Victory over farm depot scheme

Residents are celebrating after plans to use a farm as a vehicle depot were withdrawn this week.

Rother District Council was due to consider the application to grant a lawful development certificate to Woodlands Farm, Beaney's Lane.

This could have paved the way for the council's contractors to transfer its 21 bin lorries and 11 street cleaning trucks to the Westfield farm because its current Bexhill site is being purchased as part of the link road development.

But residents of The Ridge, Hastings, were up in arms about the plan.

Albert Collins, 65, and his wife Shirley, 63, spotted a notice pinned on a lampost opposite their house on The Ridge.

When they realised what it was, they contacted Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council and Hastings Borough Councillor Eve Martin.

They also pushed leaflets through dozens of their neighbours' doors in an attempt to drum up opposition to the scheme, but this week Rother District Council confirmed the application had been withdrawn.

Mrs Collins said: "It is very good news because it would have affected a lot of people.

"We moved here for a bit of peace and quiet and this would have caused a lot of problems especially at the junction between Beaney's Lane and The Ridge.

"There is not room for trucks to queue there and they would be waiting right outside our garden.

"They would also be waiting near Maplehurst Woods, which is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest."

The couple had approached Helenswood Lower School, the care home Mary House, Kings Church and The Conquest Hospital in a bid to spread the word about the plans.

Mr Collins said: "It is a relief but maybe in a few months time they will try again.

"Our Hastings councillors did not seem to know too much about it and so I will keep working to make sure this issue stays in people's minds.

"I do not trust that it will just go away," he added.

Under the original plans the council's vehicles would have left the site between 6.30am and 7am and returned between 3pm and 6.30pm.

The certificate of lawful use would have determined whether this could have been allowed under the site's existing planning conditions.