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Sharnfold Farm update– ANTI – DEMOCRATIC!

April 30, 2021 7:05 PM
By Mark Fairweather

Sharnfold Farm update - ANTI - DEMOCRATIC!

Sharnfold Farm is a much - loved leisure amenity on the Stone Cross to Hailsham road just north of
the A27. Sharnfold has been run as a Pick Your Own fruit farm, farm shop with coffee shop,
woodland walk and childrens' play area with animals……

At some point Sharnfold was sold. At first the information was that Sharnfold would continue as a
going concern then in autumn 2020 a Planning Application revealed that the current intention is to
build 400 houses eventually.

2 more definite Planning Applications emerged. One was for conversion of use for the Barns. Once
these barns are lost then it becomes impossible to run the farm agriculturally and the land becomes
more vulnerable to housing development. The other Planning Application is for 31 houses on the
field nearest Stone Cross. Wealden's own Planning Department has previously said that this field is
only suitable for 10 houses along the roadside. The reason that the Application is only for 31 houses,
not the 400, is that by "salami slicing" the housing applications the developer is trying, successfully
so far, to avoid public consideration of the cumulative effects eg. on traffic if the 400 houses are ever
built. For many years the locals were told by Wealden that their policy would be that no major
housing development would be allowed north of the A 27.

The latest development is that the Barns Application had been assigned to be heard by the Planning
Committee. However in the last few days the Barns Application has been shown as being delegated
to be decided by the Planning Officers. This is a mechanism designed to allow swift decisions on
minor, non - controversial matters. The Sharnfold Applications have 99 substantive Objections from
individuals to the problems identified with the Applications. The Parish Council have objected to the
Applications and Natural England have said that they may need to object because of the proximity to
the Pevensey Levels National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest and the risks that
the developments pose to that. The Levels are even more important than that as there is a United
Nations treaty that lists the Levels as "internationally important". By delegating the decision to the
Planning Officers the, presumably, Chair of the Planning Committee has denied the wider population
the opportunity to see the matter decided in public so that the public can hold those responsible for
the decision to public account. This delegation is ANTI - DEMOCRATIC and so should be opposed on
those grounds.

If you object to anti-democratic practices in Wealden Planning it is not too late to object to Wealden
Planning : planning@wealden.gov.uk quoting references :
WD / 2020/2047/MAO
WD / 2020 / 1994 / MAJ