LETTER: What about a proper consultation?

Wealden District Council’s Hailsham headquarters bears a crest, suggesting that it is in the heart of the countryside. Really?

Council leader Bob Standley says that the number of new houses planned for Hailsham may come as a surprise. What surprised us was his council’s supine acceptance of pouring concrete over our green and pleasant land and their belief that presenting people with a fait accompli amounts to “consultation”.

We are told that there will be infrastructure development, to make the vast housing development planned “sustainable”. Those who attended the pseudo-consultation in Hailsham on Halloween passed by a display on Bentley Grange. Yes; that smart new facility for the elderly which we’ve just heard is to fall victim to the latest tranche of austerity cuts. How, against the background of Cameron’s butchery, are we supposed to believe that infrastructure will keep pace with population? Have WDC’s concrete conquistadors actually given weight to anything, beyond filling council coffers with extra council tax?

Wealden has a lot to say about “opportunities”, “retail facilities” and “a focus for tourism.” Just what would attract tourists to a solid sea of concrete stretching from the sea to the High Weald is unclear. What is even more unclear is where these new residents are expected to find work.

Is there perhaps an unspoken assumption that they will all be wealthy retirees from London, or is it assumed that Hailsham-max will become a dormitory town for Eastbourne?

If, somehow in Cameron’s cloud cuckoo land, Eastbourne became a motor of industry, capable of employing a vast influx of people, how would even beefed-up roads cope with the commuters? We daren’t even think of how health and schooling facilities will cope.

What about a proper consultation, in the form of a public meeting, in all the towns living under this threat? How about making our councillors answer to their electors?

Martin Hillman

David Ellis

Hawks Road, Hailsham