 dwellings at a farming site, Ersham Farm in Ersham Road.

The offices of Wealden District Council have been blasted with letters and emails from concerned residents about both unrelated applications.

For the larger application (195 homes), landowner Matt Marples, of Coldthorn Lane, called for Wealden to give the thumbs-down to the plans citing many reasons including the development being outside the residential development area, flooding issues, lack of road infrastructure, other sites being more suitable, dangers to nearby ancient woodland and wildlife.

Michael and Susan Tester, of Sherwood Green, were aghast that the plans were being considered again after previous refusals by the planning authority.

They wrote: “Our roads are already congested, there are no shops or services nearby, this land is prone to flooding, and a pleasant and charming small town is being systematically destroyed by greedy developers with no thought or care for the residents or their needs.”

The 35-home plan has also been met with scepticism by folk living in that part of the town citing concerns about traffic congestion and losing farm land.

“It is important to retain Hailsham’s character and keep it distinct from the development of Polegate to the South”, said Ross Hollister of Sycamore Drive, adding: “I strongly oppose this development on the grounds that it will result in the loss of a productive local farm and diminish the character of Hailsham as a market town.”

Around 100 people also voiced their concerns at a town council meeting.