Residents stand up against new housing plan

Hailsham High Street SUS-150909-145543001
Hailsham High Street SUS-150909-145543001

More than 80 Hailsham residents attended a public meeting last week to discuss Wealden District Council’s proposed housing strategy.

The council announced 9,380 new homes would be built in the area over the coming years as part of the new Local Plan, in addition to the 1,300 already earmarked for construction.

Members of the public spoke about their personal experiences, including issues with poor infrastructure, the town’s traffic congestion and town centre parking problems, along with the lack of school places at both primary and junior levels.

Individuals also focused their concerns about accessing local medical care, with many expressing difficulties in getting local doctor appointments due to surgeries working at full capacity.

A gentleman, who recently moved to the town, pointed out the serious affect new build developments are having on the water table with ground water rising, increasing the potential for flooding.

Concerns were also raised about the lack of capacity for waste sewage, as the utility operator stated the system was operating at full capacity leaving no room for expansion.

The meeting established Hailsham as the only area listed in Wealden District Council’s housing strategy which is expected to double in size over a 20 year period. A show of hands confirmed the shared views that Hailsham was being expected to meet the county’s growing housing need.

The audience strongly felt that the required infrastructure should be put into place prior to developers commencing a housing project.

Hailsham Town Councillors Mary Laxton and Paul Sloane attended the meeting and submitted a motion to Hailsham Town Council to be heard at the Hailsham Town Council Offices on September 30 at 7.30pm, which they encourage local residents to attend. Their proposal was to have an open debate about the fundamental impact this will have on Hailsham.

The consultation on recommendations for a new Local Plan, outlining future growth in the district, begins on October 19. It will be available on the council’s website and at libraries and parish council offices. The public consultation will last until November 30.

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