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Save Sharnfold Farm

February 3, 2021 2:03 PM

Sharnfold Farm is on the Stone Cross to Hailsham road, about half a mile from the Stone Cross traffic lights on the very first of the , very, low land, completely separate from the built up area of Stone Cross. Until now the Farm was run as a mixed farm with a Pick your Own operation, a popular Farm Shop , Coffee Shop , and Farm Walks and special events that made it a very popular outdoor attraction, popular with people, families etc. from Eastbourne and Hailsham in an area which has few similar attractions.

farm

Some time ago the Farm was sold to a property development company. In the autumn of 2020 the first Planning Application revealed that the ultimate plan is to build 400 houses. This was put out to " consultation " but the usual method of a public hall meeting could not be followed because of the virus. This " consultation " was only live on Wealden's Planning website for the minimum period. Next came 2 more definite Planning Applications , one to convert the farm buildings to craft workshops etc. If the farm buildings are lost then agricultural use of the land is no longer possible and so the rest of the land becomes more vulnerable to development. The other Planning Application is for 31 houses on the field nearest to Stone Cross which Wealden's own Planning Department had identified as suitable for only 11 houses along the road! However from the " consultation " it is clear that this field is being used as a very thin end of a very big wedge.

There are many , many possible grounds for objecting to these developments. One of these is the damage that it would do to the informal "Green Belt" that separates Hailsham from Greater Eastbourne ( Stone Cross and Polegate ).

A less obvious objection is the possible damage that it could do to the National Nature Reserve on the Pevensey Levels. The wider , UN recognised , "internationally important " wetland site" is within 2km of the site ( at the field next to Hillier's Garden Centre carpark ) . This means that Natural England ( NE ) need to be consulted on the housing development as NE are the custodians of the National Nature Reserves and NE say , in their provisional response , that they may need to object , but that they won't know until they have seen the detailed design.

There is a community objectors' campaign : savesharnfold@gmail.com which has about 250 members already and they have a specimen letter if someone wants to object to this development. However it will always be better if someone wants to customise that letter to make their objection more credible.

Mark Fairweather has much more information and can be contacted : markfairweather55@yahoo.co.uk , 07913903848.

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