Press Release from Maresfield Parish Council

Planning Application for up to 25 homes and a Community Facility at Straight Half Mile, Maresfield.

“Shocking” Planning Approval

Maresfield Parish Council is both seriously disappointed and shocked by the Wealden District Council Planning Committee (North) approval of the Outline Application for up to 25 houses and an (unspecified) community facility at Straight Half Mile, Maresfield. This will destroy for ever the fine rural approach from the north into the Village with its expansive views over fields and woodland.

The Parish Council is aware of the pressures on Wealden to approve new housing developments but this should not be at the cost of applying sound planning principles and policies relating to the countryside, and also ignoring material considerations such as the access, traffic movements and parking for the community facility as well as un-solved drainage issues.

Parish and Village residents support the Parish Council’s desire to preserve the rural approach to Maresfield. There were many local objectors and our local District Councilor, Cllr Peter Roundell, spoke very forcibly against the proposed development.

The Parish Council is not opposed to further limited development in Maresfield – it just has to be in the right place. Maresfield has already delivered more than the required 50 homes in the current Wealden Plan.

Maresfield Parish Council Chairman Martin Craddock said:

            “I sat through all 90 minutes of the Planning Committee’s debate and the discussion did seem to be towards rejecting the Application. I and two others submitted video presentations explaining our opposition. However, under the current electronic meetings regime used by Wealden, Councilors would not have seen these unless they uploaded and viewed them; prior to Covid we would have addressed the meeting and they would have had to hear what we said. When the vote was taken two Councilors voted for approval but with reservations. How can this be so? Surely if you have reservations you should vote against or seek a deferment whilst the reservations are sorted out. Additionally, three Councilors, who I don’t recall as having spoken in the debate, voted for approval and the final count was 7 – 4 in favour of approval. I thought the whole process was most unsatisfactory.”

Contact Maresfield Parish Council:

            Chairman  –  Martin Craddock  07831 340162 / 01825 713879

            Clerk  –  Claire Goossens 01825 714555

Parish Office, Social Club Building, Oakwood Park, High Street, Nutley. TN22 3NA