MOTORING MADNESS - What visibility splay? Have East Sussex County Council gone mad. The hedge on the left prevents any car coming from the proposed site entrance, from seeing to the right. From this one easily obtained picture it is obvious that the approval of this entrance for up to 70 dwellings is a rubber stamp job by ESCC Highways. The proposed new entrance is cluttered, so introducing a dangerous situation that could affect hundreds of travelers on the A271. Drivers coming from Windmill Hill will see the nose of a vehicle and may be forced to brake hard, when the driver seeking to exit Lime Cross, is forced to put the nose of his vehicle in the path of oncoming traffic. Approval of this application without any real investigation of the facts smells to high heaven. Who is scratching who's back and why? This was formerly application WD/2014/2663/MAO. Are you deranged Mr Lenton? No way should a grant of permission be based on future assumptions. We think that you should be ashamed of yourself. Your practices should perhaps be reviewed.
Benjamin Lenton is or was an officer at Wealden District Council when an application was received from Gleeson Developments Limited in 2015. It appears that he had something to do with liaising with the County Archaeologist at East Sussex County Council in Lewes.
That being the case, and so far as we know in July of 2018, it is not yet possible to apportion blame as to negligent misstatements concerning the ancient well in Lime Park, Herstmonceux. This may involve deliberately burying evidence in Wealden's copious secret enforcement files, or it may just be that the officers were so rushed in seeking to encourage developers to build in their geographical remit, that they forgot to look at potential blockers to building 70 houses on green belt.
For many years Wealden District Council has tried to mask the truth concerning the Generating Museum at Herstmonceux, spending in excess of £500,000 pounds of ratepayers money trying to prove the water flows uphill, actually, that the industrial complex dating from 1900 was not used to generate electricity, when finally in 1999 an independent Report from Archaeology South East in London, put that particular lie to bed. Or at least you would have thought so.
Two of the most obvious blockers would be to do with surface water drain off and soakage. Any council would know this and take the appropriate advice and indeed they did on the proposed surface run off into into the ponds in Lime Park, but failed to undertake a similar exercise in relation to ground soakage and potential contamination of the ancient well, also in Lime Park at the other end of the proposed development site adjacent to the Lime Cross recreation ground.
You might have asked how it was that any council could act in such a way as not to recognise the old well, but when considering the long history of denial designed to disenfranchise the previous occupant, you may already suspect that the answer is more of the same. This old leopard appears not to want to change its spots.
HISTORIC ARTIFACT - This bottle was unearthed in Herstmonceux close to the ancient well in Lime Park. We know that vegetables grown in Lime Park were taken to market in Hastings. We also know that monks used the spring at Herstmonceux in and around Lime Park.
Can you imagine a planning officer in charge of a major development who does not know what a material planning consideration is? That is what we think we are looking at in the case of Clarion Group Housing Limited who are working with Thakeham Homes Limited and Latimer Developments Limited, following on from the applications of Tim Watson in 2014 and Gleeson Developments Limited in 2015.
This application is/was for 70 houses by way of a green field site that was purchased by Tim Watson as an investment many years ago. Tim Watson, a local estate agent, abandoned his application, presumably because of identity and a potential conflicts of interest locally, because, exactly the same application was filed with a name change in 2015 by Gleeson Developments Limited, presumably a smoke and mirrors device. If the parties may wish to clarify the situation for us, we'd be pleased to publish any corrections, but as it stands it reads as though their council pals managed to push this one through for old times sake.
Around three hundred local residents were opposed to the application, leading Marina Brigginshaw to give a presentation in the village hall at Herstmonceux, but despite this exceptional turnout, the Parish Council ignored those representations and approved the application. We do not know of any specific reason for the wishes of the public being ignored, and this may become the subject of investigation as to interests and declarations at both Parish Council and District Council levels.
It is suspected that members of Wealden passed the application to in some measure gain revenge on the previous occupier of the old electricity Generating Works. If that proves to be the case, then the grant of permission will have been an abuse of process.
We are though looking for other anomalies, such as the case officers not correctly advising the Members of this Council as to applicable statute, their Local Plan and National Planning Policy, where there appears to be more than one failure to advise - now the subject of investigation.
For starters, Herstmonceux has only one small school and could not cope with the additional children, adding to carbon miles to bus the children to other schools on a daily basis.
Access to the site is from a busy road at an inconvenient junction without the necessary visibility splay to cope with speed of 40 miles per hour and braking as trucks and the like enter the village from the east.
ROAD TRAFFIC DANGERS
The visibility splay is a potential issue according to Mr Lenton in his letter dated 22 January 2015 with reference to the applicant Gleeson Developments Limited. We are concerned as to allowing this planning application to proceed to grant based on assumptions as to being able to fudge a workable visibility solution, rather than basing his decision on what was put before him as being within the control of the developer. We therefore suspect some kind of leaning toward the developers from whatever commercial arrangement exists between them and this Council:
"The stretch or road fronting the site is subject to a 30mph speed limit; however a speed survey has been undertaken close to the proposed access point in order to determine actual vehicle speeds. The results of this survey indicate an 85th % tile vehicle speeds of 40.6mph for vehicles approaching the site access from the north-west and 44.9mph for those approaching from the south-east.
the sightlines shown on the submitted plan fall short of the requirements based on my own calculations I am satisfied that appropriate visibility splays can be provided either side of the site access.
Claire Turner TRACKED
& Building Control
We note that there are many inclusions in the
‘Conditions’ section of the Notice of Decision dated September 11 2015 and signed by Kelvin Williams, concerning dealing with surface water soakage, drainage and contamination, but no mention of the ancient well and those using it for their water supplies.
POTTY TRAINING - Using a potty correctly may be a new skill for your planning team to learn if they keep missing the bowl or forgetting to flush, or maybe even fumble the paperwork. Being patient and firm with them will help them get it right eventually, even if they sometimes feel frustrated at being pushed to do the right thing. They need to known that every person is entitled to a toilet no matter how much the council's legal team tell them to ignore the rules to cause harm to a challenging member of the public - and yes we can imagine how irritating it is to be caught out consistently by some members of the public - and yes of course that makes you dig in your heels even more - leading you into trying more dirty tricks and rule breaking. But will only that lead to more spillages?
So, if you are going to plan a vendetta, hoping to harass someone to vacate Wealden land for the benefit of someone else locally who you favour, be sure that you don't get caught with your trousers down, forget to flush, or even pull your trousers up too soon. Be careful to stay in the groove by following statute to the letter and don't hope that all Judges or Inspectors will turn a blink eye with a funny handshake - there are many who are not members of that brigade and these are the airings that are sure to come back to haunt you to reveal what you did and why you did it. Sleep safe at night by doing the right thing. Do not try to deprive anyone of their state granted rights and put the lid down after flushing.
WEALDEN'S OFFICERS FROM 1983 TO 2018
MISFEASANCE & MALFEASANCE
When an officer of the courts omits to include evidence that he or she knows is relevant to a hearing, that is termed misfeasance in public office. Where an officer then tries to cover up his or her misfeasance (as did Ian Kay in the Stream Farm matter), or J Douglas Moss did in the Old Steam House case, that becomes malfeasance. The difference is that misfeasance is a civil wrong, whereas malfeasance is a criminal offence. The leading case precedent on malfeasance is: R. v Bowden 1995 Court of Appeal (98 1 WLR), where police constable Bowden failed in his duty to protect a member of the public.
The only defence that Wealden's officers have in their criminal dealings is that Sussex Police will not investigate any offence committed by their chums at Wealden. The proof of this is the failure of DS Keith Lindsay failed to interview any one of 12 unrelated complainants or the planning or executive officers from Wealden who stand accused.
Where does Claire Turner fit into all of this? At the moment we do not know and we are giving Mrs Turner the benefit of the doubt. In other words we accept that she is innocent of any hand in the approval of the 70 house windfall grant at Herstmonceux, unless and until fresh evidence becomes available to suggest otherwise.
Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AX T: 01323 443322
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