Why is development being considered?

Copy of a letter to Greg Barker, MP

Dear Mr Barker

I attended a public exhibition by Rydon Homes yesterday who are interested in building 50 houses on a green field site here in the village of Ninfield. I find this proposal very worrying for many reasons.

My principal objection is that there are still plenty of brownfield sites available within 5 miles of this proposed development and these should be build on before our countryside is destroyed. Any building that does take place should be for low lost housing (a very small number of starter homes and flats for rent to enable village youngsters to get their own place is all that is needed).

Secondly, the school here in Ninfield is completely full. It is an excellent school but existing residents face difficulties getting their children a place. Where on earth are any new people coming in going to send their children? They will have to commute! The Rydon staff at the event had an extremely unrealistic idea about the numbers of children that 50 new houses would entail (they were quoting just 10 children, what nonsense!).

There are also issues about work and transport, there is very little/no employment here and everyone moving in will have to drive to work adding to congestion and pollution.

Looking at the current property market there are already 24 houses under £600K for sale in the immediate Ninfield area. How does this square with the proposal to build a further 50 homes? We simply do not need them and this “plan” makes no sense at all.

I was informed by one of the Rydon staff at the exhibition that the decision to build 50 homes on greenfield land in Ninfield “has already been taken by Wealden District Council, so it is just a question of whereabouts in the village this building takes place”!

I do not remember any consultation with the residents about this at all. I understood that the government’s new planning strategy was supposed to be entirely based on “localism”. This courtesy seems to have been completely ignored on this occasion any the local community were completely unaware this was part of any plan (certainly, everyone I have spoken to at the exhibition and since). In view of the current number of homes on the market here can you explain why this could even be considered? (Pam, as our District Councillor may be you can shed light on how the council consider such numbers as viable?).

Property developers need to make money, I understand that completely. There does need to be some restraint and some sensible planning. Our green fields are irreplaceable and should be left alone until such time as all brownfield sites are utilised. Given the large number of homes currently for sale in this area ( which are not selling quickly) there is an urgent need for a revision to the Wealden plans.

I hope you can look into this matter and perhaps give me an answer as to why this is even being considered?

John Cheshire

Ninfield