Independent columnist Observer is horrifed by Friday’s shock announcement over plans for more massive housebuilding in Wealden.
Possible targets for future housebuilding which emerged on Friday from Wealden District Council are frankly horrendous.
The numbers are stark.
At the moment, it appears as if Uckfield has escaped a whole new wave of development but what shocks me to the core is that our near neighbour Hailsham could double in size over the next quarter of a century.
This is (was) a rural area that is already over-crowded. Look at how traffic choked our roads and streets are.
The county council halted improvements to the A22 some time back but now a big town towards it southern end could cop another 9,000 houses. Many of those people will be heading north and around the Uckfield by-pass in their cars.
And don’t forget, most of the new homes to be built at Ridgewood Farm will access and leave the estate via the A22.
You cannot just keep pouring people into this little corner of the South East.
I guess Wealden District Council is responding to diktats from central government which seems unable to get a grip with the real housing crisis in this area, which is the lack of affordable homes and the housebuilders frequently winning battles to drive down the number of affordable homes in big developments.
That’s what happened at Ridgewood Farm despite virtually everyone saying the development should have 35 per cent affordable homes.
And I wouldn’t be rubbing your hands with glee, or mopping your brow and going “phew, that was a close one” over Hailsham getting all the homes.
These housing projections and ideas are just at a first stage. Things could easily change.
Time, Uckfield, to man (and woman) the barricades to defend our town, to defend Wealden and, yes, defend Hailsham.
Housebuilding on this scale will really be a blot on the landscape.
People “cottoned on” too late over the 1,000 homes project. Don’t make the same mistake.
I implore you, dear reader, to get to the consultations and make sure you have your say.