7km exclusion zone - different rules for the major players?

Please accept my apologies for interrupting the seemingly interminable and equally pointless correspondence on the pipe-dream that is the extension of the Uckfield line to talk about something that interests the majority of us in the town much more – the building of 1,000 plus houses at the edge of Uckfield.

In a recent Express you reported on the zeal and energy with which the Wealden planners were enforcing the 7km rule limiting development at Buxted to the extent that the Reading Room must not be used for any other purpose, thus exposing the authorities pettifogging and pointless planning rules in this matter.

Elsewhere in the same issue you reported that the developers were in negotiation (called consultation) with Wealden and the county council about how many more houses could be built and no doubt how to circumnavigate the planning restrictions concerning development. (One developer has already told us that it cannot possibly afford to build any social housing on the site – poor poverty afflicted developer!)

This is despite the local authories being quite aware that medical and other facilities in the town are already overloaded, that the recent roadworks in the town showed just how chaotic the by-pass is at peak times NOW and being told that the UCTC cannot take any more pupils.

The 7km rule somehow just does not seem to apply at Ridgewood (perhaps it is because the development is too big) but Wealden is demonstrating at Buxted that it will fearlessly and implacably enforce the rule on small and insignificant development. Once again seemingly, one rule for the little people and another for the major players.

And I thought that we elected these people to defend our interests!

Since the Reading Room at Buxted MUST not be used for any other purpose (so says the Wealden planners) could it not be used for their negotiations with possible developers at Ridgewood to allow the quiet closed doors conditions in which these discussions no doubt take place.

If there is any response to this letter from the appropriate authorities then it will probably be some “Sir Humphrey” character citing some obscure and legalistic planning condition which avoids the 7km rule at Ridgewood.

In May some of the elected members responsible for the Ridgewood development will put themselves up for re-election. If you are wise, you will find out who they are and vote accordingly.

Roy Harris