Wivelsfield Green united against ‘invading’ housing plans

DM15026711a.jpg Wivelsfield Green residents against development. Showing the field behind South Road. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150519-160632008
DM15026711a.jpg Wivelsfield Green residents against development. Showing the field behind South Road. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150519-160632008

Both sides of a village have pledged to stand as one force against two developments which threaten to ‘invade’ their ‘green’ village.

Wivelsfield Green villagers have vociferously protested against developers proposing to develop 100 homes behind Blackmores and 65 homes south of South Road.

Rosemary Fair, who lives in Blackmores, said: “We are a united front.

“They are not going to split the village. We feel like we are being invaded and they think we are just little residents but we are the ones that stand to lose a lot.”

Laura Akehurst, lives in a house called Farm View in South Road. She said she would have to change it to Estate View if the build of 65 homes went ahead.

“There’s such a gradient, my eight-year-old daughter’s bedroom window looks out over the field of sheep.

“The houses will be raised above our and will literally be over-looking us.

“My daughter has named all the brown sheep in the field. They’re like her pets.”

Councillor Jason Stoner, from Wivelsfield Parish Council, explained that developers were getting applications in now, before Lewes District Council (LDC)put its local plan into place.

He said LDC believed it had met its five year housing land supply target but developers would continue contesting that until the local plan was in place.

He said once LDC has implemented the local plan, developers would not be able to chose their own sites.

He added that Wivelsfield Neighbourhood Plan would soon be submitted and once it was in place, that would set out specific sites for development and would assign the site south of South Road, as a green field space.

Only recently a plan for 75 homes on land off North Common Road was given permission on appeal.

Wates Construction hosted an exhibition of its plans at the village hall last Thursday and residents made it clear they did not want more houses.

Bryony Sinclair, from Church Lane, said she was ‘horrified’ as she moved to the village, from London, one year ago to be near green fields.

Spokesmen for both developers said residents’ feedback would be used to ‘shape and refine’ plans.

A Wates Developments spokesperson said: “We received around 250 visitors to our pre-application consultation for much needed new family homes at Wivelsfield Green and are grateful to everyone who took the time to visit the exhibition.”

A Bovis Homes spokesman said the feedback had lead to it reducing its planned housing number to 95.

He said: “The exhibition showcasing our proposals for new homes in Wivelsfield was well attended and we have received a lot of useful feedback, especially with regard to highways and access, with more than 150 response cards either filled in on the day or taken away to be completed, and 55 email responses so far received.

“We are seeking to respect the rural character of the village by retaining as many of the existing hedgerows and trees as possible and incorporating our own landscaping and planting.“

“At the same time the proposals will help to meet increasing local housing need, with 40 per cent of these new homes being designated as affordable properties.”