Building on George Meadow?

I HAVE read with some amusement of the furore that the removal of the cordylines on the Battle roundabout has provoked. David and Jane, whose letter you published last week, are not alone in asking why Battle people have not been consulted on the matter – seemingly ignoring that Battle has an elected town council whose job it is to deal with these sorts of relatively minor matters.

Maybe if Battle residents are looking for a cause to demand to be consulted on they might consider the future of the area of George Meadow which lies between the Cricket Square and the Abbey.

Battle Town Council owns George Meadow. Recently surveyors have been seen on the site who when questioned said that they were surveying for a Battle Abbey School building.

Leaving aside that the George Meadow area is outside the town’s development boundary, perhaps the questions which need to be answered are as to whether this prime site in the centre of Battle should be developed and then whether it should be made available for essentially a private school’s purpose.

It is rumoured that the school are seeking to build a sports hall. Surely the area at the Blackfriars development site, where the Methodist’s new church is nearing completion, and which is set aside for community use, would be a better location. Another possibility might be on part of the North Trade Road Recreation Ground. It is worth bearing in mind that both the Blackfriars site and the recreation ground could readily provide free car parking for users of a facility, which the George Meadow site does not.

If it is the case that a sports hall is planned for the site, it may be said that the hall could be available for Battle residents to use when the school does not need it. But do the town’s residents actually need access to another hall, what with Claverham Sports Hall and the Memorial Hall? Whatever, if the site is to be built on, unlike the cordylines, it is no minor matter.

Surely in this case the town’s residents ought to be consulted before anyone moves ahead with plans to build on such an important historic and sensitive site.

Remember, the Town owns George Meadow. If it is to be built on then it should be for a town council project which is essentially for the benefit of Battle’s residents.

Ron Harris

The Coppice