LETTER: We will not accept this

The concern with the planned development on the edge of Hailsham grows as more and more residents express their opinions and views.

The application has been referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by a town councillor.

The application is for a housing development adjacent to the SSSI, SAC and Ramsar Site of Pevensey Levels, which is the habitat of very rare protected and is some cases almost extinct species of aquatic beetles, molluscs, spiders and snails.

The online petition has reached almost 750, and the objection letters are a litany of protest and reasons to oppose the scheme; Hailsham Town Council unanimously rejects the proposal. There is huge concern about water from the concrete housing estate, the nitrogen affecting health and safety and damaging the greenbelt (like the Ashdown Forest), and an extra half a million vehicles on a lane.

Hailsham Town Council was strongly negative in its opinions and arguments. No one spoke in favour at the planning meeting. As Wealden Local Plan now reduces the number of houses that the town must build, the argument exists that there must be other sites that can take the proposal, rather than a sensitive area of particular charm.

The people and residents agree that the wetlands are an asset of the town, the environment should not pay the price of development and that power lies when we get together to act. Leader of Wealden Council, Robert Standley has agreed to accept the petition on March 29 at 11am, together with Amanda O’Rawe, councillor for the area, and an invitation has been extended to councillor Nigel Coltman leader of Hailsham Town Council.

The local community was amazed when an Environmental Impact Survey was turned down by Wealden and wonder why it persists with the idea that a protected international habitat will not be affected by urban sprawl.

Now is the time to say ‘No’ to Wealden. There are some things we just will not accept, and turning a tranquil, beautiful part of the town into a housing estate is one of them.

Steve Cross

By email